Sunday, June 5, 2011


The pups and I had our first herding lesson yesterday.  We all enjoyed the afternoon outdoors and the pups got some much needed exercise.  This is something I have wanted to do for years.  My daughter and I both spoke frequently of enrolling the dogs while she was showing but it just never got worked into the schedule. 

Lacey, who we thought would be the better herder instinctively, is over focused and we will have to work to get her to see the herd better versus a single sheep.  This is a characteristic that has evolved from her herding Tip while he plays ball.  If we had gotten her into classes earlier this trait probably wouldn't have developed with her.  Our trainer uses a rake instead of a shepherd hook to direct the dog's direction as she feels it's easier for a newer dog to see and to get their attention then a thinner shepherd's hook would be, which makes sense to me.  I was concerned about how Lacey would react to the rake due to her history of abuse and how she still reacts to brooms in the house.  It was something I should not of worried about.  She barely acknowledged it even when we touched her with it.  I was very proud of my girl.

Tip definitely surprised us as he has never exhibited the strong herding drive like Lacey has.  He instinctively went to the sheep's heads to control them, which is extremely good.  Due to his agility and obedience training he is what they call a one sided dog - one that prefers to work from one direction only - and that will also need to be worked with.  This trait is common among dogs that have been previously trained in agility and/or obedience so it was not a surprise at all. 

The pups had a lot of fun, which was my goal.  It was harder then I thought for me.  Trying to stay right next to a person and not knowing which way they would move is difficult.  Once I get to the point I'm the only one in the ring with them it will probably be a lot easier.  It will come though.  I am pretty sure that the pups are looking forward to the next lesson.  We need to get some more weight off of Lacey as it was slowing her down speed wise.  I need to lose some pounds also so her and I will be exercising together.

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