Archive for September, 2007

What a busy few day it’s been. We are starting to lose daylight in the evenings here on the coast so we are almost done with agility for the season (on a formal basis) and we have started to look at more sheep herding. Today was our third herding outing (say that 3 times fast :) ) and I guess Scout has finally realized that the sheep are in the same pen with us. It’s been about a month since our first outing and he has really started to show some interest. I need a sheep herder dictionary to learn all the commands but it will come eventually. I hope.

On our second outing we did a lot of circling the sheep and work on a long line. I was worried about some rope burn on my hands but he never pulled much on the rope. He was, on the other hand, busy eating sheep poop more than paying attention to the sheep. (thanks Fran for the photo).

Today, was a whole new ball game! We started on the rope, and then after he started to notice the sheep I dropped the rope and let him drag it for a while, of course that is just an invitation to chew the rope that is dangling from his neck (a bad leash habit I still haven’t broken :( ). So, off came the rope and he was on his own out there (with me fumbling around). The language is all new to me, for example:
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xx
xxxxxx Scout xx Me x
xx
xxxxxxxxx 1 x
xxxxxxxxxx sheep x
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 2 x
xx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The sheep were heading towards the “p” in sheep and Marcia told me to “get in front of the sheep” So I went to “1” Nooooo, that’s not in front of the sheep their heads were towards “2” now if they were facing us then in front of the sheep would be “1” This is as clear as mud :D I am going to dig out my old herding book and see if I can re-learn some of this terminology. “Go-By” is clockwise (go by the clock) but if the dog is behind you I think it’s “Away-To-Me” which is counter clockwise. I do know “Down,” “Out,” “Walk up,” and “That will do.” We’ll see what happens in a few weeks when I go back.

On the agility side of things. We ran a full course and Scout hit all his contacts so it was an awesome thing. Now if I can figure out for the best path to handle him we should be pretty good. We might even enter a CPE trial this winter? We’ll see.