I was over-complicating the method of teaching Gel to shed. I went out this morning and stood on one side of the sheep, said his name and here. Being the good dog that he is, he came right through the middle of the sheep, making a hole where there was not one. He didn’t grip. We did it four or five more times and had packets of sheep all over the field. Yea!
Worked on driving with Fern and stops and flanks with Split. It was a good session. All three dogs are flat out in their crates. I feel like I want to go and lie down myself.
Another cool, overcast day to get through. Yesterday was miserable and I didn’t work sheep at all.
We only had to put up two chickens last night and they are starting to lay in their usual places.
I took out the pressure canner that I borrowed from Wally’s mother and ordered a new gasket for it. As soon as I get that, I’ll take it to the county extension service and get the pressure checked. Then I’ll can some venison. I forgot that you could can meat. While it won’t be as good as raw, in an emergency or if I don’t have something defrosted to feed the cats or dogs, I can use the canned meat. In this time of plenty, canning will enable me to put up even more venison.
Finally, I got into my office and worked on the summer/winter clothing exchange. Not sure why I’m even bothering taking out winter work clothes. I might as well leave them in storage, but you never know. I will need some dress clothes around Thanksgiving and likely Christmas, but that may be about it.
There’s been a rather heated discussion on Sheepdog-L about whether you can teach herding-related commands to Border Collies off sheep. The old timers said no, but a good number of the people on the list, many of which I expect come from sports backgrounds, said that you could.
I’d love to see the breakdown of the number of people who trial who don’t have sheep, those who have just a few sheep and those that have a true working farm-type of a situation. I’d be willing to bet that more people fit into the first category.
Originally, I bought livestock for my dog. Now the livestock is for us (and to some extent, the dogs because they eat the meat). I train my dogs, but more with a mindset of using them as farm dogs rather than trial dogs. I put the opening date for a trial in South Carolina the middle of January. I might enter; or I might not. I should. I talked to the Open handler who was supposed to come out on Wednesday (but the weather was too bad) and he said that I needed to get over worrying about what other people thought of me and my dogs. Everyone makes mistakes and screws up runs. I take those things so personal. I’d so much love to have Fern ready to run in Pro-Novice and maybe Nursery by that date.
I am very much enjoying training all three dogs. Split is an absolute delight. She has such a nice attitude, she’s keen and she wants to do what is right. She tries hard, but she’s still so much of a puppy. I put a call into her breeder this morning and am waiting to hear back from him.
On Sunday, Wally and I are heading up to the mountains to visit a goat dairy. They’ve been wanting a Border Collie to help with their goats for some time now, but know they don’t have the time or ability to train one. I might be able to find the right dog and train it for them. In March (if not before) I’ll have a good-sized herd of goat kids to train on. We’ll bring Gel with us so they can see what a trained dog can do. Of course, Gel will be in his glory.
Today is my bachelorette day. Wally goes to the Shelby auction every Thursday so I’m on my own. While I love Wally to death, it’s nice to have an evening to kick back and be a sloth. What’s even better is the DVR so I don’t have to stay up past 8:00 if I don’t want to. I’ll probably go back out and train the dogs one more time this afternoon.
Until later …