Just got back in from feeding the guard dogs and running the Border Collies. We ran through the large, flat field that I mentioned in my last post and it got me thinking about the small course I have set at the Christmas Tree Farm. I then realized, running the dogs, especially Gel, on a small course is exactly what I should be doing with him. His out runs, lifts and fetches are all quite good already. I don’t need to be doing a lot of out runs with Gel because gathering and fetching are quite self-reinforcing for him (and I think it’s going to be that way for Fern as well).
Way back when, I started doing ASCA stock trials because I wanted to work on Gel’s reluctance to work close and to improve my timing. It worked, to some extent, but ASCA stock trials are not USBCHA trials. No matter what the venue, a lot can go wrong in an arena trial and you don’t have a lot of time to fix it.
I can’t see lines and trialing in USBCHA is all about lines. I don’t think that is ever going to improve and this is going to hurt me, but what can you do? I can only hope to get Gel pointed in the right direction and he’ll hold the line for me.
Until later …