I am blessed to have Cian here because he is teaching me new things. While Fern is different than Gel, she shares a lot of his characteristics. She’s a very nice blend of both Midge and Gel so training her is relatively easy. I need to free her up on her flanks and get her flank commands down and she’ll be well on her way to a nice working dog.
Cian has so much “want to” it isn’t funny and I love that, but all that want to seems to cloud his brain. He can be frantic in his work as if he’s afraid he’s not going to get any more. He has the tendency to run like a fool and gets out of contact with the stock. I have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to deal with it and I hope it works.
I wrote to an open handler explaining the issues I was having with him and she told me to seek professional help (meaning from an open handler) before I ruin him and that until I admit that I am the limiting factor that I cannot overcome my issues with him.
I admit I am not a very good handler, but I am committed to working with this dog to get him to be the best dog that he can be. I’ve already made momentous achievements with him. Recall this was a dog when I first sent him on an outrun he ran right by the sheep and kept on going. Then I couldn’t get him to come back to me. Now he can do an outrun, lift and fetch and I can call him off stock. He has a lie down on him, something that took forever to get. He’s making progress, but it seems we are stuck in a bit of a hole right now.
We’ll get out of the hole. Today was light years better than yesterday was.
Some dogs are more challenging than others to train. I don’t think Cian can be trained using a cookie cutter approach. He is going to take more time and patience than another dog might. He’s not going to train up easily. That’s okay, I like a challenge. I think he has the ability to be a nice stock dog, but it’s going to take creativity and patience. I also don’t think I’m off base in my analysis of the dog and am going to stick with that analysis.
I wrote to my instructor in Salisbury to see if she’ll have some time for me tomorrow. I want her to see Cian and get her thoughts on him. I trust her opinions.
I spend a tremendous amount of time with my dogs, watching them, studying them and learning from them. I think I know them better than anyone and I need to learn to trust in myself and my abilities.