It was a good time. Not only did I have my instructor out with me, but her husband who is an open handler as well. I was spot on with my assessment of Cian’s issues and how to deal with them. They both felt he was a nice dog and well worth the time training him.
Fern presented a different set of issues. I’m going to really need to focus on what she’s been up to and get her running better again. She was a bit funky today. Having their LGD jumping on her didn’t help, but the LGD jumped on both Cian and Gel and they kept working. Fern hates Rose and I think she looks at all LGDs in the same light, which is not a good light. It’s okay, Fern will straighten out.
Gel worked fabulously. I was very, very pleased with him. Maybe working last did him good. We did a bit of shedding and she said that we had progressed from sheep bowling to pretty good shedding. Gel did grip out once, but he got a couple of decent sheds as well.
My instructor told me that she thought I should not work Cian and Fern together (i.e. working Cian first and Fern second or the other way around). Because their training issues are polar opposites, trying to work them right after the other would be frustrating for me (she’s right!). It’s just as well because Cian cannot be tied out watching other dogs work. He gets too worked up.
After working the dogs we went to lunch and I had a really nice time. Her family has been in Border Collies for many, many years. She’s seen the trends, handlers and dogs come and go and has a really good feeling for what is going on in the trial world. It was nice to compare notes.
I told her that I thought I was a terrible handler (I am); and she said that I was getting better, but that my dogs are doing as well as they are despite my inadequate handling makes it all that much more apparent how good they really are (more so Gel than the others, but the other two are coming along well). It was clear, while working Cian today, in a strange environment, how much progress I’ve made with him since I got him back.
My instructor also told me of several individuals that I know from doing agility who were sending their young dogs out to be trained for stock work. Crazy. I honestly don’t think they’ll last long trialing in USBCHA. Maybe they have aspirations to trial in AKC, which may be doable, but not USBCHA. It’s a very different world than what they are used to.
We’ll see …
Looking forward to my time with Kevin Evans tomorrow.