Variety is the spice of life.

When I brought Gel back to agility after spending about eight solid months in just herding training, he had much more drive and speed than he had when we stopped. I kept wondering to myself, where did this dog come from?

I have been continuing to work him on stock when we have light and time and he’s Gung-ho to work. We got shut out of the AKC agility trial that is scheduled for the end of January. The next trial that is scheduled for the middle of February out near Raleigh is an outdoor trial. I haven’t entered because I’m not sure I want to do an agility trial outside if the weather is bad. There’s an ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club) stock trial in Georgia in February. I might just enter him and put agility trialing on hold for a few months. There are several local agility shows in March.

It seems Gel does better if I work him hard on one type of work (i.e. agility) for a couple of months, then put that up and switch to a different type (i.e. herding). Yesterday I worked him on whistles and darned if he didn’t remember the whistle commands and even more amazing, I could blow them reasonably well.

I mentioned that I was going to purchase the book Dogs by Ray and Lorna Coppinger which I did. I received it on Saturday and read the first few chapters. It’s quite fascinating. More on it later.

On Sunday I took a private lesson with Rhonda Carter. It was quite eye opening, or maybe not, my handling needs a lot of work. I have to keep in mind, however, I’ve only been doing agility for a bit over a year. I can’t expect to handle like a master in that short a period of time. I’m too much of a perfectionist.