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TRIALING AND TRAINING
DOG FIRST AID
MADE IN THE USA
SHEEPDOG HERDING LESSONS
Today is Wednesday. Its dog day. Late morning, on Wednesdays, I take the dogs over to a friend’s house for socializing and some work. There are anywhere from three to eight of us who bring our dogs to have a good time and train. We usually meet in the agility field, which is an irrigated large yard with grass and a very large oak tree in which we huddle for shade.
I arrived a little late. This morning I had a friend come from down south looking to buy sheep. She was buying for several clients, and I didn’t have enough sheep for her alone. I suggested that we go over to my trainer’s house and look at those sheep she had for sale.
When she arrived at the house, Decker was leashed. He did his usual growl and got corrected. He also growled several other times with additional corrections. Man, I just wish he would warm up to people. We sorted my sheep then got ready to go to my trainer’s house.
I contemplated what to do with the boy. I had not left him since I had rescued him. Would he jump our four-foot dog yard fence? Will he bark the entire time that I am away and drive my neighbors nuts? I could crate him, but hate doing that if I don’t have to. I looked over at the kennel (with a shade cloth roof) and decided that would be the safest place for a short time. He couldn’t dig out, as there were stall mats on the ground. Jumping a six-foot fence, while possible, I guessed that he wouldn’t, because the kennel was real small and he couldn’t get a running start. I put the girls in the house and Decker in the kennel with water and we were off.
Upon returning, Decker was where I had left him, in the kennel. He must have played in his water, which was empty and it was even snapped to the fence. I left him in the kennel while we loaded my sheep into the trailer to keep him out of the way. When we were finished, I leashed him and took him out of the kennel and closer to my friend. Again he started growling, and again he got corrected, firmly!
Right after my friend buying sheep left, we packed up to go to dog day. I wonder what we will be in for with a group of people and dogs? The day was getting hot. I got to my friend’s house around 11.30 am and the girls were ready to go. They really enjoy going over there every week.
A while ago, my trainer told me that she wouldn’t change anything that I was currently doing with Kate (real submissive, and working on building her up) as she was working sheep real well and strongly. So dog day is for Kate.
The girls and I entered the agility field and I secured them to a fence in the shade. I let my friends know that I had rescued a people aggressive dog and would like to bring him in. Everyone was fine with the request. I instructed them NOT to look at his face when he came in. I didn’t want him to think that anyone was challenging him.
The entrance was as smooth as silk, and I put him into a crate for safekeeping. I worked the girls in agility and all of my friends worked their dogs too. We usually will train several of the dogs on sheepdog herding after “playing” agility, but the last several weeks, it has been too hot.
We will go have a dip in the pool instead. Most of dogs at dog day just love to play in the pool. And most of them eventually learned to jump in. The pool is a standard rectangle built-in. A real nice pool, unheated. It was 80 degrees just with the sun heating it! I let the girls in and go back to the crate for Decker. He will have to be on leash for the swim. I led him to the pool, and with no hesitation, he was in. We walked around for several laps and then he came out. I showed him where all of the steps are, just incase he might panic wanting to get out. He was a trooper. He enjoyed swimming a lot, got along with other dogs, and never growled at anyone the whole time he was at my friend’s house.
Now he needs work at the house where he is on familiar ground.
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