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TRIALING AND TRAINING
DOG FIRST AID
MADE IN THE USA
SHEEPDOG HERDING LESSONS
Today was herding day again. I wanted to see if Decker improves again. His first day was pretty nice, and I was impressed, did he have more to give me today? I had been noticing that when I ask him to lay down, he would slither away and go to a wall, fence or couch to be against something before downing.
Doing that while we were working sheep, was driving me crazy. I don’t want him to leave the pressure he has on the sheep, go away to the far end of the round pen, and lay down there. When I tell him down, I mean right there, where and when I said it. So that was one of my goals today when working him on sheep. I needed him to lie where I told him.
Decker is getting more confidence on sheep. As typical of the Aussie breed, barking is starting. He is also starting to relax and enjoy what he is doing. I like to see a dog come off of sheep, but on the other hand, when they like it so much, and they have trouble coming off, that is nice to see too. You know that there is stuff in that head to work with. Decker did have a little trouble coming off of sheep, but he is new at it, and not expected to just turn off when told like a light switch, at this stage.
We worked on him lying down where and when I told him to. He was not so good at first, but after a while I got him to lay down in the middle of the round pen with out too much difficulty.
Toward the end of his lesson, I was able to walk to the left and then to the right, and with little effort on my part; he was keeping them with me. Maybe this is beginner’s luck, but I don’t believe in luck, so I am hoping that he has some real talent! Now I can’t wait to see how he does next week.
Just after the herding lesson, we were coming back up to the house and I saw the FedEx truck on its way. I grabbed Decker’s collar and continued walking to the house. As the FedEx man got out of the truck, I instructed him not to look at this dog’s face and that I was training on him at not being aggressive. My dogs were all over the FedEx man, happy to have someone visit. I had Decker with me. Decker uttered a very slight growl, not even a half of a growl and that was all. The intensity of my correction fit the intensity of the incorrect behavior. Decker didn’t have to get corrected hard at all! This is the first real progress at the house that I have seen. I hope that is what it is.
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