I received a call a few days ago out of the blue.  She had had my number for over a year and wanted to restart sheepdog herding lessons.  She had had two previous lessons with another instructor about two years ago.  She has a Border collie that she rescued from Animal Control in San Luis Obispo.  The two lessons her dog had in the past, showed promise and she said that he really liked it.  

She was very excited about getting a lesson, and we set one up for the next evening.  My new student, Mia, was ear to ear with a smile the whole time that she was here.  She reminded me of myself, with my very first sheepdog herding lesson.  I had sore muscles the next day, just from smiling for so long!

Right now we are just working on her dog and then later we will work on Mia, herself.  It always takes longer for the human to learn sheepdog herding, than it does for the dog.  It seems like everything moves so fast, and when one is new at something, fast is not what one wants.  

She has a real nice petite male dog, Connor, which reminds me of a little fox.  He had a tail full of stickers after we were done with sheepdog herding.  I showed Mia my Border collies working.  She had never seen real working dogs work sheep in person.  Mia had only seen working dogs on the movie "Babe", and that is when she fell in love with the sport of sheepdog herding.  She was amazed by my dog's speed.  I told her that they may be fast, but you don't always want a speed demon out there on the trial field, we need control first.  

I explained the "eyed" dogs versus the "loose eyed" dogs to Mia.  After explaining eye to her, I took Decker out into the round pen to work him.  She noted that she could see the difference between the two types of dogs.

Decker was very good with Mia and her dog Connor.  There was no posturing between the boys, and every one got along fine.  Mia and Connor will be coming back next week, and we may try the field already.  He may be able to handle it.  It won't hurt to try.  When I was starting Kate, she was never in a round pen.  I have gone to it for advanced work later, but I never needed it in the beginning.  Tam was only in the round pen for two weeks, then she was in the field.  I feel as long as the dog is not wanting to kill the sheep, and I have a reasonable amount of control with him, then why not give the field a try.  We will see next week.

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