As I was getting ready to host a fun trial here on the property, I decided what I was going to do with Decker.  Knowing that there would be lots of people and children and herding, all of which can make him anxious, I thought immersion might just be the ticket for him.  After all, what a better way to desensitize a dog than to bombard him with all that bothers him.

I had planned on running him in the trial, once, in a non-compete status.  Being an Aussie, I wasn't sure how he would handle the distance of a long outrun.  On Saturday, when I ran Decker, I was right about the distance, and he didn't do well, at least not as well as he usually does. 

Tam on the other hand, did great.  I am very proud to say that she scored a 95 out of 110 in a non-compete.  I have never scored that high in Open ever.  Shelley, my instructor, was the judge.  I asked her later if she was harder or easier on me, since she is my instructor.  She told me that she was harder on me.  So I got no favoritism points.  Good!  Kate ran well also.  We got hung up at the post, and that cost me lots of time and points.  She had real nice straight lines and tight corners.  All in all, I was pleased with both of them.

I had arranged with the local 4H dog group to serve lunch for us.  There were lots of kids for Decker to deal with.  The previous night a friend stayed the night with her husband and two kids.  With the muzzle on, and Decker growling, they continued to pet him until he stopped growling.  I couldn't believe that he actually stopped growling.  The kids are not afraid of dogs, which was to Decker's advantage, and they just kept petting him.

Later on during the evening, they petted him again, and he was fine, all the while, with a muzzle on.  I have to watch out for the liability he could cause. 

The next day, was one of the big days.  So dawned with a muzzle, Decker was allowed to run around during all of the excitement.  Later I crated him on the porch, so he could calm down.

During lunchtime, I asked the kids if they wanted to walk Decker around.  They jumped at the chance.  I told them that who ever was holding him, that they were the boss and that is what he needed.

So there he was, in the thick of the enemy, and actually enjoying it.  The children told me later that he did not growl once at them the whole weekend.  Though I am not satisfied that he is "cured" yet, but significant progress was made.  I am quite pleased.

The sheepdog fun trial ran smooth, and most of the novice handlers learned a thing or two.  The weekend was a successful venture for dog and handler.


  1. Cristian on October 10, 2012 at 7:06 PM said:
    I can see that you are putting a lots of eftofrs into your blog. Keep posting the good work.Some really helpful information in there. Bookmarked. Nice to see your site. Thanks!
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