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TRIALING AND TRAINING
DOG FIRST AID
MADE IN THE USA
SHEEPDOG HERDING LESSONS
Decker had a bath in our new Booster Bath we got a few months ago. He needed to have his hair washed to look his best for the sheepdog herding trial. This bath works great for bathing the dogs instead of using our bathtub. I don't get hair all over the place, or have a dog jump out when I am not looking, or break my back while bathing multiple dogs. The three-point restraint system holds the dog in the tub so they can't jump out, the footing surface has a rough texture so traction is maintained, and all of the hair and dog wetness stays out of the house.
While I was preparing his hair for the trial, I now know that he is ready to go to his permanent home. He has passed many tests that I have given him. He greets people at the door, even if they open the door to call me, he allows people to load products into the back of the truck where he is, and allows children to lead him around on leash and pet him. He has learned how to take most things in stride, becoming less and less anxious. He has quit leaking when being disciplined, and has not needed his male wrap for over three months. Fearful aggression takes more time to recover than any other type of behavior problem, and now he is confident enough to be over it.
It is imperative that he find a new home where the owner is calm assertive, which makes a good pack leader for him. That balanced emotional control and response is opposite of where he was in the beginning, probably even where he was at, when he was born. This kind of leadership will help him retain the stable mind that he now has. I also do not want all of my hard work undone!
After Decker's bath, and drying him, I brushed him with a rake. This made his hair really pretty and helps bring out the oils back into the hair that was washed away. The rake also removed some of his remaining undercoat was left to be shed. He is a hot dog in the house, so the less hair on him the cooler he will be. His hair is like us wearing a thick coat 24/7.
The Australian Shepherd sheepdog herding trial went well, and everyone had a good time. The hamburgers that were cooked there were especially good! Decker did everything that I asked him to do. I just handled him badly. I am not an Aussie trialer, so I do not really know what the judges want to see. I probably worked him too much like a Border collie, not letting him circle much at all. He drove half of the course, and the sheep were light so he was pretty far off of them.
After talking to some of my friends about it, they said that I should have had him fetch the entire course, and let him get closer to the sheep. The judges wanted to see the dog work. Well, in my opinion, he was working the sheep, just differently. I hate having him do something lower than where he is. In the past, I have done great working Border collies in that trial setting, but not this time, with the Aussie. Oh well! I am done with trialing him anyway. I would trial him again, but I don't have the money for the entry.
Decker was also well behaved at the trial all day. He was anxious at first, and then settled down for the rest of the day.
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