After Chris' lesson a few weeks ago, we had determined that she had not yet developed eye, meaning a good feel for her sheep.  This was simply due to her being young in age and in sheepdog herding.  To become a good trial dog, she needed to have a good amount of eye and a good feel for the sheep. 
 
Her homework, and mine, was to put her on the fence and work her several times back and forth, going to head.  I had to make sure that she covered the sheep well each time, and that she should curve out as she was going from one side to the other.  I would also pause at times and let her simply stand there or lie there and hold them in place.
 
I added some additional homework for her that she did as a nightly routine.  When I fed the sheep, I would take Christian in the sheep pen with me and help her to hold the sheep away from me.  This exercise empowers her.  And within a couple of weeks, she was markedly better at holding them from rushing me.  Then I took that exercise further, and would have her hold them away while I was putting hay on the ground.
 
I had done this exercise with Tam when she was young, and now Tam is trying to get back into the pen with Chris to do that exercise again.  Tam really likes it. 
 
All of this work has help Chris a lot.  I had a lesson this Saturday, and Shelley said that she already was getting a great feel for her sheep and she couldn't believe how much better she was.  Yeaaa.
 
Kate and Tam, simply need to be slowed down.  During the past year, Jack Knox, one of my mentors, told me that basically they both were trained and to leave them alone.  I am not to drill on them any longer, and just to tune them up before any trials that they are entered in. Jack also told me to speed up Tam, I had slowed her down in her early training too much.  A hard lesson, now with Chris, I can have her take time, but I don't use it much, as I don't want to slow her down to early in her training.
 
I am also in a bad habit of being lax around both of the Open dogs.  I keep turning my back on them, and Shelley says that they are taking advantage of my turned back.  A habit that I need to get rid of.
 
So "take-time" will mean Take Time. and you better slow down!  That is what Tam and Kate will practice on for a while.  Me, I will practice on keeping all of the dogs in my view and not to trust quite so much.




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