Update 4/11/09

Today was another great day. Even though I woke up and it was raining a bit, it never dampened the spirit. By noon I was itching to go because there was going to be bunch of friends and a little barbecue. Today I left both Tait and Kane home because I wanted to put some time into the younger dogs. Everyone knows Tait and Kane and what they are capable of. Instead I took Joss and Abel. Both are young with an unstoppable desire to work, with untapped reservoirs of energy and ability. You’ve just got to love developing these type dogs into herding maestro’s. Joss will never have the stylish outruns of Tigr, but he will have as wide and deep of an outrun as she has. Abel is a Kelpie who reads his stock very well uses a fair amount of eye. He is a somewhat brave little dog willing to mix it up with stock. I got him from a guy in September of last year and was told he is four months old at the time. So his birthday would be either late April or early May. So he is for sure still a puppy with a miles and miles of learning ahead of him. I worked them both in the big open pastures and was very happy with them. Joss is starting on his outruns and Abel I’m just working on teaching him to yield to pressure. Tigr I brought along just to keep her sharp on her commands and to keep her used to seeing other dogs worked. I wasn’t planning on working her to much today.

When I first arrived a fellow was out working with his amazing Aussies. This guy has the burning desire to do well and be the best handler he can be for his dogs. He doesn’t recognize the limits many have placed on the Aussie breed and showcases their many god given talents. I think he will go far. I hope the ASCA people can keep the challenge in it for people like him because I just don’t see him stopping in his growth as a handler of working dogs.

There was also a lady out there with a red Aussie that’s just started. She was doing some mighty fine work and it was giving her its heart. You could tell a big improvement just from a week ago. I wish I had of filmed her last fall so she could she how much she has improved since then. I so much enjoy helping and watching these folks grow as handlers. She also had a tough little Border collie. It is a highly motivated dog with prey drive with a semi strong eye. This eye pulls the dog directly towards the stock and with the prey drive its turns into a chase really quick. To correct this behavior she has to learn to be a team member and who is in charge. She is a young dog and once see gets the full picture she will amaze many people. I can almost picture this little dog bringing a herd of cattle over a mountain or a large flock of sheep in for shearing.

The next lady also had a young Border collie. It wouldn’t take the “lie down” command and was pushing the sheep right over the handler. So I had to go in and crush the poor dogs EGO. I put a little too much pressure on him and he wanted to quit. So I tried various methods to get him working again. I could see in his actions he wanted to but just wasn’t sure of the awful old man that forces a dog to lie down. I worked other dogs to see if I could turn this little spark into a fire. He would do a few flanks for me then want to get away. So I would stop regularly and take him out for water then continue working another dog with his leash tied to my belt. When I saw he wanted to work real bad I had his owner come back and work him. Holy smokes looked like a different dog, was lying down on a whisper and getting around really well. I hate it when I over pressure a dog and have to start from scratch. But in this case I think the dog came away working much better for his handler. Who says a Border collie will work for anyone with stock hehehe.

Hope has a couple of young very talented dogs. If she continues doing as good of a job with them as she has her Tigr dog they will go far. One of the hard things for men is realizing young dogs are just that-youngsters! Maybe I should have said myself instead of men. But we want a four month old pup to work like a four year old dog for heavens sake.

Now I’ve got to talk about Tigr. I used her to do a couple of demo outruns for folks today and she was as sharp as a tack. Working the sheep over the levee she lost contact once but it was soon corected. She picks up things so easy that a handler can get all full of themselves fast. Still I would like to think some of her confidence I have helped with. Tonight she totally amazed me and I believe Hope and everyone who witnessed her heroics handling one of the steers. This steer decided it wasn’t going to let any dogs tell it what to do. It is the same one who kicked Tait last night. He just doesn’t realize he is a steer yet. I told Tigr to get the steers off the hay and bring them to me. Oh boy the fight was on, and he was much bigger and wasn’t going to let this little red dog tell him what to do. He put his head down and came after her Bam, bam, bam she hits him in the face. He still isn’t convinced and decided to take another run at her, she gabs an ear and he jerks free, she once again hits him in the face real quick and he backs off. She heeled him and took a little kick to the shoulder and then another to the chin both glancing blows but they had to of hurt. But here she came with that steer in front of her. She has just proven herself to be a cow dog worthy of going to the championships. I can’t think of how many dogs would not have dealt with that animal. I had in no way planned on this for tonight but now I have no doubt she belongs at the championships this year. In my heart and mind she just became a champion anyhow

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