I’ve really thought about last night quite a lot. I’ve decided that I jumped to a greater distance to fast for the dogs. Tonight I am going to downsize everything. These dogs are doing breath taking outruns up to 700 yards with ease. We are not having any problems with the outrun or lifts. We are not having the problems with the drives once the lift is finished. I’m really happy with the dog’s work ethics except in the one area. When I ask for a full flank they are not following through. Tonight I’ve decided to work on this more than anything else. I’m still going to insist on crisp clean outruns and lifts but tonight they will be finishing their flanks. Not only that but every night from now on they will finish up their flank commands to my satisfaction. I think I’ve been complacent allowing them to decide when to take the commands on the fetch. Now we need to step up to the next level to compete against some of the best dogs and handlers in North America! Also tonight I’ve added a horse and rider to the mix. I’m almost willing to bet it will have a small effect on Tigr. I’ve gave instructions to the rider to not move at all on Tigr’s first lift. Then once I get her to coming in deep behind the horse and rider we will introduce her to some movement. I took the panels to a completely different area and set them up 20 feet apart. It is like a little marshy pond with a lot of mud. This will be a place hard to get the cattle to pass through. We won’t hit the panels with luck alone here. Furthermore hitting the panels isn’t the most important thing to me this evening.. Listening to me is what I’m aiming for. From this moment on I’m the boss of this crew and when I ask for a flank no matter the distance I will have to enforce it with every fiber of my existence. I will no longer look for or make or accept excuses. When I give a command they must obey. If I’m asking for an away they can’t decide I’m wrong and do a bye. It just can’t be tolerated at any instant. I must get on top of this and right now. As a novice handler I don’t think I could understand this type of thinking. The concept of absolute complete authority was incomprehensible to me. To accept anything short of perfection will bite you in the butt sooner than later. Now after competing at this level I understand how missing one animal at one obstacle can cost the dog a placement. Of course this is for the human. Those dogs don’t give rats #$@$##@ about placements.. What they care about is making me happy and getting to work with me.
Tigr is first up tonight and the horse and rider is in place.. The steers are set on grain and I send her. This is a short outrun in comparison to the last few nights. She was like her usual self wide and smooth.. Once she crossed the levee there was a horse and rider in the mix and right in her path. The only way to avoid them was by crossing over which she promptly attempted. I blew a Stern “LIE DOWN” ran towards her and admonished some verbal abuse, then gave a redirect of “Awayyyy”. Around that horse and rider she flew, coming in as deep as she possibly could. She try’s so very hard to please me that I doubt she’ll make that mistake ever again. Her lift was great and she hit the panels with ease. I didn’t get overly aggressive on her flanks this time because she was listening very well. I decided to not try to fix it if it isn’t broken.
The boys on the other hand is whom I wasn’t really so pleased with and they are going to do some hard time tonight, and every night till we reach a mutual understanding of who is in charge here. And I don’t want it to be——- at 500 yards we don’t have to listen, at 400 yards hum getting closer, at 300 yards we are almost to where Ron takes over at, 200 yards outside edge of Ron’s come get us zone, maybe we better start hearing again. This is not going to be acceptable from here on out. So tonight wasn’t really a graded good or bad night.. Tonight was simply a beginning to better understanding. I made the boys listen and do complete circles around the stock. I made them walk up from every point of this circle. They didn’t know if they were going to drive or fetch or cross drive. All they needed to know was to listen, and I was telling them what I wanted. Tonight they both showed me I could get what I’m asking for. Tomorrow I’ll let everyone know about the success or failure of what I’m attempting. I hope it don’t seem like Im just blabing heheehhe Im in deep thought here and my thoughts might not translate well. Try to bear with me