Update April 8th

I’m getting so used to this weather. What a joy it is to wake up to these nice spring mornings. After yesterday’s session with Tigr I decided that maybe I should do some flanking work this morning. Her self confidence is stronger each and every day. She is getting down right bold and tackling my 1000LB steer head on. The two sheep I have here are very light and Tigr has to keep them paired up with a slow steer. The best way to drive them is to put some heeling on that slow poke. She has no doubt been one of the most fun dogs to work with that I can recall.

I arrived at Hope’s and she is already set up ready to go. She is into this training as much as I am! Hehehe.  That gal has got the herding sickness. Tigr did so well with her morning lesson that I decided I’d like to work her first. I sent her on a short flank to get the sheep which she took perfectly to my satisfaction lifted and brought them with ease. Sent her on a wide flank all the way around and slowed her into a drive. Talk about sparkling like a jewel, holy smokes she was all bling. She was taking short inside flanks like an ole hand at it. Marching the sheep anywhere I wanted them to go with ease at any angle I wanted across the pasture. She switched into a cross drive from either direction and settled right in. She walked the course forwards, backward, sideways, anything I ask. I looked at Hope and says that’s at least 45 or 50 commands in a row and she took everyone without hesitation. Hope was just beaming at her baby. I couldn’t ask any more out of a young dog than what she gave us this evening.

Kane is up next and we are going to do some “look backs” in the same area as yesterday. I decided to set up a little different today and went way out in a flatter area. Within a few moments after I sent him I didn’t like this way, it was much too easy. Low and behold we did it perfectly. For me to learn how to get the results I want, I need to go back to where I left off yesterday. I know we aren’t going to look as smooth and classy right away, but once they learn it here any flatter pastures should be easy. The next one wasn’t as smooth and that is okay because we worked at it and completed the task. Kane isn’t feeling the pressure. He is still enjoying what we are doing. He loves learning and once he has it down pat… watch out. We did each direction twice and I can tell he is figuring this new command system out. The best part of it is, I’m not stressed and putting any anger or undue stress on any of them. They are enjoying these daily lessons and begging to be the next one up.

Tait, what can I say? Tonight as I set him up I noticed how his physique has changed. He is now slim and trim and you can see his muscles. His hair is sparkling and his eyes are really bright. That chubby boy from this winter is gone. I sent him and he was a joy to watch as he sailed around and over the levee. I could see the spray of water as he ran through the wet areas while doing a perfect outrun. His lifts are firm. This dog isn’t afraid to make cattle move. He is taking his flanks and brings them over the levee where I ask. Now I’m setting up for the look back and give him a wide “awayyyyyyyyyyyy”. He got to the area where I wanted and I gave him a loud “LOOK” he turned the correct direction and headed back on the “come bye” whistle but he didn’t go all the way back. I blow a down and repeat myself “LOOK” he turned and I gave a “Come byeeeeee”. Once again he came up short and looked confused. So I blew a “Lie Down” and went to get closer to him. Once I was close I decide to repeat the commands once again “LOOK”. He turns “Come byeeeeeeee” and he was off like a rocket. Shezzzzzzzz this is fun. Hehehe all I know to say is they are trying to give me their best and are willing. I know we aren’t things of beauty right now, but we will be soon. The dogs are acting like they are enjoying this new thing I am asking of them and they are trying their best to figure out what I’m asking. I think as long as I keep my cool and they keep their will together we’ll conquer this thing fast.

Okay the last one for the evening. I set Tait up for an Away side outrun this has been the hardest to get the look back on. He did a beautiful outrun lift brought the cattle over the levee right where I ask once again I set up for the look back. I ask for a wide “Awayyyyyyyyyyyy” once he got to the place I wanted, I shout “LOOK” he turns and I give an “Come Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”. I am sooooo Jazzed, he did it perfect went and lifted the remaining cattle and brought them on the run. Once again I can see I’m on the right train of thought on this and it’s coming together. We quit on this note. Tait was happy and I’m feeling pretty good myself.

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