Pen to Pen

Goals
I discussed my goals with Elsie.  She explained alot about AHBA and it sounds interesting. She suggested starting the test phase, not because we’re unsure about her, but because it’s good ring experience for me. Elsie also had an interesting expansion on the goal of handling sheep at Fido’s. Make a list of local trials and work our way through them… stockhandling instead of trialing.  Sounds unorthodox, but I think that makes it appealing.
Small Flanks
In working Molly, i think we had lighter sheep than normal.  Maybe ‘new’ 2 year old weathers, maybe part of the large field flock; who knows.  Either way, they were unmarked, lighter and Fun! We did some pen to pen exercises with a focus on there-walk-up and moving the sheep out of the pen using my flank commands instead of her choosing what was comfortable.
For the small pens, i was ok with her choosing the direction the first handful of times because i want her to gain confidence in small spaces. As long as she was controlled, calm and took the command i did give her, i let her choose what direction she went in to fetch them up.  It was good for her confidence.
While Molly is still learning off balance flanks, this is a good way for her to start to understand not only working ‘separated’ from me.  Even though she is still close to me, that’s a handy skill.  To help with the flanks, i first walked to the gatemouth with her. If i wanted her to go on the Bye side,then i stood on the right side of the gate so that my words matched an action she was used to.  After a few times of that I could stand anywhere in the alley and she got the picture. When she did chose to hesitate or didn’t take the correct flank, i would down her and try the flank again.  If that still didn’t work, down her and wait for her to look at me and see that i was standing in the right place for her to go the correct direction.  I had to do more of that with the Away side as it’s not a side she’s super confident on, but it still seemed to take.

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3 thoughts on “Pen to Pen

  1. Wow, I can’t believe how far you and Molly have come in your work together. It’s fun to read about your training journey together. While I know what an amazing herding dog Molly is, I still appreciate her bed snuggling skills the most. 🙂

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