When you’ve become spoiled by traveling with a dog who is an old hat at being in the truck, hanging out at trials, and just life on the road in general, it’s hard to remember when he wasn’t that way.
Until you start traveling with a young dog again.
A lot of the comfort and easiness of a seasoned dog comes from time and miles. Some of it comes from personality. Some comes from actual training. Part of Jig’s regime involves learning that ever-elusive trait of patience. See, I want my dog to be able to quietly sit and watch other dogs working. That’s hard for a girl with a lot of drive, who has also inherited her father’s Not Right gene. The Not Right gene means that when she sees something she deems as Not Right, she feels she must fix it. Most often this occurs when another dog is working stock and not handling things the way Jig believes it should be handled.
She really hates to be the one not working. It’s bad enough when someone else is working and I expect her to control herself. If I go out to work another dog, or help a student with their dog…well, that’s just adding insult to injury.
And, just so that you don’t think all I do is tie my dog to a fence and torture her…a short highlight reel of our training session from Saturday. I was working on getting her to rate a bit, mostly to walk into pressure and get comfortable putting sheep in a pen and leaving them there, as well as allowing them to leave. We finished up with a short gather and repen. No, I really didn’t care which way she went on the gather. Yes, I know, she crosses over. I’m not worried about that at the moment.