Lessons in Patience

Some of you have asked me how Dillon is coming along in his training. I don’t mean to ignore him in my posts it’s just that he doesn’t get worked near as often as Jig right now. That’s partly due to time constraints, but mostly it’s because he’s young yet (as I’m constantly reminded by several people any time I whine mention our problems). And he’s a boy. Worse, he is currently suffering from a horrendous case of Young Boy Brain. Or, more correctly, he’s enjoying it. I’m the one suffering. I can only hope it’s not terminal because right now it tends to make me feel like this…

Trust me, that’s no good for either of us.

I fully admit, I’m part of the problem. I have this tendency to want to move from Point A to Point Z at warp speed without pausing in between. Have I mentioned that before? Also, I expect a lot from him. A. Lot. He tries to give it to me, he truly does, but then YBB kicks in and everything becomes a game.

I’m fully aware the bulk of this is on me. So, when I worked him Sunday, I forced myself to be patient. We spent time on things he’s comfortable with, and, when we moved on to something he’s uncomfortable with, I moved in to help him as opposed to watching him struggle while expecting him to puzzle things out and JUST DO IT ALREADY.


Take his gather, for instance. Or his complete and utter lack of a gather. Currently one of my greatest frustrations. I discovered Sunday–when I actually paid attention to what he was showing me instead of trying to force the issue–that if I send him by actually pushing him out into a flank rather than just putting pressure on him to bring me the stock, he accomplishes the task. If I don’t, he approaches straight in and then it becomes a face-off with the sheep. Imagine that.

In my defense, I think I’m just so used to handling Jig that if I don’t consciously reset my brain (and my attitude) when I take Dillon in I tend to treat him like an older dog. An older, more trained dog, instead of a carefree youngster. Which causes me to lose my patience, and get mad at him when he doesn’t perform like one. That is so unfair to Dillon.

Thankfully, he seems to take it all in stride and (unlike Jig) never seems to hold a grudge.

I’ll try to get some current pictures of him working. In the meantime, I leave you with a dose of cuteness.

Rebel Kitten trying out his moves on Linus.

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