01/08/2013 Weekend Training Review

The bad part about three days of working dogs, like all good things, is that we have to stop. Friday night's work session was a bit of a disappointment. Shaine didn't want to work at all, Jig was not her normal Rock Star self, and Quinn was . . . well, okay. It was clear, as far as Quinn was concerned, I'd been lax again. Saturday and Sunday, however, were much better days. *Whew!* With Quinn, I intended to work on driving and firming up our inside flanks. Well, we all know the time worn saying about plans. Sometimes, when you want to work on one thing, something else crops up, and you realize that's your core problem. With Quinn, it goes back to his foundations -- or lack thereof. We spent a great deal of our time on sheep working on our flanks. Someone let him get it into his head that

01/02/2013 Looking Ahead Winter Recap

Happy 2013, everyone! I don't do the whole New Year's thing. No partying till midnight. No resolutions. It's pretty much just another day around here, except that I have to remember to change the date when I write a check. And really, who writes checks any more?? The critters don't know the year has flipped. They know its winter. Maybe their year doesn't really flip until spring, when lambs are born and everything starts to bud and grow, and the sun takes on a warmer cast even on the cold days. <shrug> Who knows. January does mean, though, that I'm looking ahead to what I have planned for the year and trying to figure out how I'm going to accomplish it. The biggy on my radar this year (again) is getting some cattle for the dogs. It's very problematic and is a huge item on my list. Made even huger, in

11/05/2012 Sometimes, A Girl Just Needs a Job

Right before I switched servers and lost all my old posts, I wrote one about Shaine and the issues we've been having.  All basically my fault, and I'm determined to work through them.  A large part of her issue is the slash-and-burn-technique and generally driftiness. It's pretty much comon knowledge that working dogs love to have a job.  Many of them need to see that there's a point to what they're doing, or they find other things to do instead.  To that end, I've given Shaine a job. Which also meant a huge, and I mean HUMONGOUS, leap of faith on my part. I promoted Shaine to pen/sorting dog -- a job usually reserved for the more reliable, dependable, able to shut their prey drive off, dogs.  The job entails bringing all the working sheep -- which includes 15 of this year's lambs -- into the take pens and then helping me sort them into groups.  Often

10/24/2012 Coyote Classic 2012

The Coyote Classic is fast becoming one of my favorite trials.  Even though the weather has a tendency to be a bit cool, sometimes wet, and usually breezy, Deb & Tom Conroy go out of their way to make everyone feel relaxed and at home.  The stock is excellent -- with some of the best cattle I've had the opportunity to trial on anywhere.  And the folks that come to trial, help, and judge, are just plain good fun. It's a good thing the trial is so enjoyable, because my runs weren't as good as I had hoped they would be.  I had one consistent problem -- no crossdrive.  Yep, that's an issue all right.  Quinn's best scores were in the take pen.  The dog has a great one.  His drive up to the first panel isn't so shabby either.  Coming off that first panel, however, he sucks to the fence and

10/09/2012 So, You Think You’re Ready to Trial?

I was reminded this past weekend at the SEMASA trial (thanks to a very good friend not afraid to tell me when my head’s in an uncomfortable location) that there’s a whole lot more to trialing than preparing your dog.  A big hunk of competing has to do with preparing yourself.  You can have the best trained dog on the planet and if you walk out into that arena with the wrong attitude it’s going to come back and bite you in the arse. I’ve been working hard to make things black and white for Quinn.  I don’t course train.  I break things down into manageable chunks and work till he gets it right.  Not just once.  He needs to consistently get it right before we move on to the next piece of the puzzle. I went into the SEMASA trial confident in Quinn’s abilities to get the job done.  I also