Monday, July 28, 2008

Lizzie gets sheep again

OK, so you know I really hate to keep jinxing things, but for so long I just felt Lizzie was wired different and no matter how much consistency and training I did she was just not able to function when there was anything going on. She was brilliant in private and learned things so well but we just couldnt get her to stay with me in agility, we couldnt get her to come and it took forever to even do that in the back yard, she just taught me so much about being consistent at all times and about not giving up and trying. sooooooo I just thought she would be a real "heart dog" but she might never be able to do anything except tricks in the back yard. I had come to terms with that for the most part, there were a lot of days that if I had something to do with her I would have truly considered finding her a new home. LOL, poor girl. Anyway, I have to say that for all the right things I did with Liz and all the mistakes, I did not give up. WELL, that girl is just turning amazing, and all since she turned 2 1/2. I said it before and I think when she hit a certain age all the lessons that she knew but she just couldnt control herself enough and she was so over threshold so much that it just took a little while until she was physically able to handle herself. But she is just blooming now.
So I take her yesterday to a herding fun day. Her new found listening skills have not been here that long and we were talking real live exciting sheep and an activity she was bred to do. Her parents herd cattle. So I did not hold huge expectations to say the least. Well, then we have a green handler, So we deceide to try our hand, and get in there and the lady helping me told me to have her lie down. I said DOWN, and boom she just dropped, then the lady told me to tell her to STAY, and I did this and tried to fake some confidence that she would indeed stay. We walked away into the sheep and made the sheep start moving around the pen. MY DOG IS STILL HOLDING HER DOWN, with the sheep moving in front of her face, a new environment, lots of dogs and people standing around the pen, and she held her down until I gave the release word. Once I gave the word, boom, she was on it. Anyway, she did FANTASTIC, and even downed on command from across the pen while she was in full flight going after sheep. The person helping me said she was very responsive to when she would move the flag to show Liz to back off or move another way. AT the end some of the herding people actually asked if I would consider selling her that she was a very talented herder. WHO KNEW? Last time I had her tested the instructor said that she would be a very difficult one to teach and that I should take lessons with my other dog, of course she was a lot younger then. Anyway, the maturity sure seems to be showing all over the place.
I took Liz over to the agility field and thought I would practice a little with the new environment and distractions. She did marvelously. Still even with the higher Aframe is leaping and missing the UP contact sometimes, grrrrrr, and wants to hit her contact and jump up forgetting to stay, so will have to do some proofing possibly ALA Rachel Saunders like in her contacts video on proofing. She did the dog walk and was in full run and saw a guy fixing a light near her and stopped and jumped off to go and say HI, after all you have to say HI to everyone you know. The good part is that she came right back to me when I called, so lots of treats and a little tug and right back into fun stuff so she doesnt want to leave me. But what a good girl. It was at the end of the day so sure being a bit tired helped a lot but wow,....I would never have thought this possible even a few short weeks ago.
Our little dog that we have here on rehab is doing well, she did a little herding and she has a beautiful style. Gosh she is a nice girl, and I finally got some pain killers so I can really do her stretches a lot better so think she is going to come along fast and very nicely.
Poor Breeze had to stay home even though the herding fun day was held at the ranch where she was born. I just didnt want to handle three wild BC girls all day and I knew it would be hard to keep Breeze from going over the top with lunging and since we are just starting to condition her and get her back on track, ....felt like it would be best to be conservative and not put her in a situation she could do more then she should considering it has been so long since she has been running.

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