And now me again:
Some dogs take to it quickly and others learn to like it.
Bonnie is a decent shedder. Her handler isn't yet. I'm not being cute, I just never had the chance to shed with someone's help before the trial At home we practiced on geese. I was not able to handle the sheep well, and I felt it very strongly. Fortunately, the next day the judge showed me how to shed.
Did instructor mean that 2:00 o'clock was proper balance for that particular field, or that it was Bonnie's balance at lift? There are circumstances in which you may wish to have dog over-flank at top and go beyond 12:00, from either side.
I can't say for sure, because there was a powerful draw in that direction. (Most everybody's fetch was fought for very hard every inch of the way and was billowed or snaky in that direction. Bonnie-being Bonnie-pushed the sheep so hard the other way that we missed the fetch gate from the left (!)
). The judge was German so the communication wasn't perfect. My feeling was that if Bonnie is thinking about slicing in, I must down her immediately.
Bonnie lifts often from 12:00 (and she is perfectly capable of "overshooting" - that's in quotes because she usually has a reason for it), which is a "problem", as you could see perhaps in the videos from the clinic in May - her outrun was very
good, so there was nothing for the teacher to actually see
. That's why having a clinic after the trial was a Godsend for me. I can follow Amanda's and your advice when I can, and at trials, I have this to fall back on.
It's a real plus that your dog downs when asked in that circumstance. Many won't, seemingly deaf with excitement. Your timing must be good, downing her the moment you sense Bonnie is going to slice.
Absolutely. If I am a split second too late she won't lie down.
Here is method I have used to teach a proper lift. Put dog in down stay far enough away from sheep that she will probably try to slice-in. I then get close enough to sheep to control the lift. Send her toward me and sheep, so that the moment I believe she is thinking about narrowing her flank (I trot a few steps toward sheep as dog passes my location) down her, place myself directly between sheep and dog...Just another device to consider putting in your kit (if not there already), for use if it seems appropriate.
Yes, it is very good advice. I have used it in the past, but at home Bonnie does not
slice in. It's a text book outrun and lift. She can do a 200yd outrun - for a larger one I am lacking the length on our field.
Thank you for all your comments and encouragement. One other thing that the judge did was first send Bonnie on an outrun, lie her down at about 2:00 and leave her be. Ignore her. After a longish while she got up very slowly and lifted the sheep very carefully and fetched them checking herself each time they sped up. He said that it shows Bonnie knows how to lift.
So now all is nice and tidy I hope. TEC, thanks again for the input!