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Pip's Progress


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#1 2bc4me


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Posted 18 November 2015 - 06:01 PM

I am so happy with her run. All the mistakes were mine.

AHBA HTD level 1

I am hoping that by next year she and I will be running in USBCHA Novice. She has a bigger outrun, but the trial rules say to set the dog at that spot. She does nice square flanks, and we are starting to drive. One of my bucket list items is to train a dog to compete in USBCHA Open trials.

Sorry, I am unable to upload the video.

#2 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 08:40 PM

What a nice big HTD course! That looks like a lovely facility and I like that it's not all crammed into a little arena. :)

Pip looks very good. She has nice pace and good stops. I would suggest working on that turn at the post for the future - most sheep won't follow you around the turn, so the dog needs to guide them around it rather than stop and stand while the sheep follow you. But all that will come in time. Very well done, you two!  :)

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You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. ~ Emily Dickinson

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

#3 airbear


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Posted 18 November 2015 - 10:29 PM

I thought she looked really nice.  Her pace is lovely and the sheep like her. I've never done AHBA, but as Gloria said, it's nice to see that it's being held in a nice big field where the sheep and dog can have enough distance from each other.  


My only thing would be to say watch your stick at the pen.  When you were asking her to exhaust the sheep from the pen, you waved your stick twice and she turned tail both times.  It would seem that she is sensitive to the stick (that's ok, some dogs just are, and no, I don't think you've hit her  :) ) so just be aware of that.  Congratulations on a lovely run!

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#4 Donald McCaig

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 04:10 AM

Dear Aspiring Sheepdoggers,


I liked the dog but the too simple course and extremely dog broke sheep distorted her performance. Until the dog took over briefly after rounding the post, the sheep were following the handler and had the dog simply laid down they would have continued doing so. No dog necessary.  Every young dog needs to work sheep that aren't so trial/training wise they don't behave like sheep - so the dog can learn to read them. Take her to a commercial flock for training if you possibly can.


I second Ms airbear's remark about the whippy stick.  Because it's light and inconsequential to humans, novices often think it doesn't matter much to the dog - that white blur, that whooshing sound.  It's a powerful tool and I often ask my students to work without it.


Donald McCaig

#5 PSmitty


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 02:28 PM

Good job on your maiden voyage! Pip is a very nice dog. Congrats.

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#6 2bc4me


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Posted 19 November 2015 - 06:55 PM

Thanks for the responses. I will be much more mindful of the stick. Those sheep are indeed very dog broke. I admit, I like having dog broke sheep for these lower level trials where we are just fetching. :) In training we work sheep that are much less willing to come to people. But, I am going to try to find different places and sheep to widen her ability. I have fun working her. She just wants to please.

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