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Maja

The Darinka story.

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Maya, her outrun is nice and it's great that she did so much without any command from you

 

.. but sorry to ask, did she lift all her sheep?...when I watched your video there seems to be one ewe who exits out the side of the frame and I wasn't certain whether Darinka adjusted her position or used her eye to tuck it back in with the rest.

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Yes, she lifted and then brought the whole flock. Ouessants don't flock very well, so Darinka went to my right to tuck some in and to turn them because they were drifting in that direction, and then turned slightly to the left, specifically to that ewe, and that ewe reappears in the frame. These sheep are very difficult for a dog, and I try to train on the lighter ones as much as possible.

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Yes, she lifted and then brought the whole flock. Ouessants don't flock very well, so Darinka went to my right to tuck some in and to turn them because they were drifting in that direction, and then turned slightly to the left, specifically to that ewe, and that ewe reappears in the frame. These sheep are very difficult for a dog, and I try to train on the lighter ones as much as possible.

Brilliant.

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I just....

 

I just don't know what to say.

 

Today, we were taking the sheep out to the pasture, and Darinka was supposed to drive them, which you can imagine what is like with a dog like her - I keep her behind the sheep basically, but it's not driving as an intentional action of the dog. It's just keeping the dog from heading the sheep, while the dog does not intend to drive the sheep.

 

So today, I told her to walk and after a while I thought there was something strange going on - I listened, and I realized - there I was - saying nothing at all!

 

Because Darinka was driving - she was carrying out the task of driving, tucking the sheep here and there and pushing them forward as though she'd been doing it all her life.

 

I was happy to pieces.

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Yes, this was very unexpected, since I was used to counting my nano-successes and be satisfied with that. But having noticed that she reacts better when we are on the drive position than when I am in fort of her - in spite of her heading desire - I changed the handling somewhat in the last 3-4 training sessions, and it seems to work.

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Thank you!

My DH has a habit of asking me how it went after every training, and before the unexpected change happened, for more than two weeks I would reply:

 

- It went fine; I did very well.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

 

;);)

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That's awesome! I love following your story with Darine, both on here and on the FB group. I know what you mean about the trickling stream becoming an avalanche. I've felt the same with my own dog, once she passed 2.5 y/o it felt like she really came in to her own. Progress picked up, our working relationship improved further, and she shares very little in common with the dog I started.

 

Will you be trialling at some point with her?

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P.S. The flanks commands improved sufficiently, so I don't need to create 'boring" flank situations for her.

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Sounds as if you're making good progress with her! Just keep reminding yourself that the difficult ones help us to grow as trainers.

 

J.

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Just keep reminding yourself that the difficult ones help us to grow as trainers.

 

Oh, yes, that's so true, Julie! Particularly that I have so much growing to do yet.

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