Beau and I have been going up to Fido's for Ranch trial practices. Our first foray was in November where I had a few surprises - I forgot to check where the draw was; and I tried to send Beau in a tight pen with no help. Both my "bad".
We just finished our second practice run Sunday, Jan 16th. With my memory in check, remembering to note the draw and learning from what I did wrong last time, we kicked you know what.
The course was a bit different this time. We had to take 10 sheep out of the puppy arena and put them into the runway - ditch full of water and only 3 feet of ground to work with. Then take them down to the big field through a gate that was new. I wasn't going to do it because of the small ridge. I didn't want to get Beau in trouble or get run over. However, Chris gave me a challenge. We took it and I vowed to make it completely right, correct and honest both on Beau's and my part. Well, mission accomplished. Beau took his flank as far as he could hug the ridge, came to the top of the sheep and moved them nicely down the ridge line. They came into the gate at a nice slow pace. As for the 2 pen takes, I went in this time to help him be correct. We had calm sheep coming out of those tiny little gates.
All in all, Beau did a beautiful job. He was honest and he listened. He worked hard, and didn't argue. In turn, I was honest with him, and at the same time was there to help him be the best he could be. It was great team work.
I love this little dog. He gives me his all as best as he can. I don't ask for any more than that. We will continue our journey of Ranch work. He works best at that. It is not in him to 'read' his sheep - he needs help with that, so the little stuff is perfect. He enjoys the challenge of a job and for some reason he knows when I mean business.
We have another Ranch practice in Feb. More to come.