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drilling, heat, hormones?


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My dog finished her last heat a few weeks ago. She has done a few things that make her appear a bit off- physically she seems fine- eats normal, all processes normal, happy etc. Hard to put my finger on, but for instance I went to put she and my other dog in their crates yesterday morning, and every time, she happily leaps up, and hops in. This time she hopped up, but turned away from the crate- but then she went in after I reminded her. Now, truth be told, we have been extremely on the go lately. Three weekends ago a 3 day trial, then another trial the next weekend - which I wasn't in a good mood at all, and then the clinic- which was only in the puppy pen, with lots of pressure- using the whip to keep her further off- which worked well. I guess I could say that we have been going non-stop.


We are at a point, I think in our training that we need to do lots more driving, as in the outrun/lift/fetch, has been drilled a lot- my doing, and I think my dog has a bit had it. She is doing this well- except for pace- which I can get if I work it- downs, then allow her to work if she is right. Anyway, I worked her yesterday, and was happy with everything we did, then my friend came out to hold out for me. Now, always from the start of her sheep work we did this, and did this a lot. I think she has patterned in her head that when friend comes out, much more drilling happens... I don't know. Anyway, I sent her and I knew she wasn't for it- it was a half baked attempt (she always runs out full tilt) and then stopped under the shade of a tree, and then when I chastised her and got her up, she went a bit further, and then hopped into the water trough. After about 20 secs, I called her and she was fine- she did well. We rested for a bit and again, good work.



I am getting the distinct feeling that my dog does not need so much drilling on this stuff- in fact, when I see other folks work their dogs, they only do very few reps, but maybe their dogs are better :rolleyes: I am NOT good on remembering what is important when I work her- and I think I need to have a set plan. Only 2 olfs, then go on to flank work, then driving after short olfs, small pen work and maybe try some sorting. Does this sound like a better plan? She is so keen to work, but I think I am ruining it for her....


Any insight?

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My game plan these days is only work long enough to note the issue du jour, work on it, then do something fun, then quit. Many days I've been working on the ducks only, other than chores.


I rarely "drill" ie, go out and work on "driving" or "fetching" - generally we'll only do that if I have a notion it will bring out some weak point I've been seeing. I have started doing a trial course every so often (maybe once a week) to see how we are doing overall, but as I said lately it's only been with the ducks because of the heat.


Yesterday for instance I noticed Bet was ready for the first time to accept fully, redirects and stops off balance - doing it and then working in a relaxed way afterwards instead of getting the bit in her teeth and "punishing" me for making her do it by fighting. I noticed it while we were bringing in the sheep, but I didn't work on it with sheep - we went back and messed with the ducks instead. Penning them is a great time to work on what I call "teamwork" issues. We got a lot more done than I could have working sheep - it's just a scale thing.

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Thanks Becca, and those who pm'd me. I have to just chill, and mix it up, and not worry about fixing everything and getting everything perfect. I have a tendency to try and jam too much in for too long. These next several days off will be good for us- and when we get back to it, no more than two of anything, and try and invent new things...

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Can you just use her for chores and practical work for a bit to freshen her up?

My dog seems to really enjoy doing things that seem to have a purpose. Just

about anything you do on a trail field you could do in a chore situation and the

dog gets to "see" why you are doing something. I can't seem to find the words

to express what I mean.

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