Alchemist Posted October 23, 2011 Report Share Posted October 23, 2011 So, Duncan (two and a half years old) has been in regular training (once or twice a week, all I can afford) since April. He's keen, keen, very keen. He is not at all soft - in fact, he can be a bit hard-headed. (But he takes corrections well and doesn't sulk). After an initial phase in which he listened well to stops, he spent a fair amount of the summer deciding that "lie down" was for sissies, and it took us until mid-July to convince him that he really should do it, at least most of the time. Until recently, he's still been a bit of a wild child during his first session at each lesson, inclined to orbit in space at times when he feels under pressure. Even when he was wearing, he was inclined to run right up the sheep's asses at a fast clip, and he had trouble locating balance (swishing back and forth like a windshield wiper). But a couple of weeks ago, he had a bit of a breakthrough: he discovered first gear, and he discovered that hitting the balance point made his life a lot easier. Of course, he's still mainly been showing this better effort during his second work of the lesson. What we'd love to see is him showing this behavior during both works. We saw another step forward at his last lesson, when even the first work was great. His outruns were poetry: perfect upside-down pear shape, going deep behind the sheep to lift. He was wearing nicely in first gear, with little or no windshield washer, and driving smoothly. He appeared perfectly relaxed throughout. Here's the rub: for the very first time in his life, he was eating sheep poop. And I don't mean tasting it once or twice - he was gobbling it as if someone had scattered dog treats all over the field and he hadn't eaten in a week! His trainer and I were both befuddled. All she could suggest was that he had finally decided he wanted to be a team player, but still wasn't 100% certain of how to do it, so was eating sheep poop to relieve his stress. (I did change his food from Innova to Taste of the Wild last July... don't know whether that could be a factor, but it is a good food...). Before "lie down" gets permanently converted to "lie down LEAVE IT I SAID", does anyone have any advice? Anyone have a dog that suddenly took up eating sheep poop while working? Was it a temporary phase, were you able to break them of it, and if so how? He does have a good "leave it" (off stock, sigh...), and I'm thinking of maybe trying to apply Derek Scrimgeour's "dangerous ground" trick by whacking any sheep poop he tries to eat with a whip, telling the poop that it's BAD POOP, but if anyone else has any suggestions, I'm all ears. I'm a total newbie at all of this, so any and all advice would be gratefully received. Here he is from a few weeks ago, in orbit... Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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