Porter & I attended a herding clinic at the end of February. I've been to quite a few of Tenley Dexter's clinics before, but this one was the BEST! :)
She has Porter's undivided attention.
Um, not really, he's staring at the sheep in the arena :)
Why was it the best yet?
Number one: I didn't cry! Again! That's 2 herding seminars in a row! :)
Number two: Porter & I rocked it! Yes, our hard, hard, never-ending, hard work is starting to pay off!
If you remember our last clinic, we did well. And I was so pleased! But there were a lot of factors that made us seem like we may have been doing better than we really were...
But this time, we returned to the very location of our crash, and we nailed it. The dog who wouldn't even lie down at this arena a year ago, passed every little test & trick I threw at him to get him to break. Not only that, he downed every time I asked him too! Not always quickly, but by the end he was hitting the ground.
He listened. He tried. He looked like a trained dog! He still looked like a novice had trained him... but whatever :)
He was driving / chasing sheep from one end to the next (we were trying to get him excited & pushing straight, plus actually taking down's). Then I would give him a flank at the end to do it again back down to the beginning. HE ACTUALLY TOOK THOSE FLANKS! After all that pushing, he turned & went around!
Ok, that almost made me cry. But in a good way :)
I was complimented. Even by Tenley :) She congratulated me on my hard work, my perseverance. She said the difference was amazing.
Ok, I definitely had tears in my eyes then :)
So the next day I decided to really work hard - and switched Porter over to work ducks.
A couple years ago, Porter actually won Reserve High in Trial on ducks at our National Specialty. It was a fluke. Seriously, it was the first time we had ever trialed on ducks. We had only practiced on them a couple times before that.
Porter REALLY likes ducks. Really wants to eat them :) My handling of Porter on ducks consists of constantly trying to keep him away from tasting them.
So I thought this would be a good test & Tenley could offer me a lot of help.
And Porter surprised me again :)
Don't get me wrong, he had drool hanging out of his mouth. And he went in for a nibble or two. But with her help, I saw where to push, when to push, when to change direction, where I needed to be... It was great. And Porter looked good.
And it was a good chance to work on "naughty Porter." I knew he hadn't went completely away :)
From the 2012 Specialty