Yes, Porter finally did well at a herding seminar! I just can't get over that! :)
Like I said before, it was a 3 day seminar. Porter worked 5 times, all but 1 of them on driving. This is a vastly different than what we did at the last one... Last time we did remedial obedience drills :)
The dog that worked ahead of us on that first day (the best standard schnauzer ever) was working on a driving drill. When she finished, Tenley asked us what we wanted to work on. I mentioned that in our last lesson with Wendy we had done the same driving exercise that the schnauzer just did. But I told her that I was ok doing all the foundational stuff that we worked on in the last seminar.
She said no, that wasn't necessary. She wanted to see me do what we had been working on. I was a little shocked, and immediately nervous. I mean, this is Porter the Seminar Jackass. Will he still be a jackass if we aren't some place new? We do train at Fair Wether every week. But will he pick up on my nerves? And proceed to embarrass me yet again?
Fingers crossed that I did not just send the "jackass Porter" on a kamikaze outrun...
Well I'll be damned if he didn't just rock it!
I was in shock. Tenley had to be a little shocked. The gallery of auditors were shocked.
His outrun was great. He took all those little driving flanks beautifully. He dropped when I said. It was pure beauty!
Who replaced my Jackass Porter? Because I don't want them to take this Porter back!
We drove up & down the fence line. Was it perfect? No. Apparently all that time I've spent trying to keep off the sheep is now coming back to bite me. He's lost some of his push, but I'm pretty sure it will come back by the bucketful...
I mean, I actually had to encourage him to walk into the sheep. I had to grab sheep butt. Wow, we have come a looooong way :)
We tried driving down the field...
Porter's next 2 runs were spent working on that same exercise, trying to clean up some of the smaller pieces.
We figured out he can take about 4 steps straight into the sheep before he drifts into a flank. So I would stop him on the 4th step, then walk him up again.
Porter worked ducks once that weekend. Well, I worked the ducks mostly :) I had Porter on a short line & we tried driving the ducks into a corner. It was really a lesson for me to see just how little these flanks have to be... We're talking just a head movement by Porter would turn them.
It was really frustrating for Porter. He loves to smash him some ducks...
"That'll do, Porter"
I had a lot of insight coming out of that weekend, just like I always do when it comes to herding. Tomorrow I'll share a little bit more of that.
However, Loretta summed it up pretty well on her blog, if you want a taste. And we weren't even at the same clinic! :)