It was hot this week, and we are all having to acclimate once again to the Southern California summer. Working dogs means breaking it up with lots of shade and lots of water. It's going to get worse before it gets better.
This week's lessons:
I know it's hot
Lack of momentum
Here's an excerpt:
Instead of giving Star a flank command when sending him on an outrun, I simply set him up on the side I wanted him to go, and gave him a shush. This put the initiative on him to decide from the direction of my body, which way to go, and how wide to run out. It also caused him to look intently, and gauge his distance by feeling the sheep. His success was evidenced by the fact that, after he spotted his sheep, he cast himself out wider and deeper. I set him up on whichever side I wanted him to travel, then told him to "look." I could see that he was using my body as a guide, just as I've taught him, because he looked at me, then for his sheep. I waited until his nose pointed in the correct direction, then gave him a shush, and off he went. Sending him in that manner kept him from squaring off at the start, and running out too wide. Each time I sent him, the sheep were obscured below a low hill, so he was never sure exactly where he was going. He has become quite good at finding sheep, though, and had no trouble today. It was a beautiful thing to see him pick them up, speed up, and cast out to land wide and deep on balance. Lovely.