Monday, November 11, 2013

Herding 11/10/13

Zenzi posing at Rancho Ventoso of SoCal Herding
Zenzi had her second herding lesson at SoCal Herding yesterday.  She was again totally over aroused by the sight of the sheep running around with other dogs working.  She was a barking maniac, but did manage to soothe herself effectively enough that we could hang out ringside if she sat behind my legs.

Her first session was pretty intense to start.  She was very, um, eager to work.  Kelly says that she's still working out what her job is, exactly.  She definitely has figured out that if she runs at, barks at, and bites them, they run away.  That's pretty nifty.  Now she has to learn about the safety zone for the sheep, and not be so quick to bite.

While we waited for our second round, I got some photos.  I was very proud of Rubble's session with Kelly, so you'll notice a few shots of her petting him.  That was the first time, in nearly 2 months, he's allowed anyone there to touch him.  Kelly said, "I have goosebumps.  This is amazing."  They're such good people.

Zenzi and I await our first run.

I don't know their names yet, but there are horses!

I keep forgetting to bring them carrots. :(

Sarah and Rubble making friends.

Kristina grew up a farm girl, and now pursues that passion with her sheltie, Merlin.

Rubble is growing up, and getting his fur back.

What it looks like to wait by the arena and round pen.

Red & white border collie puppy boy.

Rubble is posing. :)

He really enjoys a good wither rub. ;)

Kristina and Merlin are practically pros now!

Look at Rubble go!  His confidence to experience the world has grown leaps and bounds.

Believe it or not, he actually jumped over the sheep when they wouldn't move.

Sometimes the ranch dogs help less experienced dogs get the sheep moving.  Meet Drew.

Kelly's first time petting Rubble.  Mama Sarah was right there.  She shed a tear. :)

This mailbox WILL be mine someday. ;)

Kelly working a GSD.  They have a totally different style.  It's fascinating!

Kristina and Merlin (left) wait to train while Ted pets a student GSD.
 So then it was time for our second run, and you can see Zenzi's frantic beginning mature into a much sweeter, more controlled finish.  Kelly was impressed!  She says Zenzi is progressing very well.  I don't know much about any of this, but I'm glad to hear.  Kelly also says that Zenzi's confidence is growing, and now that she's seen that Zenzi will bite and grip, Kelly plans to increase her wand pressure to discourage that.  I love how they're so careful about any sort of correction they plan to do.  I'm 100% behind it, though.  When you're dealing with instinct and using real-life rewards, there's no way around corrections.  The corrections are totally fair and correspond to the level of the behavior.  Zenzi did get her first tap on the nose with the wand.  She's decided that she'd just as soon bite the wands as the sheep, so... Anyway, here's our second run!

Once again, we had a glorious time.  Zenzi allowed several people to approach and pet her, without running away or barking at them.  The socialization aspect is, again, just as valuable as the actual herding!  We're making friends ourselves, Rick and I, and discovered that they board dogs over there. Any time our dogs need boarding, that's the plan.  Wags & Wiggles is wonderful, don't get me wrong, but not a perfect fit for a dog like Zenzi.  She does not relish the company of other dogs the way she does "her people" and working sheep!  Sarah is boarding Rubble there over Thanksgiving.

Next week, I'm flying home to MI to visit family, so there will be no herding next week. :( After that, though, it's back on!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! I followed LJ over to here, happy to see more detail and pictures about all your adventures with Zenzi!