Two new Titles in one Weekend
Two new titles in one week. Mesa, Token, and I attended a Lynn Leach herding dog clinic where, after two 1/2 days of working one dog one day and the other dog the next, we were faced with two days and four tries for each dog to get her Herding Started Title.
We were lucky to have a day to watch the Cardigan Corgi and Australian Cattle Dog Specialty herding which gave us all some insight into the various levels of competition from Herding Tested to Herding Advanced. Amazing work.
There were fifteen entries in the Started Level of Competition and Token's first run was very nice and pretty much controlled. We ended up qualifying with second place, 1/2 point of the High in Class, so I was very much encouraged as Token is a bit hard for me to control speed-wise. She lacks a 'steady' but actually gave me a steady and some good 'downs' as well. One qualifying 'leg' towards our HS.
Mesa qualified in third place right behind Token with a tidy run to gain her second leg towards her HS. What a girl.
In the afternoon, I missed seeing my sheep go through the free-standing Y-chute twice because I was looking at my dog instead of my sheep and so I called my run and just penned the sheep with a beautiful hold off the gate. Not one sheep dared come towards Token until the gate was opened. What an idiot! We would have had another qualifying score. The pressure was on. Only two tries left!
Mesa qualified again in the afternoon to be the first of the girls to get her Herding Started. I was soooo proud because Mesa is nine!!! The best part was that I sent her on an outrun from the top of the the arena and she didn't cut in or slice off a sheep but instead, brought them to me at a steady pace..... I was running to beat the clock, and she put them through two obstacles and penned them nicely without my direction. Point made. Duct tape for handler.
Sunday dawned early and Token, under a new judge, obtained her second qualifying score with a special judge's award and a third place finish. The award was to the most talented dog; the one the judge would want to take home with her. In Token's case, it was probably to save her from having to work with me.
Mesa Sue, thinking that she knew everything, was pushy and I had a hard time getting her to stop locking her eyes on the sheep, looking right through me. God. She wasn't sure she wanted to follow through with "That'll do" either.
But she qualified for her 'insurance' round and I was thankful.
Because both judges had told me to forget the down's and just work with out's, I went in with Token, determined to let her run and not to interfere much with her and in the end, she got her lowest score but her fastest time and a new Herding Started Title. The run was very fast and it felt like a Disney Ride from time to time. We got it done but it wasn't the neatest performance.
Still, I have to say that I was super proud of the dogs because we have NO SHEEP and we drive 1 1/2 hrs. for 1/2 hr. of lesson time and then have no opportunity to practice. So they really haven't had continuity in training and yet they still pulled it off. No wonder I own GSD's!!!
Posted by Judi at Monday, June 14, 2010