Sunday, April 26, 2009

First Herding Lesson with Anson

You met Anson a couple posts ago. Well, he is still a sweetie. And I think he is having a good time here at the house. He really likes to cuddle and, to his delight, I have let him and Ari up on the couch to cuddle a few times. He also gives a very good hug- he really hugs around you tightly with his arms. Other things he is good at: being quiet in his kennel, sticking close, coming when called, quieting down in the house, not whining to come inside, deal with Mr. Grump (Ari), resource sharing and generally being cute.

He also happens to be a good working dog too. Today we went for our first herding lesson together. I guess cuddling him and letting him on the couch was all he needed to want to work with me because he listened very well out in the pasture. The only thing he sometimes forgets is to come when I call him, but only because he wants to keep herding. Diane has already started him so he knows his flanks pretty well and can do short outruns. Mostly I just walk around the pasture and he keeps the sheep behind me. He is very good at this and wants very much to keep the flock together. Diane took a bunch of pictures of us herding- what a great day for it.

After herding we took a rest and then went to the park at sundown. I am trying to figure out if Anson will be willing to play flyball. I am still not sure, but he seems to be on his way. Today at the park we worked on retrieving the tennis ball and tugging. This is the second time playing with the ball and the first time tugging. He played with balls out at Diane's, but his mom, Tess, always gets the ball so he hasn't had much practice getting it himself. It took me jumping around and acting goofy to get him excited about the ball, but by the end of our session he was running fast to get the ball, and bringing it back at a quick trot. He doesn't bring it back every time, but probably 75%, which I will take for only his second try. He also started tugging! This was pretty surprising since he can be a little submissive and I thought tugging might be too much for him. Again, after a couple minutes jumping around like a monkey he was interested in the tug. He quickly started chasing me while I ran away from him dragging the tug. And he put up a pretty good fight once he got it in his mouth. Not quite like Indy yet, but for his first time it was great. We quit when he was still really jazzed so hopefully we can pick up from there tomorrow. I should have taken picture of this, but I really didn't think I was going to get such good results- next time. It was obvious tonight that is going to do whatever he can to please his handler. I am getting pretty attached to this little guy- uh oh.

And just so you don't think I forgot about Ari I took a picture of him lounging around the house. He managed to reinjure his knee the other day, so he is back to leash walks. At least it seems to be getting better much faster than the initial injury. I was worried that he had finally torn a ligament, but since he is healing quickly I don't think it was all that bad. Just the same he is only getting leash walks for at least another week. He is such a good dog, so easy and very sweet. He is the perfect dog for people that don't want to have to do much with their dog except pet him, walk him a little, and give him tons of love. Oh and maybe a big chunk of sheep every now and then. What a cutie!
So these pictures are not in order. I don't like the way Blogger adds the newest photos at the top, and I am too lazy to move them around. You get the idea anyway.

We were pushing about 60 sheep around toward the end. I think we both handled it pretty well.

You can really see all 60 here.

We started out in the round pen, but it is too small for Anson already. We are working on "steady" so he doesn't put too much pressure on the sheep. He will soon learn that he does not need to be so close to move the sheep. Diane says its better to have a pup with a little to much push at first. It is much easier to tone it down a little than build it up.

What a good looking guy!


An English Shepherd said...

Herding looks really interesting, nice pics as well.

Wizz :-)

Lady Li-Lei said...

I'm interested in herding lessons for dogs... where did you go to do this? Mind sharing their contact info?