Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bonny progressing in the round pen

We spent quite a bit of time in the round pen with Bonny this week, and she improved quite a lot from last week, as did I. I'm moving better and she is flanking and balancing nicely on both her come by and away. Last week she pretty much only wanted to flank on the away (counterclockwise). She's also quite willing to come between the sheep and the fence.

The next challenge is to get a recall or 'that'll do' command on her. She's quite good at coming on command in the house, but if she's playing with other dogs or working sheep, she ignores me.

I think I have a training strategy for this now. She enjoys playing soccer (what border collie doesn't, I wonder?) and as with any other game, she ignores my repeated attempts to call her off. So now I'm playing the game with her, but keeping her on a ten-foot lead. Now when I tell her 'that'll do,' I can grab the lead and force her to come to me. After two sessions, she's showed quite a bit of improvement.

Today during the second session I told her lay down and then walked to the ball, telling her repeatedly to stay. Then I nudged the ball a bit. She couldn't help herself and got up to chase, but I gave her an 'ah! ah!' correction and she lay back down again, though she would leap to her feet again each time I pushed the ball. Still, a dramatic improvement from before.

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