Chase got to go herding tonight. I brought the five older ewes down to the round pen. He got to herd them in figure eights and around a bit. Then I let the ewes out into the larger field. Chase had a good time moving them up and down the short end of the field and doing some circles. He held his stay when I let the ewes back to the largest field.
He has hit the point I expected to get to. He is a bit confused as to what is allowed and what isn’t. Because of that, he is doing some mild avoidance. The really good news is we hit it four weeks away from the trial. That will give us plenty of time to work through it. The other really good news is that the avoidance is mild and he reconnects to the sheep quickly.
The cause of the mild avoidance is him realizing he can’t have it all his way. He is figuring out that I want him to do some things my way. I have seen some dogs quit altogether at this point (hmmm, I haven’t seen a Cardigan do that). If they can’t do what they want, they won’t play at all. There is NO worry that Chase will fall into this group. He is too interested in herding and very willing to be a partner. It could be over as soon as our next workout or it could take a couple of sessions. My job is to keep it interesting and upbeat. When he commits to being a partner, it will be great fun. He will learn in leaps and bounds.
Kearney did the same thing. Now he starts yawning if he is getting stressed. I pay attention to that, and give him more fetching, which he loves.
Chase is doing a good job and I am very pleased with him.