Sunday, June 29, 2008

Demon Dog

IT's RAINING!!! Wow, can't believe it, it's been so long i wasn't sure what that stuff falling from the sky was. I wish it would just rain all night and all day for about 3 days. The pasture is shot, the ground is like asphalt, and the pond is getting lower all the time. But right now, glorious rain! Okay, enough of the happy dance for the moment.

It's been a fun but busy weekend here. Yesterday i went over to Denise's for a little dog workin' get-together with a couple of other folks. It was hot as stink but a nice breeze and short sessions kept it tolerable. Jet and Zac both worked very nicely. Billy was his little superstar self. He kind of amazes me. I've done very, very little training on him. I just sort of bring him out and let him have a little go here and there, and he's just moving along in leaps and bounds. He'll run out 50-75 yards pretty decent, balances nicely, is willing to even do a little driving. I was telling the gang, he's pretty darned boring to train really. It's surely a good kind of boring though! I'll try to get some video of him soon if i can get someone to come out and operate the camera. I'm not putting any pressure on him at all and expect he'll easily be ready to run Nursery this winter or early next spring. I probably could push him along and get him ready for this fall but i want to take time training him and see how much he'll just train himself on the sheep and in different situations. He's still just a puppy at 11 months old.

Now, on to the subject of this post - the Demon Dog! Black Bart, the wild man. First a litte background - one evening last week, i thought i had put all the sheep up, and cut the whole gang of dogs out to run and play on the pasture while i was doing some work around the farm (key word: thought). A few minutes later, i look up and here comes Bart and Gael and who knows who else, bringing me 5 sheep. It took me 10 minutes of chasing and yelling to catch that little snot! Had Gael (the original Demon Dog) not been out there, i might have been able to just work Bart a bit and caught him that way, but things were a bit ummmmm, wild with both of them out there. Every time i'd get Gael down and then get balanced up and almost catch Bart, the sheep would shift and they were both off again. Then lambs started squirting off and Bart thought that was grrrrrreat fun, working single lambs and grabbing them. I don't know where the heck the other 4 dogs ended up, except for perhaps heading for the hills with all the yelling that was going on! Okay, so fast forward to yesterday, and you can probably guess what frame of mind Bart was in when i let go of the rope and let him go around the sheep. Let's just say i wasn't exactly part of the picture and it wasn't quite as calm and sweet as the previous times at Denise's. :-) It definitely keened up my sweet 6 month old puppy! I had a long piece of pvc which he was very much ignoring until i kinda sorta cracked him on the head with it - it wasn't really intentional and it wasn't hard enough to hurt his feelings, but he did somewhat notice i was in the same universe with him afterwards. He did settle down a bit and worked very well afterwards, just as keen as could be but balancing and covering and looking like a million bucks. He wasn't having any of that being caught stuff again though and i practically had to tackle him to get him off the sheep. I was grinning from ear to ear. There are good dog problems and bad dog problems, and a too keen dog is surely one of the former! I'm very excited about him and can't wait to get him training. I've always felt some regret that i couldn't do a better job with Gael - she was way too hot for my experience level at the time, and i just never could get a handle on her tension, but she was tremendously tough and talented and i've wanted to turn the clock back and try again. I think i might have another one that's "a lot of dog" and i can't wait! He's all about some sheep now, spent every chance he could today trying to get through fences and under gates to get at the sheep. Yep, i've got another Demon Dog and i'm a-lovin' it!


Laura said...

Happy-lookin' dog! And it sounds like you're a happy-lookin' girl right now :-) I look forward to hearing your training reports on the Demon Dog!

Samantha said...

Demon Dog, Love it! :-)

Umm, you use a spaghetti noodle too then?, LOL

Anonymous said...

I had a ball watching Bart on Saturday! Definately keened up - and certainly a good dog problem to have! I think you're going to have a blast with him.

Robin French said...

I'm sure looking forward to training him!

Rebecca and Molly the Border Collie said...

YAY for rain! We've been suffering from a dry summer, too, so can definitely sympathize with pasture and harvest worries. We just got enough rain to start greening the pastures and it might save some harvests and most likely a lot of hay harvests, but it will be a rough winter for feed and forage.

I hope that rain keeps coming to lessen your worries and let you focus on training that demon dog! We'll look forward to lots of pics and stories about the process. :-)