Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sheep and Puppies, is there anything better?

My friends Jenilee, Cindy and I took the trip to Phantom Ridge Ranch  for a herding lesson with Louanne Twa this weekend. 

Su'nar, Gyp and Neena

First things, first ... Gyp performs "The Corgi Headlock"
 "Back off shorty, those are my sheep."

We have only ever been on Scott and Jenny's sheep. I wasn't sure how Gyp would be with the new sheepies. We worked in the big arena and Louanne talked me through some ideas for Gyp and really helped me with the lay down:  don't point the stick at Gyp's face and expect her to lay down while hovering over her, stand up and block her from the sheep instead - OK I get it know - sort of. Louanne did a great impression of it for me, and I tried my hardest not to bend over with the stick in Gyp's face after that, it was pretty funny - when people do impressions of myself it really sinks in haha. It worked wonders and she had a good lay down for the lesson without getting pouty on me. 

Thanks Jenilee for getting some great shots of us.

She REALLY wanted those sheep and took more pressure than she ever has before, it was really cool, the pressure didn't phase her, she wanted more and more. It was as if she was a REAL Border Collie or something ... she had a couple teeth flossing moments, but quickly settles back in to her job, and I used the momentum to my benefit.

I took these pics while Louanne worked Gyp

Louanne took Gyp for a few minutes to show me how to balance her to the 12 position better and keep her straight and teach her to straighten her self out too, it was really cool to see, she has a great eye for watching the sheep, dog and where she is going.

 I do not have that great eye for this - it is tough, but I am understanding better how to do it. So I tried my hand at it afterward and it was really neat to have Gyp respond so quickly off the pressure to straighten out, just by my body or even a little movement of the stick, side to side that I want her off of. Man is it hard to run backwards, watch my dog, watch the sheep and not fall on my ass!! 

To top off the day, we got to play with the puppies, Bracken and Craig. It was all I could do not to steal them. 

eeeeeew Puppy germs.

SMACK THAT! Gyp was amazingly patient.

Gyp was really good with the pups, sometimes she is a little too 'motherly', but I just have to realize it is OK for her to do, and the puppies were very respectful and Gyp was AMAZINGLY tolerant with them jumping on her as you can see! They had a blast playing with each other, and Craig was infatuated with Gyp. I think he thought she was a puppy too :)

... and they call it Puppy love.


Kim said...

Sounds like both you and Gyp are really getting the hang of what to do with those sheep. I love the pictures of Gyp with the puppies. Sooo cute!

Sarah said...

Just wait Kim, there are some even cuter photos coming!!

I think Gyp gets it a little better than me, but we are learning together, which is fun! :p

Alex V. said...

Wow, this looks like so much fun! I can't wait until I can actually get my 2 reliable off leash to start agility and/or field work.

Can't wait to hear how you and Gyp progress!

manymuddypaws said...

great photos!! sounds like gyp is really starting to act like a border collie!!! I guess I can't call her a sheltie anymore :o)

Jenny Glen said...

I'm so glad you guyz went up there! Good job Gyp!

BCxFour said...

I cant believe I missed this post! These pictures are WONDERFUL! I love the one of Gyp right behind the sheep looking like she is gripping.

Herding is such a difficult concept to grasp, especially when you are first starting a dog. I cannot tell you how many times I have had sheep crap in my hair from falling over onto my backside when walking backward. *sigh*ictures are