Is one of those dogs that’s a joy to watch work as he’s extremely fluid in is movements – but he is a difficult one to train.
Lane has a lot of natural about his approach with sheep but it will take patience to “get everything out of him”. When he’s behind his sheep, he pushes them hard until he’s in the middle – so he needs a strong “take time” but you don’t want to take too much away from a young dog. He’s not afraid of them and will walk straight into their heads until they turn; he has that “bit of eye” that he doesn’t know what to do with it yet. He’s a natural driver and will just “take them” and go.
His outrun will have to be “worked on” as he wants to “cut in” and start driving instead of “kicking out” and fetching. He hates lying down and if I had “forced” it on him when he first started I would have ruined him.
JANUARY 2002 …Well, we have worked on his outruns and are beginning to see an improvement. He is actually looking and trying to “give a little” when he sees his sheep. However, since we’ve been working mostly on outruns his driving has begun to suffer as now he tries to head them more than when he first started – so back to the drawing board.
Since he has an idea of what I want when I send him from my side I feel more comfortable encouraging his driving. When first started he was more than willing to drive so I’m not overly concerned at this stage.
Well, Lane has begun his trialing “career”. He was 2nd in his first Nursery trial but still needs work on his flanks. When he was working “range ewes” (that tend to fight a dog every step of the way) he started taking wrong flanks. When you are working “dog broke” sheep you begin to think the dog knows his flanks but then you get on sheep determined to go “their own way” only to find out your dog isn’t as “broke” as you thought he was. It’s hard on these young dogs to try and listen and move these type of sheep at the same time. However, they will run into this a lot “out west” with our sheep so it’s a lesson that has to be learned well. However, I was extremely pleased that he had “no trouble” moving them – to the point he was pushing “too hard” (something as far as I’m concerned, is more desirable in a young dog than not enough push – as I’m of the nature I would much rather be saying “take time” than “get-up, get-up”.
Lane is qualified for the USBCHA 2002 Nursery Finals by placing 2nd at the Poway, California trial and 3rd (out of 26 dogs) at the Powder Horn trial in Wyoming (as well as in other trials). However, I’m not sure we are going to make the “trek” to the finals this year seeing as they are in Tennessee.