Pru decides to take at look at our sheepdog training class
Saturday (August 11th) was a sheepdog training day, and for the first time Pru decided to wander out into the field with everyone else to see what all the fuss was about.
We always allow any puppies we have to mix and mingle with our sheepdog training course members, it does the puppies so much good to meet new dogs and new people.
Luckily, Pru restricted herself to watching. If and when she starts to jump into the ring when people are working, or if she starts to run out into the sheep when dogs are training in the open field, we’ll have to put her away and out of trouble.
Sheep seem to react particularly strongly to an untrained puppy; whether it’s because of their quick, darting movements I don’t know. Sheep are very good at assessing a dog very quickly (have you ever stood at the letting out end at a sheepdog trial?) but in the case of puppies seem more likely to “run now, ask questions later”.
Pru’s intervention could be very distracting and confusing for a trainee sheepdog, and get it (quite unfairly) into trouble. We usually have a puppy or two in the sheepdog training groups, they come along for a Puppy Introduction.
This is where the puppy (usually up to about 9 months old) just gets a couple of short sessions with steady sheep in a secure environment. It’s just enough to spark their interest and let them know that it’s OK to chase sheep, while reassuring their handler that they’ve really got a sheepdog on their hands.
Of course, we’re always happy for anyone on the course to bring along a younger puppy just to socialise. On Saturday we were joined by the lovely Ash, a mainly American Bulldog (with just a dash of Boxer).
Pru‘s always been a bold, brash (occasionally somewhat irksome) young lady, but she was very worried about Ash and hid herself behind a feed bin to keep an eye on The Thing from a safe distance.
I’ve never seen Pru look so anxious, or be so quiet. It didn’t last, of course, but just for a while there I was thinking of buying an “Ash” for myself!
Thanks to our sheepdog training course member, Heather Fraser, for the lovely photos, and for allowing me to use them.
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