12 July

Fate’s Crossing: Slowing It Down

by Jon Katz
Fate's Crossing
Fate’s Crossing

We are at a good place in our work with sheep, Fate and I. She is beginning to execute graceful and relatively wide outruns. She does not have enough eye or authority yet to dominate the sheep, Susie in particularly charges her and tries to butt her, and this is good in a way. Fate backs up but does not run, she shows her teeth if pressed, and Susie stops. Fate is learning to pay attention to the sheep, keep a good distance.

She has “come bye” and “away to me” fairly well down and I am thrilled with the progress she is making. She will be a great working dog, she is already a good one. I am slowing things down, she needs to get a bit larger and her eye stronger before she can really move the sheep around, but she is already great at keeping them together, circling around them, getting ahead of them. Like Red, she is calm and appropriate and increasingly responsive to me and my commands.

But she is still a puppy and we are going to glide the way we are for a few weeks. We will still work every day and concentrate on commands and directionals. This has been nothing but joy for me, and I think she is loving it as well. What a pleasure to work with a dog like this. It is also helping her focus her energy, be grounded and  calmer.

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