What a beautiful weekend for our March 2018 move forward clinic
The sun shined on us all weekend.
Most handlers arrived Friday with time for a lesson before the clinic.
This clinic was to designed to help handlers and dogs of all levels that have competed at trials. It was great for handlers which needed help with the finer details of getting around a course.
Kick off time was 8am Saturday morning.
With the morning session, Gordon set up a straight forward course for all handlers and dogs to run just like in a trial situation. Each run was timed.
We didn’t have a judge but a very observant clinician.
Five sheep was set on a tub of corn to keep them settled so each handler had a fair chance. Sophie was doing set out with Tic and they stayed with the sheep till the dogs had contact with the sheep just like at a trial . Gordon and other handlers watched closely.
What was strange was that even though it wasn’t an actual trial, most handlers seemed nervous and it showed a little on some runs with late commands, wrong commands and even no commands. As everyone took their turn at the post, Gordon and other handlers watched in silence until everyone had their first run of the morning.
When everyone had taken part on the course, Gordon went through each run in detail asking each handler where they thought mistakes were made.
Gordon has an unbelievable memory! After 13 dogs ran, he remembered each run in great detail and pointed out what went wrong and of course most faults had to do with some handlers being a nervous. We adjourned for lunch giving each handler time to reflect on their faults. Of course the dogs hardly did anything wrong only by doing what their handlers told them.
Merry put on a lovely spread for lunch spaghetti and meatballs, salad and some handlers donated cakes for dessert.
The afternoon session started up again this time Gordon stepped to the post with each handler making some more nervous and some relieved. Gordon helped with the crucial timing of commands on the dogs making the handler react quicker to situations that came up. Most of the handlers had the same issues, timing on the lift and the first half of the fetch. The majority of handlers had decent drives but almost everyone had trouble at the pen. Gordon helped with smoothing the dogs out around the pen which helped keep the sheep calmer and making them easier to pen.
Sunday morning started again with the sun was shinning on us making it so nice to sit in the sun while watching.
A small course change with just a slight dog leg fetch. Nothing that challenging but causing a few problems for some handlers keeping sheep on line. Most dogs of course wanted to bring the sheep straight to the handler and it was up to the handler to tell the dogs which line they were taking without letting panic set in.
Gordon watched and stepped in if he felt anyone needed help. Almost everyone manage to get around without Gordon stepping out onto the field.
After everyone had ran, each run was discussed again, seeing much improvement in handling. Handlers seemed much more relaxed and their timing was better and therefore, dogs were much calmer with the sheep.
Sunday afternoon session saw big improvement. Handlers looked more confident walking to the post with much more purpose. The were making sure everything was in order before sending their dogs. Almost no one needed help until entering the shedding ring. Gordon stepping in to help most handlers at the shedding.
Pens were much more relaxed and controlled handler and dogs working as a team. It was nice to watch. It really was an enjoyable weekend.
I’m sensing everyone took home information about their dogs they never knew before and how to handle many different situations with them. Please feel free to leave a comment on the comments page. It’s always nice to listen to what handlers take home from these clinics.
Looking forward to seeing most of you at the next move forward clinic April 7/8 weekend.
Our next clinic is the puppy/ young dog clinic March 31-April 1 weekend .
One of my favorite clinics. Love to see the young ones starting out and how they progress in just 2 days.
Check out the Gallery for more pictures from the clinic.