Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Herding Seminar

Duncan and I attended at tending (boundary style herding) seminar in Conover, NC, this weekend. I’m not going to go into any detail about it, partly because just thinking about it makes me mad, and partly because I don’t think my writing skills can do justice to how pissed off I was for the majority of the time.

The really short version is that the instructor informed me that Duncan can’t herd sheep. That surprised me a bit, since he’s been herding sheep fairly successfully for some time now. She also essentially told me I was lying when I told her what Duncan does on a regular basis at Claire’s.

On the upside, I found a few things that we need to work on that weren’t as noticeable on our home turf (so to speak). I also learned that I’ll never enter a trial where this particular person is judging.

I thought Duncan did a wonderful job, especially when faced with a brand new layout in an unfamiliar setting, multiple strangers yelling and waving sticks at him, and an instructor who clearly has no idea what sorts of things should and should not be done when training dogs.

Duncan was such a trooper through the whole weekend. The ride to Conover wore him out. Here he is testing out the king bed Friday evening.

Here he's moving his flock up the graze. The woman in the dark blue shirt is the instructor. She's clapping because Duncan has somehow overcome his innate inability to herd sheep and managed to make them go somewhere. Did I mention I don't like her? Oh, and those two adorable brown lambs are only two weeks old. So cute!

Duncan's watching the flock, making sure they don't do anything he needs to fix.

Moving the flock back down the graze.

Duncan's watching a terrified lamb run back to its mother. According to the instructor, he needs to see each sheep as an individual so that he can see the flock. Or some such thing like that.

By Sunday night, we were both exhausted. Duncan said he definitely approved of the very comfortable bed.

So, was it a valuable experience? Yes (but not necessarily in a good way). Was it worth the money? No. Did I manage to convince total strangers that I’m a complete bitch and you don’t screw with my dog? Yes, and very successfully, I might add.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you need to send that idiot judge a copy of all the tapes you have of Duncan, on second thought.....don't waste your time with that judge....apparently she doesn't know what she's talking about!!! As I recall.....I believe I've seen Duncan herding sheep person..or was that just a figment on my imagination? Nah, he herds...I've seen him....and he does a darn fine job of it, too!!!!! Stupid woman...who does she think she is and what does she think she knows...NOTHING!!!!!
:)Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Good job handling the person who thinks she can judge herding. Don't let anyone say can't about Duncan...because he sure can do everything he is asked to do. I've seen it first hand. Keep on keep'in on...Mary B.