The Dog Whisperer

After this weekend’s sheepdog training clinic, we learned a few things about Maisie and her herding style.

The most obvious lesson: allowing her to chase sheep around a field at warp speed — in Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner fashion — is not productive. Maisie should practice moving sheep in a small pen where she can gain confidence and we can correct her and teach her specific commands. Such as “come by,” which tells her to move clockwise around the flock, and clockwise, or “away.”

The other notable fact is that Martin has a knack for this. He quickly caught on to Jack’s training tips.

Maisie moves the sheep; Martin moves Maisie

And he started thinking like his dog, as Jack often says, and even thinking like a sheep and sensing what they would do.

Jack passes on a few pointers

Our next job is to build a small pen for Maisie to practice. (I see a trip to Tractor Supply and a truckload of fencing and T-posts in our future. Sigh…).

We’ll see how much dog and handler can learn before the next clinic in November.