I always get a bit nervous checking out new clinicians. But, my friend Jacquie (awesome owner of Agility at the Farm in Illinois) convinced me to stick around after the trial (which was less than successful on her end) to work Mazikeen with clinician Dave Vickland.
He was our judge at the trial the previous weekend, and I asked a very blunt question: Why can my dogs go out at the same angle as the border collies and kelpies, and still have the sheep wind up at the other end of the arena.
He had some thoughts…. and, to his credit, his first impression was wrong. He thought, originally that she was just a chasing, prey drive monster. BUT, after our first working session, he identified that she was actually using her eye. So, no matter how much I was pushing her out on the flank, she wasn’t letting her stock go. Her shoulders and body were still pushing on the sheep HARD, and these sheep were very much responding appropriately.
It was another important piece of the journey in getting better. On cattle, it is a great thing, but she needs to be able to switch her body down to an appropriate level to work sheep.
I really love, but want to strangle Mazikeen sometimes! 😀