Larry Painter Clinic – Azula

Chunky is… very different than her mother Fiddle, and her sister Mazikeen. I really was expecting a hard core, push them in and bust them up kind of dog. Instead, I have a dog that really wants to please me, is sensitive to my pressure, and is very respectful of the stocks bubble. Some of that may have come from the work we have done with Diane Sobel Meyer with the long line and shaping and respecting stock without needing to bust in from an early age. We did a lot of inside flanks, rolling off the stock, and going along the fence lines to get stock out of the corner on cattle right from the beginning. And she is really starting to come into her own.

So, in January, I went to Berryville, VA to work cattle with Larry Painter. I bought two working spots in this clinic. One of them was a dedicated split with Chunky in the morning, and Mazikeen in the afternoon. She is 14 months old right now, and we have been doing a lot of concentrated work on small pen cattle work, respecting my pressure, and having me hold her in the pocket between the stock and the corner. We are doing a lot of flanking to the head. She is still stalling out and not moving smoothly, but her confidence is growing, and these stock were a bit more confrontational than the cows that we usually use.

We spent 4 days in this little round pen, sending the dog in and around to gather, and hold the pressure to make the cows turn off of her, stopping, and rolling off me at more than a square flank. On the 5th day, I decided to run her in the 100 x 100 foot fence on cattle (with a long line on to make sure everything was smooth). And I can say… that I am super happy with how she was in the field.

We worked a lot of triangles, and having me pull her through on the gathering side, direction changes and flanking. She gave a lot to my pressure and continued on a calm working trajectory. Occasionally I had to use the line to start or reinforce directions or holding pressure in the pocket to get her to stay on the fence… but overall, she did a lot of this work by herself.

I am pleased to have a thoughtful worker, and I am going to continue to build up her confidence, work the head pressure, and hold stock. She has not had very much time on sheep, in favor of working cattle.

She has not necessarily been what I was expecting, but that could be an amazing thing for my future

Holding her side on the away flank between the stock and the fence

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