Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Working Dogs

Last Saturday, our friend Ellen Skillings visited and conducted an afternoon clinic on working border collies. Ellen is a breeder, trainer and sheep producer from Tulelake, CA. She trained my dog, Taff, and bred and trained our daughter's dog, Mo. Our friends Roger Ingram, Courtney McDonald and Teresa Trull also joined us (with Bella, Lucy and Pippin, respectively).

In my daily work at the ranch, I get so focused on getting particular jobs done that I often fail to insist that Taff perform his work correctly. We always get the job done, but Taff gets away with things that he shouldn't. Usually, these transgressions are the result of my failure to communicate effectively.

Ellen helped each of us be better partners with our dogs. Each dog (and each of us) is in a different spot in terms of abilities and training - we all learned a tremendous amount on Saturday.

Ellen will be back in Auburn on November 8 and December 13 - we can't wait!

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