Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Ernie Blog

Our youngest border collie, Ernie, is nearly a year old.  We've been working him on sheep, with our friend Ellen Skillings' help, for about three months now.  I'm a novice at starting a puppy, but he's amazing!

Tonight, I worked him on five ewe lambs in our back field.  He has been ignoring me and charging in at the sheep, but tonight he was very attentive to me.  We're working on pacing and distance - he still works a bit too close to the sheep, but we're making improvement.

Ellen tells us that we need to keep the work interesting for a dog of Ernie's intelligence.  I'm looking forward to the next step with him - I'm hoping to use him during the winter on larger groups of sheep.  My challenge is remembering that he's still learning.  I need to avoid getting in a hurry - I need to take time to correct him when he's wrong and praise him when he's right.

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