Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sheep: The Best Dog Toy

Brisbane and I have done a few herding lessons off and on, starting with his instinct test when he was nine months old. We've worked with three different instructors since then, and each has been delighted with Brisbane's natural aptitude for moving the sheep without catapulting through them like a bowling ball with feet. He has "balance", a trait defined here as the ability to move the sheep from a distance that is far enough to keep them calm, and close enough to direct them effectively.
This is not On the Lamb, I haven't dragged anyone out to take pictures for me there yet.

A few weeks ago I heard about a new place to take herding lessons, back in the town where I grew up. Some of my dog nerd friends and one of my corworkers had all taken their dogs there. The place is called On the Lamb, and when I spoke to the instructor I learned that pretty much everyone I've taken lessons from learned from her.

Instructor Robin was also pleased with Brisbane's herding ability, and suggested right away that we go to a trial. There is one at the end of April, and she doesn't normally recommend students start trialing two months after starting lessons, but Brisbane is just that awesome.

There are a lot of new dog sports open to us that weren't options back when I was trialing Brisbane in UKC obedience. Nosework, Barn Hunt, and the entire AKC mixed breed program came into existence during Brisbane's lifetime. Obedience and agility aren't the only activities available to us anymore, and I'm ready to get back into trialing. Wish us luck!

What activities do you do with your dog?


  1. We are currently working with an awesome positive reinforcement trainer for Lily's dog reactivity, and she suggested that Lily would be great at agility. We can't enroll her in a class, or at least not until she is waay better with other dogs, but I was thinking of setting up some "cheap" agility with household objects.

  2. So awesome that you're helping her with her reactivity! I do a lot of cheap home agility, I should do a post about that sometime. There's a lot of fun to be had with pvc jumps and childrens play tunnels.