Squid, 19 months old, passed the swedish herding test yesterday! This is the lowest level of herding trials and also something the dog must pass if you want to breed it (and register the dogs with the kennel club). It was my first time competing in herding and I was really nervous (I actually can’t remember ever being so nervous about a trial, I’m usually pretty cool). Three out of seven dogs passed the test and Squid placed second. I tried to just take it very easy and keep me, Squid and the sheep calm at all times. Here is a video from the test:
Thomas picked up his new dog at the airport 3 weeks ago. Her name is Jen and she’s a 8-month-old border collie that we’ve bought from Derek Scrimgeour in England. She is a very friendly and soft girl, and she is adjusting to her new life well. She’s doesn’t seem used to living indoors and the life we live is probably very different from what she has experienced during her first seven months. She’s getting along with all the other dogs here and she is very friendly with people.
She is very keen around sheep and is doing a lot of nice things while herding. We’ve started to train her a bit, teaching her to lie down around sheep and balancing them to us. She is very easy going and cool, not at all like my crazy red head at that age… Thomas is hoping that Jen will be able to do sheepdog trials at a high level with him in the future, and maybe she’ll do some agility as well.
Jen also has to learn to offer behaviors and play with us. We had to have a lot of patience to get her to become active in learning. In the beginning, Thomas would train all of his dogs at the same time, offering them all treats for different behaviors. Jen seemed more relaxed and creative in that setting. She is now offering behaviors both at home and at the dog training club. She’ll offer stand, sit, down, bow and a simple retrieve. She has also started to play a little with us at home, but it’s a still a long way to go. It’s very exciting to see how much she changes all the time, how much more personality she gains with every week here. She might be acting like a more focused, toy crazy border collie in a while, or it might be a lot of work before she’ll work and play with Thomas. I’ll let you know!