Bowkol Vallhunds visit their new Herding Trainer.....
We have just returned from an excellent Herding Traineing session with Sarah Jenkins in Norfolk, (which we combined with our Vallhund Weekend, see Blog below)
Sarah has not met Vallhunds before, certainly not ones that work! It's always a bit nerve racking going to a new Trainer, but happily she thought all our Bowkol Valls worked really well, & (according to my ACD friend who also trains with her) that she was very impressed by them. Phew!!
I was hugely impressed by Sarah's methods, how she worked very much by observing the dogs natural Instinct, rather than imposing a particular method on the dogs, or saying what they 'ought' to be doing when they herd.
The sheep were 6 lovely dog broke Herdwicks, newly shorn, just as well as it was a hot day. Happily Tilly (pictured as 'That'll Do Tilly!') has also just had a huge moult so was able to keep cool!
So how did the Valls do ?
Firstly Loki, rather than instructing him, we looked @ how he wanted to work, his occasional 'sheep poo' eating was interpreted as being a little unsure if he was allowed to do what he felt he needed to, so I was encouraged to reassure him, & really say very little to him. As Sarah said, he really didn't do anything 'wrong' that needed correcting, & she encouraged me to let him make more decisions himself. The beauty of such well 'dogged' sheep is that you can do that without them coming to any harm, unlike the very light & not very dog broke sheep that we usually have to work @ home!
Interestingly Sarah exuded such calm that Loki didn't even think about barking @ her as he is prone to when meeting strangers for the first time.