oh my auggie

Auggie meets sheep

I’ve been wanting to get Auggie on sheep for ages, but the timing just hasn’t worked out before. This afternoon I took Auggie to his breeder’s house for agility practice, and after that…
We did it. Just for a few minutes but we did it. Auggie and sheep. And OMG. OMG OMG.

We basically did what is normal to see in an AKC herding instinct test, which is walked him into a small pen and walked him around on lead to see what he thought of the sheep. He marched up to one that was curiously coming over and face-to-face sniffed it, and I thought “oh $&(@, he just thinks it’s something to play with. We’re doomed.”
And then they moved.
And then HE moved.

And his breeder said “okay, let him go now.” And I dropped the lead… and holy cow.

For a split second I was afraid he was going to have too much intensity and might be too mouthy or try to grab wool, but NOPE. He stayed back just enough to keep them moving and never ONCE tried to grab with his mouth (YAY!!) He moved them around us in a circle in the pen and when one broke away to run the other direction, he hesitated for just a second like he wasn’t totally sure which sheep to move… then broke off with it to move it back in with the group.

My smile was probably ridiculously huge. His breeder says next time we’ll get the stick out and try a bit for real, but at least we know the dog doesn’t have a lack of instinct.

I am SO SO SO HAPPY!!!!!

I almost took my camera with me, but I wasn’t positive we would be getting him on sheep, so I didn’t bother… so I have no pics. We actually only went out there today to get our agility lesson in, because Tuesday (when we usually go out there) is going to be really hot, and afterwards we just went ahead and took him in with the sheep. Normally that’s an awful lot to do (and OMG HE IS SO TIRED HAHAHAHAHA! He’s been laying at my feet pretty much all night. I HAVE DEFEATED THE MONSTER!!) but I think J was getting as anxious as I am to see what he would do!

I do want to work on a “stop” command with him that he will do quickly and from a distance, like a lie down, or even simply a FREEZE would do, but I’d rather him lie down. I am half-tempted to train him to immediately drop to the ground if I say “RED LIGHT!!” and release him with “GREEN LIGHT!” Okay maybe a bit more than just half-tempted.

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