Trials and Tribulations of Stockhandling

This weekend I learned a lot about pacing and that Scot is not as young and in shape as he used to be. But then again, who is?

Exhausted Scot

I have come enjoy working set out and general helping at trials more than actual running. This especially true lately as I have come to the probable limits to what Scot will do. He has a serious issue with drives at distance. The actual distance he will actually drive depends on many factors. Some of which are, how tired he is, how tough I am being with him or how likely I am to ‘impose my will.’ Each of these, depending on severity will lengthen or shorten how far he will drive before he decides that he will over flank and begin fetching the sheep back to me. This seriously frustrating as we are now at a level where we MUST consistently drive bigger distances to compete.

Both days we were competing in Pro Novice, but doing set out for Ranch as well as moving the stock around prior to start. So when it was our turn to run he was SLOW. Scot overshot the outrun and the sheep, at this trial in particular, will head for the exhaust area at any chance. Scot is usually fast enough to cover, but not today. Too much work ahead of his run and too much urban life.


So on Sunday I made a point of making him be still until it was our turn. His outrun, lift and fetch were good, not great, but he didn’t lose the sheep and he and they were under control. They rounded the post and started driving to the gate. He was probably 10 yards from clearing the gate when he over corrected and started fetching. After about 3-4 minutes of trying I called the run.

Stock to be handledMost of times when we have had mistakes they were mine or because of me. Not this time, it was all him. Whether it was because he was tired or what, it was his decision not to drive that caused this particular run to implode. ARGHHH!

Next out


There is so much fun and frustration. He is a solid dog and I couldn’t ask for better dog to start with, but I think that with my schedule, I am approaching his limits. Time for just focusing on that which we both do well.



At the Top

(From L to R) Belle, Scot, Baxter and Dr. Dave at the holding pen above the course.

About urbanherder

border collie owner, dog lover, urban herder, cyclist, Mac guy, bikeguy, Red Wing and hockey fan
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2 Responses to Trials and Tribulations of Stockhandling

  1. stacey says:

    Do you know the details on the trial coming up in Poway in April 2013, cant find details about it, location times etc.

  2. urbanherder says:

    Here is the latest on the upcoming Poway USBCHA Trial:

    The Dunnigan Hills SDT has been sanctioned for the same weekend in April as the Action K9 Spring Fling SDT. In order to accommodate handlers who wish to run in both events, we are moving the Action K9 trial >up< to the prior weekend. The Action K9 Spring Fling SDT will be held April 19-21. USBCHA-sanctioned Open and Nursery will run on Friday and Saturday. Pro-Novice and Ranch classes will run two rounds on Sunday. Entries will open on 20 March, closing date is 08 April. Entry form will be available by tomorrow, 12 March, on the web at

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