Ollie and I went to a herding seminar today which basically consisted of instincts tests(which he's already had but I decided to do it again just because)and lessons for everyone who signed up. I have to say that I'm really proud of my boy today! We were the last ones to arrive and when we got there my stomach kind of dropped because there were A LOT of dogs and Ollie's been having some adolescent fear barking reactivity issues with dogs since he hit puberty but not ONE peep out of him.
I was actually a little worried at first because he was the quietest dog there, all the other dogs would go nuts watching the other dogs in the pen with the sheep but Ollie so was cool, calm and collected that I thought he'd lost interest. That was until it was our turn in the corral and it was as if a light had been switched and bam straight into work mode he went.
For my lesson I was in the pen without the instructor(they believe in teaching their students how to work their own dogs) but she and another instructor familiar with GSD's gave me directions on the sideline. Well I can say I had no idea how physical a job learning how to herd is, I was literally running pretty much the whole time in 80+ temperatures.... I was not prepared for this LOL but my husband told me I had a giant smile plastered on my face the entire time anyways.
At the end she told me Ollie is a very smart puppy who responds VERY well to the stick(which is important)... Some of the other dogs had to be whacked on the nose but with Ollie all I had to do was slap the ground and say a loud 'AHH' to get him to stop what he was doing. He and an Aussie there were the only dogs to run in wide circles around the sheep which I guess is important(no idea, still learning) and he kept them together. I learned the very basics of moving the sheep and getting Ollie to change directions.
All in all it was a great day and I could not be prouder of Ollie's good behavior and think he did fantastic for an 8 month old puppy. The instructor also told me he'd be ready to start trialing VERY soon *gulp*. I just hope I can keep up and don't let him down.
Unfortunately I didn't get any video or many pictures because I was too busy and had my hands full working with him, I will post what I do have later!
One thing I noticed from his last instinct test(posted below) is that he showed SO much more confidence, he did not show any fear of the sheep at all this time. Which is something I was worried about.