Lilly’s Herding Instinct Test, Part 3
Following a break to rest and drink, Lilly entered the round pen for the third and final time in her 1-hour herding instinct test. The task of working livestock is one of the most mentally taxing things a dog can do. Lilly showed tremendous stamina of body and brain. Still, she went a little wild on her third try.
She chased, then regained composure. She worked the flock a bit, but Lilly got nippy and pushy again with the goats, so we stopped before things went completely to pot.
Perhaps the most important thing for our loyal readers and fans to notice in this third and final herding instinct test video is that Lilly continued to work … even when the farm dogs start barking when a couple of people and a couple of new dogs arrived.
This is important development for a few reasons:
- Lilly is afraid of other dogs.
- Lilly typically will not “work” (particularly do agility) in front of other dogs.
- Lilly is wildly sound sensitive and often shuts down or freaks out if there is unexpected noise.
Ultimately, in her first 1 hour of herding, Lilly NEVER did get the whole idea of not following the goats so closely. Maybe that will come with time.
Lilly did, however, show decent progress. She appears to have some basic instinct for the work, but we won’t really know what’s what until she has a few more lessons. If she continues to progress, that’s good. If she plateaus or back-slides, that’s not so good.
Because it’s both a financial and time commitment (at least a 1/2 day, including prep and drive time), I’ll have to work out some details in the coming weeks.
BUT, I hope to get Lilly out to the farm again every other week (as weather also allows) until we figure out if she makes progress. Then, if so, we might have to find time/$$ to go once a week for a while.
I am, however, lucky that so far Lilly does show good stamina … because Cathy can get a lot done in an hour, if Lilly keeps working hard.
Once again, I’ve embedded the full-size video file below. If your Internet connection speed is slow, you’ll probably be happier with the condensed video file link instead. This one is about 5 minutes.