A few stock dogging friends were game to take advantage of the great Fall weather and so this weekend was full of working stock dogs.
When I started using / training stock dogs I could do little but compare my dogs to others to gauge how we were doing; a hugely counterproductive practice but one that was almost necessary. When you don’t have a standard of your own for how things should be, and little confidence to establish one, you look to what others are doing to get yourself started. You try to keep up to something they are and you are not. Eventually that doesn’t work for you anymore, you adjust and you find your own way.
Being blessed with this life of sheep and dogs, and having opportunities to work with various dogs has provided a very different feeling about what I want in a working dog and what a dog represents to me, to my life. When I go back to comparing to someone else, this gets muddied.
Not every dog will be the superstar, but every dog will teach us exactly what we need to know. This is true whether the dog is our own or another persons and only in our hands for the moment.