Kindly penned by James Beattie who hosted the clinic
Having the been asked to host the clinic back in April, the time just seemed to fly by and before I knew it we were at Scot Sheep on the BATWK stand for the day meeting Adam and Moss, and then transporting them up to ours ready for the clinic. Luckily I had started set up of pens the weekend before but still had a hectic day Friday doing the finishing touches.
On to Saturday and we had a fair selection of dogs and handlers from as far away as the Orkney Islands in the north to Edinburgh in the south. Adam started the day with a talk about what and how he would go about the weekend and then went round the group asking us to give a little talk about what we were looking to get out of our dogs and ourselves over the weekend.
Next up we started in the pen each taking a turn so Adam could see where we were at with dogs and showing how he would progress with each dog. I will say we had a very well behaved selection of dogs on the day as they were all gathered around
the pen and there was very little trouble. I do think that it is better if dogs can be kept away from pen area unless they are having their turn. I think this lets young dogs/pups have full attention on stock with no distractions. After lunch it was into the race for a bit of backing and other tips for race work.
With everybody keen to get their dogs out, and try out some of the tips picked up we had dogs working in two pens and in the race for the last part of the afternoon.
After a good meal and chat on Saturday night, the Sunday clinic started with a few fresh faces but these were dogs who were well on in there training so fitted in well with Sundays field work. Again, as the afternoon wore on we had dogs in two pens, the race, and in the field trying out what they had learned.
All in all it was a successful weekend which I enjoyed hosting and taking part. I learned a few things and enjoyed meeting the people and dogs, and the time spent with Adam and Moss. Are there lessons to be learned and would I do some things differently next time? Most definitely.
I would like to thank everybody who made the weekend possible, including: Laura and Ewan for the loan of sheep gates, Adam and Moss for the clinic, all at BATWK for all the behind the scene organisation, Alexander Gray for the loan of extra sheep, and everyone & their dogs for coming. I hope you all enjoyed it and learnt something useful.