Beckett had a really busy weekend. On Saturday we attended the Krazy Kanines Fall fun trial. We were very lucky to have nice weather for the long weekend. The field was still somewhat soggy though as a result of all the rain the previous week. Beckett and I ran the Starters Standard and then the Advanced Standard. He did really well and I was really happy with his contacts. Beckett and I had to leave the fun trial to go to his agility class. I got back to the fun trial in time to let Tucker do a Jumpers run, after all the old guy still likes to play and the young guy can't have all the fun.
Sunday, my family had our Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's place but the dogs always get to join us. The sad part of Sunday was closing down the agility field that morning. As you never known in this part of Canada, we could have good weather now for weeks but we could also have snow by the end of the month.
But Monday was the day we were really waiting for, Beckett went for a Herding Instinct Test. It was a gorgeous fall day; a great day for a drive to Ewenique Farms in Alfred Ontario, which is about 55 kilometers from my place. We got there in time to see about five other dogs being tested. It was amazing to see the change in behaviour when dogs realized that they could move the sheep. Then it was Beckett's turn; he was the last dog to be tested. At first he didn't seem interested at all and then a little nervous when the Border Collie ran at the sheep. But he was a brave boy and kept coming back to me, each time he spooked. It seemed to me that our test took longer than some of the other dogs, maybe because we were the last dog but then maybe it just seemed long because I was in the pen just hoping that Beckett would show some interest in herding the sheep. Natalie, the tester, twice pulled a sheep from the herd for Beckett to check out. The second time I gently made him get really close, afterwards he seemed to catch on that the sheep weren't going to bother him and then he realized that he could move the sheep around. Then you could see those instincts kick in as he ran back and forth behind the small herd of sheep. He really seemed to be enjoying it by the end and was confident enough to move away from me and go herd sheep.
Beckett passed the herding instinct test, so my little Beckett boy really is a sheepdog and not just a "sheepish" dog. Well, maybe just a little bit sheepish.
We had a lot of fun trying it out. I went to the test just wanting to see what he would do but you never know, maybe there are some herding lessons in Beckett's future.