Yesterday I was one of three fairly novice handlers out at Dianne's for training. We seemed to be at a similar level in our training. Regardless, as relative beginners, we all make the same mistakes.
"Why are you bending down?"
"QUIT POINTING with that stock stick…its NOT A POINTER"
"QUIT GOING TO YOUR SHEEP. That is your DOG'S JOB!"
Over and over. Until our body's assimilate some sort of muscle memory and natural timing and we naturally react the right way to our dog's mistakes, we are in for a long bent over trek down wrong flank road. In an effort to simplify the training process and save Dianne from turning to strong drink or…drugs, I was thinking that there should be a line of Novice Stock Handler tools.
The Get Back Dog Tongs – instead of 2 stock sticks, try something more clackier and capable of not just gentle smacking, but grabbing and tossing when needed. These long handled Salad Tongs are perfect for Mixed Green Handlers. Comes in 2 sizes, Get Back and I SAID GET OUT OF IT.
The Upright Truss - This stiff torso suit encorporates old-fashioned sanitarium functionality with dignified posture. The metal-enforced straight-jacket design insists that the handler remain upright while not waving his/her arms in any sort of useless scooping motion. Comes in off-white and beige.
The Talking Stock Wand – Screams 'Throw me!' when sensors indicate that a dog is getting too close to the sheep and 'I AM NOT A POINTER' when held at an angle useless for blocking. Also available in 'SMACK YOUR DOG ON THE NOSE!' and 'WHERE IS MY SALAD TONG?"
Sheep Be Gone – Coyote Urine mixed with the yummie smell of roasting leg of lamb deters even the stickiest of sheep from hanging out at your flanks.
Directional Shoes – These stylish oxfords have 'Come bye' and 'Away' printed on the toes to keep novice handlers from getting confused and reinforcing their dogs natural inclination to think them untrustworthy for repeatedly screeching one direction while indicating another with their body. Synchronized motion and voice activations take things a bit further when necessary, prompting these slip on footwear to issue gentle electric 'corrections' to an especially oblivious handler; one screaming 'COME BY' three times while stepping with potty dance consistency to the right.
Yes, I was drinking when I wrote this.