Before I got the ducks, I researched as much about herding as I could and watched a number of herding training videos. One of which was titled The Duck Bone by Joyce Norris. I found the set up intriguing and her reasoning for using pens set up in a bone formation to help a dog learn flanks and driving in tight pressure filled space made sense to me.
As Zora is very pressure sensitive, she and I have been practicing our herding in our wide open yard (I wish I had the video running while we were getting 4 of the 6 ducks into the bone pen. Zora was such a good dog and huge help). And I have been steadily introducing her to smaller penned off areas. Over the weekend, I had about a 1/4 of our yard fenced off and we worked the ducks in that area. Zora rocked it. For the 1st time. Previously in an area that small (about a 40×40 square) she would quit or only be able to handle the pressure for a short short period of time. I was very pleased with her.
Hence why today I felt she might be ready for the tighter spaces of the duck bone. And she was. I think she did really good work this morning. I, of course, still need a lot of work. One of the many reasons I love video and the ability to replay. And I feel I asked for too much too long in this session. Both she and the ducks were getting tired and I asked too much when I tried to change the criteria to her moving the ducks to me down the chute. my positioning for that was really poor, and asking her to hold pressure on the ducks in that scenario was too hard for her right then. We should have quit at about 5min after she got the ducks to move around the cone that had been just moments before not happening.