Well last night I think I got a taste of what it is like running with a border collie. If I ever mention the want to get a border collie someone please refer me to this post unless I'm in incredible shape and can run 10 miles without losing my breath.
Bernie was WIRED last night. We did the standard course first and it was pretty winding - she decided I wasn't giving instructions fast enough and started taking obstacles on her own or popping behind one of the tunnels to eat acorns. All the dogs did the acorn bit, only my dog will go take dog walk on her own and come back to me happy as can be to take more jumps and stuff without my instruction.
Towards the end of the course I got her focus back, screwed up on a rear cross and lost her again (she did A-Frame three times) and then we had a good finish.
I was dying. The air was cold so I'm coughing and listening to Maren give me tips on what to work on and where we did good at the same time. She said she'd never seen Bernie run so fast. It was like the dog had speed boots on and wings and morphed into border collie mode.
I got her to play a good game of tug with me before we ran the winding jumpers course. I think I got out some of her energies because she paid attention to me on that one and I got some fantastic distance on her in several places. Maren suggested I work on lots of layering with her since she's comfortable working away from me. Sunday if I have time I'm going to start working on "out" with her so she can learn to discriminate better with a verbal command.
I guess I don't realize how rare it is to have a dog that will take long contact obstacles like the dog walk on her own without me having to be anywhere near her. In my head I just think, "well thats independent Bernie for ya".
I'll be glad when she is consistantly performing so I can consider trialing her again. At the rate we're going I don't think it'll take long.