Bronwen's Training
Great job, I agree with Ember in that you should be careful of repeating commands to much. I use hand signals as well as verbal right from the start with my pups and it works really well. In many training sessions there is never a word spoken. I think BC's are particularly good at reading body language so why not play to their strengths, it all good fun.
Performing with distractions will come with time and practice, it's a bit of a stumbling block with mine as well because they live rather isolated lives and just don't get many opportunities. Mine a complete and utter sticky beaks at the best of times LOL.
As others have suggested they do seem to reach an age where suddenly it all falls together. Max seemed to almost mature overnight at around 12 months. Max cracks me up as when I am working with Jasper Max is often there in the background following all the directions. I do work with them together and give different direction but unless I have been specific i.e.; Max- sit, Jasper spin, Max will just do it all.

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