Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Proper working sheepdog!

I'm soooo pleased with Fox. He had his first experiences of proper sheep work yesterday and today, gathering for Thomas Lowther, one of our local farmers. Yesterday he was generally good as he brought in the tups and wethers, but boiled over a little at times and charged in; then realised that he was being an idiot and backed off again. Today he was a star and first gathered a field of over 200 ewes and lambs, drove them down a track and across to the common. The next job was another group of 200+ ewes with twins and triplets, who were out on the fell land and needed bringing in to have their feet done and lambs worming. Fox brought them out from between the longhorn cattle, who were also in the field, and covered any that tried to break away. He turned the lambs with his body without putting a tooth on a single one which was a relief since Tom said that his previous shepherd's dog had a bit of a habit of nipping their leg tendons leaving them lame. Fox is knackered but happy now :o) It's a shame that the only photo I had time to take was this one of him driving the flock ahead of him.

6 comments:

Deborah said...

How inspiring! I have a flock of only 18 Shetlands and a single babydoll in the U.S. My English shepherd is only a year old, but he has enough trouble with this tiny flock. The thought of a single dog facing 200 sheep is beyond my imagination!

Jenny Holden said...

Believe it or not it's often easier on a big flock, depending on the dog of course, because they are more inclined to cling together in a big group. My 9 Shetlands are a nightmare! Fox could see the point of moving these big groups. I think he gets rather fed up when we're training and taking a few sheep round and round a field! Your boy is only a baby, give him time, and plenty of training!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

You must be very proud of Fox -- and should be!

Nancy K. said...

WOW! Awesome job, Fox!!

Jenny Holden said...

I am very proud of him. I'm not sure that we'll be trialling but if he makes a great flock dog then that's fine by me!

Tammy said...

Wow - that is fantastic Jenny - you must be so proud of Fox. My Border Collie wisp is more interested in herding my ducks than my sheep - she turns tail and runs if one of the sheep turn around and look at her.
However - she was doing pretty good with the driving last year - we're just out of practice - I think.