You see those little specks in the distance along the track?
That's Chris leading Rosie and Braeface back to their own field yesterday. Today I repeated this performance because folk keep leaving gates open!
Now all this stomping about wouldn't seem so silly were it not for the fact that I own 2 sheepdogs who really ought to be making my life easier!
Fox works pretty well and is a useful fell dog, but he is so pushy that light sheep dash off into the distance as soon as look at him.My Shetlands are not used to being worked by a dog and throw a hissy fit as soon as Fox comes out. He can run round and head them in the right direction, but they get rather upset and are a nightmare to get into the pen. They will all follow a bucket fairly well (some of them too well!) but when it comes to penning there are inevitably a few who simply do not want to go in (you hear me Rebecca and Lunde?!).
I also have Whisper who desperately deserves to be in training now, but have no quiet sheep to run her round...
Make a concerted effort to "dog" my naughty sheep and make them workable!
Put sheep in pen and allow dog to run around. Persuade small dog to go both ways around the pen of sheep in a wide circle. When dog is doing the required action, put a command to it.
Sheep learn that presence of sheepdog does not mean instant death.
Young dog learns "Away," "Come Bye," "Lie Down" and to come away from the sheep without a fuss. She can also be taught to keep out and to move to 12 o'clock and stop. We also started to do a couple of outruns.
Whisper is a little star. Soooo much easier to train than Fox! When I say stop, she believes that I mean it :o)
And to all you sheepdog nerds, don't worry, I won't let Whisper spend much time "working" penned sheep or going round and round. I'm just trying to settle her and the sheep a bit!