Connemara's Drummer Boy, CD, CGN, RE, USA RN, HI, SdS, SHDMX,

Connemara's Drummer Boy, CD, CGN, RE, USA RN, HI, SdS, SHDMX,
Little Dog..... Big Attitude

Sheepherding today

Today will go on record as a great day sheepherding. I would like to endorse the online sheepherding lessons given by AltaPete Stockdogs.  I have not been able to get through the drifts where our sheep are kept in order to do any herding since January 9th, but today I took Hunter, my GSD, and Drummer, the sheltie for their first practice using the information on the videos. I was stoked!!!

Keeping in mind that these dogs are NOT border collies by any means, the big thing is to get them to keep control of the sheep, take some direction from a distancd,  and be able to gather them from either side and bring them to me.  
We had a difficult set up in that we couldn't use either the arena or round pen so we had to just work them around the outside of the round pen in about a couple of large l-shaped field areas with 15 sheep inside the round pen as a draw. There were some log-piles and debri in the field and wouldn't you know that Hunter pushed a group of four past it and one jumped right into it!!!! And we had to stop the games and help it out, and it refused to move and Lore had to coax it up and no way was it happy. We managed to get it up and Lore pretty much pushed it along up to the top fence where she stayed with it, while Hunter and I went back for the others and brought them over to her and picked up the scared stray.

Hunter was really wanting to run flat out but he soon found that the fences didn't help him a bit and he couldn't cover the sheep when he kept falling through the snow.  I was concerned that he would hurt himself as he is a hulk of a dog, and he did do a lip skid and rasped his nose on a drift, but he settled in after a couple of really scary chases and he actually did some nice out-runs (better to his right than his left) and he actually did two really good inside flanks, thanks to Scott Glen's instructions to send the dog on a flank and then lie him down ( or at least stop him) call his name and send him  to the opposite flank.  Yes!!!!  It wasn't a far out-run but the dog stayed out and went deep enough for me to accept.

Drummer had a great day!  He zipped along the top of the snow with no problem and although I didn't try any inside flanks, I did manage to some nice sides and a really deep outrun and fetch. He was always in the right spot and the sheep respected him.  He is really easy to stop, too, which puts him in good position much more easily than Hunter.  I need to tell Hunter to stop 5 seconds before I do, as he has

Anyway, when we were bringing the sheep back to the opposite side of the pen, they took off like rabbits and Drummer lost one and I shooshed at him and he put on the overdrive and they both ended up at the pen entrance in short order.  Thankfully, Lore was shoveling out a pen and she opened the gate and let the sheep in and Drummer stopped on a dime.  He wanted to scoop it, but no way was he prepared to go past Lore to do it.

He has never been allowed to take off and try to outdo a sheep so it was good for me to see that he has speed and more speed to do it.  And, had the sheep been in the open, he would have fetched it me, no problem.

Tomorrow, hopefully, the pens will be clear, and the tractor will have cleaned up some of the gates and drifts so we will have an easier go of it, especially with the big dog. And maybe a longer long-line as the one I had wasn't going to work. 

No video...... just a great day to remember.

No comments: