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

New Herding Title for Drummer

On July 23, 2015, the CCCC held its sheepherding trials at the Winchester Ranch south of Pincher Creek, Alberta. Two days of Stock Dog Trialing  from Started to Advanced were offered, one trial per day.

Stockdog courses are set up to simulate chores that dogs would need to do while on the ranch.
The Intermediate Course started with the "Take Pen", a 12 x 12 foot pen where the dog picked up the sheep. 
From there, he had to drive or fetch the sheep through a y-chute.

Approaching the Y-chute.

Through the Y-chute 

From the Y-chute, we had to approach the handler's cone and 
send our dog on a drive (taking the sheep away from the handler in a straight line) 
from our post to the small exit gate at the SW end of the arena.

As you can see, Drummer did an amazing job of driving and I got to remain at the
handler's post (which is actually an Advanced drive). 
Once at the gate, we were to open it and allow the sheep to drift through it into 
another pasture and up the hill to the fence where three sheep and a calf were penned.
We had to stay in one corner of the pasture and send our dog to gather the sheep.
The first time I send Drummer, he wasn't sure where he was supposed to go and he ended up all the way around the round pen at the entrance across from where I was.
He was very worried and I thought he would give up so I just whistled him back to me and reset him and, because I just didn't know what I could do to encourage him to do something different that would actually put him in a position to gather the sheep, I knelt down beside him and I whispered, "Are you ready, Buddy?  SIC 'EM!!! "  And away he flew, straight up the hill, through the thistles to the fence line.  The sheep saw him coming and they headed down the fence. Drummer thought he should include the calf and three more sheep in his flock, but I gave him the away command, and when he took it and started to bring the sheep!  I was so excited that I yelled, "Atta Boy! You sic those suckers!"

And he did, but he also powered down on his own and brought them in a straight line right to my feet!

I was so proud of him.  Our next task involved us taking the sheep back up the hill part way and then bringing them down over a bridge.  

Drummer covered like a pro, keeping the sheep from running back to the top of the pasture.

He never let them stay back or get ahead.  Just did a really nice job.

Once we reached the bridge, he moved to the back and side of the flock and began to push them over the bridge after me.

At one point, he got a bit overzealous and got ahead of the last sheep's shoulder, stopping it.

I told him to go back and he did.

Off to the dreaded Freestanding Pen. 
I lost SLEEP over the PEN. 

I tried to set it up so that Drummer could stay between the sheep and the draw of the other sheep.

I intended to be in a position to send Drummer on a wide flank to the red shed which would put him in a good position to move the sheep to me.
The first time, as I was opening the gate, the sheep moved past me towards the arena and I had to send Drummer to block them and send them back past the gate. 

Then I opened the gate.

And then I sent him on his flank to push the sheep into the gate.

You can see him coming around the side of the red shed.  The sheep have their heads turned to me and they are ready and willing to come into the pen.

          And they are IN!!! 
We then had to take all seven sheep to the round pen and sort three with the same colored collars into the pen.  Mine lined up like they knew what to do.  Lotto Sort!!!

                   And it was over!   We had achieved our Intermediate title with a Reserve High in Trial and now we had qualified in our first Advanced run.  What a good dog. 

That'll do, Drum.  That'll do. 

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