Thursday, March 17, 2011

Working puppies

Today was the day to work the puppies.  We have a pretty good group of older lambs/wethers plus the ram so we don't have to worry about the ewes that are lambing and can't be worked.    Sally is a 9 month old pup from Smudge and Emma's litter.   She got to work sheep in the arena down at my parents' farm and did really well.   I let her circle the sheep and hold them to me.  She changes direction and kicks out off the sheep very easily, and stops when I get between her and the sheep, and "that'll do's" really easily.   Overall she's just a pleasure to work and really wants to please, also she loves to work, so that's a good combination.   I haven't started asking for a down with her yet, just a standing stop.     


 Tessa is Sally's littermate, and she also got to work today.  I have been doing a little more consistent training with her because she seemed able to take pressure earlier on than Sally did.    She has a more of a tendency to come in close and want to bite heels also.   She seems to have a bit of eye and works similar to Hank when he was that age, which makes me very excited.  I really like Hank, for all his pushiness, or maybe because of it.    

With her today I did some of the exercises from Tenley's clinic.  First we walked around the sheep together and I had her move off my pressure to the side until she was going around a wider circle and I was closer to the center, then I dropped my rope and let her go around 360 degrees, then blocked her and stopped her.   First I get her to stop moving, then ask for a down.   She's not really quick about it, but she'll do it.  

I worked on having her walk up next to me and do a very short drive, just moving the sheep a few feet really until they were on the fence.   The first time she was really pulling to the side trying to go around, but now she's starting to walk straight.  

Tessa is in heat now but it doesn't seem to bother her attitude about working.

Serious dog Tessa

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