Monday, April 25, 2011

Grazing sheep

Our grass is starting to grow, and since I want to let the pasture grass get a good start before putting the sheep on it (experts recommend 4-6 inches high), I have been taking the sheep around other places that are not fenced and so will not get grazed much this summer.     Of course, without good dogs I couldn't do this- the sheep are faster than me and would just run off and get into places they shouldn't, like the road.    Yesterday the kids came and helped me.   We found a frisbee that had been lost before the snow last fall and the three of us played frisbee while the sheep ate and Ben watched the sheep.   I don't have Ben trained to boundaries so he doesn't know where I want the sheep, but if they start to really book he will collect them up again, or he'll just lie in the best spot for preventing them from escaping.   Or if I don't like where they are going I send Ben.     David also wanted to help so sometimes he got to tuck the wandering sheep back in if they weren't going very fast. 

I don't have any new pictures today so here are a couple of cute puppy shots.



Today I worked Sprite and Pepper, and both did really well.   Sprite was driving down the fence, with only a few reminders for commands.   She's also gotten good at putting the sheep through the free standing chute.   Her flanks are just so nice- it's awesome to have that naturally and not have to continually remind her to square up.   
Pepper did a lot of fetching of a larger group, and a little bit of driving.   I put her back on a really long line and then of course never needed it.  You think she knows the difference?  Darn smart dogs!  But she is getting more and more happy to be compliant -doing things just because I ask and being willing to listen.   It's only a few situations where she goes over the excitement threshold and her ears shut off.   None of that today though- good teamwork!

Ben as a puppy during the crazy ear stage

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