Monday, July 25, 2011



Yesterday was mostly hot, but it cooled off in the evening and at 8:00pm I went out to train Pepper, Tessa and Sprite.   Tessa is in heat now, but it didn't make a difference in her work.   I gave her only 3 sheep, and two of them rams, so she had to adjust herself down a little from the larger group that we were using.  The rams are pretty well behaved but are still rams and if you don't give them an escape route they are more likely to fight than other sheep.    So when we worked on some driving I made sure to keep Tessa back and not let her push into the fight zone.   Just her staring at the old ram was enough to get him to move.  

Pepper worked the other group in the L shaped field, which is tricky as they run around a narrow gate to get to the other side of some trees, so the dog has some interesting challenges there.  She did really well.  I didn't let her drive out ahead of me, but stayed right with her as she drove the sheep.  

Sprite worked the lambs in the large field, and I had one moment of shock.   I sent her over a hill on an outrun to start with-  we saw the sheep, but they saw us also and darted behind the hill just as I sent her.   When I didn't immediately have sheep coming at me I marched up to the top to see what she was doing- to my surprise there was no one there.   No Sprite, no sheep.   The grass is pretty high in some places, so I was searching the field for moving grass, then finally spotted them just to my left.   Evidently the sheep had bolted just to the left to go down in a dead end alleyway as Sprite was coming and she didn't know how to get them back out again without making a mess so she was just holding them there.  

This is a video of Kip, but it shows the alleyway where Sprite was holding the sheep.   The grass is higher now than it was in this video.

I had to go help her get around them, then of course they bolted for the other side of the pens off to the left in the video.   Once we got everyone collected we had a pretty nice session.   Sprite was a little too pushy on fetching them but had a really nice pace while driving.   I practiced driving a square around the middle of the open area- drive for one side of the square, have Sprite make the sheep do a 90 degree turn and drive another side, and so forth.  


  1. wow, anne! that sounds like a lot of work. the sun must set really that there in Wisconsin... there's no way i could get all that done between 8 and sun set here. :)

  2. I got done at 8:45 and there was still enough light to see. Summer is great!