Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Working Dogs

So I needed to move some sheep around the rain....and since I was already wet I decided to make work for both the dogs. First, let me apologize, I have no pictures as I am not yet talented enough to keep an eye on Tucker, yell at other barking dogs, watch horses reactions for signs of panic, watch sheep reactions since it requires moving them where there aren't any fences for a time being, and working/watching my dog. So I will insert a pic of Jen working over the summer for your viewing pleasure at the end.

First I took Spottie out and got all the sheep in the round pen, the 2 that I was keeping out of the main flock to strengthen up and then the rest of the flock as I wanted to move them somewhere else for a few hours. Spottie works well so truthfully there isn't much to talk about with her, except we are working on hind end strengh. Which I oddly enough have a lot of experience in with some of those techniques are going to work on Spottie, we will see if that works out for her too!

After I had the sheep all put into the round pen, I put Spottie up and got out Jen. I wanted to push the sheep up to me so I could check eye color and worm if necessary. I also wanted to check feet because I'm a horrible owner and I hate doing feet unless absolutely necessary. Don't worry they don't suffer and they eventually get done. She did a great job at that. She occasionally creeps up on her belly still but a firm lie down keeps that under control. And if one splits off she takes that as a reason to very quickly make sure its put back in its place. She doesn't grip anymore but she sure is quick if they try to make a break for it which tends to upset the other sheep. But all in all she did well. I guess nutty sheep don't particularly scare me, so when they get a little upset, I just keep working.

We have fenced off the bottom section of the pasture as we are going to till it up this fall and replant seed since it isn't very good forage for either horse nor sheep down there. When I am taking the sheep down, I typically move the horses over to a paddock so they don't intermingle. Well it was raining and I was lazy. I had thrown some hay out to the horses so I thought they might stay up top while I had Jen pushed sheep to the bottom. They did and Jen managed to drive the sheep down through 2 gates and into the bottom. I'm really learning to trust my dog, its hard for me she started out as a sulky, sharky, fast dog. She is doing if we can only learn inside flanks! If i'm in the picture we have this huge wide flank or either a sulky short flank!

Jen works so well around quiet women......I have been trying to just have her around men or people with more presence with me. Not working, just around them as she tends to get very sulky if she feels a strong person is around......not sure how to fix that but we keep moving onward!

I'm more than happy with both my dogs.....and soon I'll have that puppy to start! Thank you Robin for Spottie, she has taught me a lot in the short amount of time I have had her and she is a riot in the house and magically gets along with everyone!

Monday, October 5, 2009

OK OK I know I haven't blogged in a while!

So there has been a lot going on lately!!

First, I went to my first dog trial 2 weekends ago. Boy, now I'm hooked! Being a former competitive equestrian, I really have the desire to now be a competitive dog handler! I replay it over and over again in my mind and just think of all the things I could have done better. But I think we all did OK for our first trial....2nd in P/N with Spottie and 6th in N/N with Jen. It was Jen's first trial as well and the competition wasn't exactly easy either! Spottie is down to her ideal weight but we now need to work on Endurance!

Second, Dutch is growing and growing. He is up to about 15 lbs now and he thinks he is King of the Hill (see below). He continues to be a great puppy and gets along well with everyone. I have to say, I have been keeping my sisters 6 month old lab for the last 2 months who never quite got dog manners, the first time someone growled at Dutch over a bone, I was ECSTATIC to see him back off and find a different bone!! His ears have started to stand...OK well they both stood for a while, now only one stands, the other is a 1/2 way up other 1/2 sideways ear! But its CUTE!

Thats all for now.......There will be more to come! We are entered in a couple of other trials coming up and I will try to get better updated pics of the puppy and the other happenings around the farm!