I have had a bit of a break from training myself and my dogs on the sheep, but have decided to start again. They both love it more than anything else, more than toys, more than playing with kids and more than food. The first photo is of Daisy. She knows the basic commands, but doesn’t have the force to move our very stubborn sheep so we need the help of the ‘bucket of power’. This doesn’t bother her – she just loves working them.
Daisy rounds up the sheep and we practice moving them around the field, before putting them in the corral. The sheep go in quite easily as they get sheep nuts in there (bit of a cheat to be honest, but I need an easy life). Then I practice directional commands, downs and recall with Daisy round the corral. The dogs find it exhausting, but exhilarating – you can almost see the smile on Daisy’s face as we walk off.
Then it is Kai’s turn. As he is still young working the sheep makes him hysterical. He races round barking. At the moment I am just trying to teach him the basics. When working the sheep he completely forgets his down so we are working on that. He is slowly starting to associate ‘come by’ and ‘away’ with running in particular directions and has an idea that he should position himself directly opposite me with the sheep in between. However, we have a long way to go.
In this photo I look as if I am cross, I’m not, I am just concentrating. I have just managed to get him to down in the correct position – at last!
Before I worked the sheep with Kai we did some jumping practice and Kai for the first time ever did a set of full height jumps: 3 foot clear jump, 9 foot long jump, and a 6 foot scale. Nathan captured these brilliant shots of him in action.
All the running and jumping with Daisy Dog, Dream and Blossie has made Kainaat very strong and agile.