Working the sheep

Daisy working the sheepToday’s post has a guest photographer – Nathan kindly took these pictures for me last weekend. I think he did a brilliant job – thank you Nathan.

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.

A happy dog who has done a great job

A happy dog who has done a great job

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.

Hysterical Kai

Hysterical Kai

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.

Kai working

Kai working

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!

The alpacas look faintly alarmed

The alpacas look faintly alarmed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kai clearing the 9 foot long jump with room to spare

Kai clearing the 9 foot long jump with room to spare

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.

Over the scale with one board out

Over the scale with one board out

Over the full height scale!

Over the full height scale!

 

 

 

 

 

All the running and jumping with Daisy Dog, Dream and Blossie has made Kainaat very strong and agile.

6 responses to “Working the sheep

  1. Beauuutiful work, photos, story. Love seeing the dogs at work/play. Thank you, Nathan, for letting us see Claire train the dogs. Lovely.

  2. Ah that’s my boy! Budding taste tester, budding photographer, budding chicken whisperer! Deanna is a brilliant photographer so she may fight over the camera another time 🙂 Shame we missed the turkeys hatching. We were duck racing in Grundisburgh!

    • I would say Nathan is an expert chicken whisperer! Deanna can have a go with the camera as well next time she is here. Duck racing or turkey hatching – it is a hard decision to make! Did your duck win?

  3. Our ducks didn’t win 😦 But it was a very funny site watching 2000 rubber ducks being washed down a ford in the middle of a pretty village! Brilliant way to raise funds for the Scouts.

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