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MickeyDogs

Shedding - a Discussion

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At a recent sheepdog trial I was sitting with a more experienced handler as we watched the competitor on the field work the shed. My companion was giving good commentary and at one time pointed out that the lamb in the group had its head down. The way it was stated signified to me that the lamb's behavior had meaning to my companion but being too shy I couldn't ask what.

 

So, here's my question to all of you experienced (or not :rolleyes: ) handlers - what behavior do you observe in the sheep that help you set up and successfully shed?

 

What was the significance of the lamb having its head down? At this trial we were allowed to take any sheep, not necessarily the last one on the head.

 

Thanks for any insight you can give me!

 

Still learning on the curve...

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Could mean it would be willing to stay put while the others drifted off to get a shed. I don't typically try to shed off a lamb at a trial, but if that's what presents itself, I'd go for it.

Renee

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I agree with Renee--if the lamb is looking down, it might hang back, but I wouldn't want to count on that once the adults started moving!

 

J.

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Thanks for your replies...

 

So let me ask you this - as you have the dog drive the sheep through the course are you thinking of the shed? If so, are you studying the sheep? Other than the obvious - observing the one that hangs back or otherwise pulls away from the others - what do you observe that helps you with the shed?

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Deb,

I do pay attention to the sheep as they go through the course, more for general impressions than specific "which ones I can shed." This is largely because time after time I've watched runs where sheep are splitting all around the course and you think they'll be easy to shed, then they get in the shedding ring and you can't pry them apart with a crowbar! So when I'm watching sheep around the course, I pay attention to whether any seem particularly stuck on one another, who the leader is (since I will try to line the sheep out toward the draw so the draw can pull them forward and help open the hole to call the dog through), where the draws are relative to the shedding ring, which sheep seem more pulled toward the draw, etc.

 

J.

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