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Doing Chores

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I've got some pictures of "doing chores" that I'm putting in a photo journal on my own web site (there's too many to put here). But here's some of what we have:


Bringing an old ewe with newborn twins up to the barn (one twin not cleaned up yet):




Gathering sheep from the old barn to sort and put up. Notice the shirt sleeves - it was in the sixties and the grass IS greening up a bit!




Splitting off a group to take up to the old barn - sorry, terrible picture but my camera takes an entire second to take a picture.




Putting the rest in a pen in the new barn.


Keeping them lined up - Patrick kept the door opening small to make it harder for Doug because they do this all the time. Doug the Dog is on his feet ready to cover any breakaways. The white dog is a livestock guardian - he doesn't herd, he's a draw for the sheep, in fact, since they want to run to him. Bothersome but Doug has learned to compensate for that.




Letting off the pressure once they committed to going in. He will continue to hold them back from the open gate until Patrick gets over there to close it. This is handy when loading trailers.




Driving sheep up from the old barn to be examined in the corner. We are checking old Friendly for mastitis since we took her lambs from her.




Doug has learned which one we want since we've done this every day this week - he holds her in the group with his eye and allows Patrick to grab her. The rest of the group relaxes and checks their lambs, since they know it's not them!




Notice how Doug doesn't have his head way down in most of these pictures. Our sheep need a dog with a more plain style. I'm not exactly sure why, but I do know that dogs with more eye have trouble handling these sheep, unless they can learn to keep their heads up like Doug the Dog has done. He's got a fair amount of eye, as you can see in the driving picture, but he's learned to turn it down in most of his work. It took a few weeks but he did make the adjustment.


A somewhat rhetorical question directed at those who think it's sufficient to get a "herding instinct test" on their dog to find out whether the dog has got what it takes: how would you know whether your dog can do the sort of stuff Doug the Dog does (including adjusting his style of work for the livestock), unless the dog actually works?

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Rebecca, I just finished enjoying looking through these farm working pictures of yours!


I always enjoy seeing some at-home work with the dogs, as well as the beautiful trial photos we get to enjoy on the boards.


A good job of real farm work is my favorite display of working dog usefulness!

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