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End of the training season


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Well as the topic title says, it is kind of the end of the training season for us.

The days are short now, living just south of the arctic circle, and the unpredictable Icelandic weather has decided winter comes early this year.


The best training period is from the annual roundup September/October, until the time day length weather and the "fengitimi", when the rams are released in the sheep put a stop to it. At our place we keep the sheep stabled over the winter time. We will shear them next week.


In this period all the sheep are "available" for training, and it is often reasonable weather.


In that regard I got Gláma at the best possible time; the beginning of July, she was about a year old back then.


I feel we made the best of the fall, we trained at about every available time, on average about every other day.

Gláma now knows her flanks, walks up, we can wear pretty reasonable, though I´d like her to be a bit less pushy, working on that. Outruns are slowly getting longer and there is a beginning of driving.


Yes I know I am talking basics, but hey, it´s all new to me and we are both enjoying it very much.


At he moment I already consider Gláma a very useful farm dog, she has been helping to get sheep home last roundup , from the area around the farm.

I didn´t take her on the highland trips, when we go with a group of farmers on horseback/quads, to gather sheep over big unfenced areas of difficult terrain. Too young and inexperienced, and the stress/pressures are too high. Next year.


I have been wondering if it was a smart thing to keep a little group (four or so) yearlings (that is born last May), keep them lamb-less, and use them as training sheep the next months. I decided against it. Apart from being rather impractical (though nothing unmanageable) chances are that the training opportunities will be few and far in between.


At he moment I have the nicely dogged fall training group of six, and in the next week, two weeks (til shearing/fengitimi) I intend to work them with undogged sheep, creating a larger group for Gláma to work on. I will consider us lucky if we managed two or three sessions...


And then we take a winter break that will last about five months. The last couple of months of this period, weather permitting will be useful to teach Glama to run along with me while riding, without bothering the horse(s). That is more difficult to do in summer when you meet free range sheep everywhere...


Stockdog training will continue somewhere in May/June on the sheep that have turned out not to be with lamb. they will stay behind on the farm while the rest will be free range with their lambs.


So, that is where we stand at the moment, probably needles to say how happy I am with this dog. I suspect the feeling is mutual.

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I sure do hold back some ram lambs or wethers to train my pups on. It is very handy.

Ah well, uh, there you make a point. But I send my two wethers to the slaughter...They have been used as training sheep this spring/summer trying to make a stockdog out of Táta (failed btw). One was pretty stubborn, the other very flighty, the reason I didn´t want to use them for Gláma, I thought they had soured too much. In retrospect it´s not unlikely Gláma would have been able to manage them, she is quite an other caliber dog than Táta.

Well we´ll never know now...

I do have one ex-bottle lamb I won´t have in with the ram anyway, maybe I would be an idea to select two others with her. I still have some time to weigh the pro´s and con´s...

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