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"Real" Sheep!!

We've been herding for a little while now and, finally, are getting to play with some "real" (also known as lighter) sheep. The group we started with are like old friends now, and being a bit "heavier" (think leaning heavily against you - the handler- for safety!) are best to learn the basics.

Because I'm in the field with both dogs and, unlike them, I need to THINK all the time, (read not get my phone out and snap pics), I don't have many images of us herding. The photo above is of Lacy watching the flock, with this spring's lambs, from the next field over.

At any rate, all of us have come along enough to say "Good-bye" to our friends, the beginner sheep group, and try our skills with some new ones. These new sheep are more skittish and much more inclined to leave both me and the dogs so it takes a bit more finesse to move them where we want.

Both dogs have learned to find the balance point, fetch the group - both along a fence and in the open field, stop when asked and also,when the sheep and I stop, take the sheep out of a pen and put them back, "go out" to gather the group and bring them to me, along with the general calm behaviors needed to reassure prey animals that the dog involved isn't going to attack them!

Both dogs have come a long way and, with luck, we will do well in our first herding trial in June.

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