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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Walking Up

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Things have calmed down a bit. The sheep have started behaving and coming in for their evening snack now that we’re working them in the morning.

I’ve reached a stumbling block that I need to unravel. Moss is really doing well on his little outruns as long as I’m right with the sheep. The sheep tend to get right on the fence so he has no way to get around without coming in too close. (If I’m not right there, Moss will dive in and take a cheap shot at a leg) Then the sheep are past me too fast so Moss is circling instead of lifting. I’m going to see if they’ll move out a little for a handful of grain. I have considered taking Doc in with us but I’m afraid that might get out of control. Doc likes to keep things moving.

Once we get the sheep moved, Moss really is doing well. I almost never thought I’d see Moss behind the sheep, walking, and, even more amazing, the sheep walking. I wish I could handle a camera and the dog at the same time.

Moss is Still Learning

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We’re working on outruns and holding sheep to the fence. We had to get the sheep in last night since they refused to come in for grain. Moss has no outrun, no flanks and not much of a stop any more. He did a lot of circling and losing his sheep. We finally go them headed the right way and they went in their pen, but Moss was exhausted. I may have to cut back a bit on the training and give him some time to rest.

Doc is just doing a great job sorting the sheep for me. It was a delight this morning.

The Dogs of Awe

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Doc watchingI am just in awe of my two dogs. Doc is getting on in years and is a bit arthritic.When you put a hand on his back, you can feel bones, even though he’s not thin at all.

Sheep in a big field can easily outrun him. But put him in a small pen and he’s all business. He has no fear of diving into the corners and biting sheep butts. He WILL move them out of there. If they run for it, he just lopes after them and brings them back. He doesn’t seem the worse for wear and it’s work he’s proud to do.

Moss, on the other hand, was wild when he first turned on to sheep. This morning, he WALKED up on his sheep – several times. He is thinking and watching. He’s still a little uncertain about what he’s supposed to do, but he is trying his best. And when I said, “that’ll do” he turned and came right with me to the gate.

Another Week of Sheep Work

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Moss did great this morning on his sheep work. What I love about this dog is that after a period of time away from sheep, he just starts again right where he left off. No warm up needed. He even laid down on his own on the way to the barn. Just a little practice I guess.

When we got in on the sheep there was no diving in and ankle biting. He still needs to learn to get out more but it will come.

Later, in the barn, he tried to jump a low fence and tripped. I heard his chin hit the cement floor. He really was hurting. He’s ok but I’m sure it’s sore. I gave him an aspirin.

In Which I Learn Something

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I’m determined to make Doc feel better. He’s just so itchy he is miserable. I’ve been bathing him with a good medicated shampoo and that took care of the secondary yeast infection that was starting up. But it did nothing for the itch. Moss scratches too but so far no skin issues. Doc Looking

He might have flea allergies, but we haven’t had a flea around in a year. They didn’t scratch during the winter, so I suspect it’s not food allergy. I tried some good dog food and grain free food but couldn’t tell any difference.

So that leaves environmental allergies. I’ve started them on Omega 3 caps but haven’t had enough time to see if that helps. I just read that quercetin (which is in apples) and bromelain (in pineapple and papayas. I used to give that to my angora rabbits) can help too. That’s on my list for the next trip to a real grocery store..

I also read that foot baths with providone iodine can help since dogs are running barefoot through the stuff that is causing the allergic reaction. So day one for foot baths. Doc was not amused.

Moss Walks Up

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ImageMoss was good this morning as he has been. After a few minutes I unsnapped the line to see if he would continue to obey. He did. We had a good group of sheep that didn’t run too fast or jam into corners. He brought them to the center of the pen and they actually stopped for a minute. I told Moss to walk up and he actually did for a few steps. When I tried it again in a minute, I could see that this time he was ready to spring so I told him to lie down. He did. We haven’t been able to do a nice walk up again but it will come.

The sheep have figured out that if I try to bring them out of the small back pen that I’m going to work them with a dog. They decided they are just not going to come out and run to the back and jam themselves into a corner pen. I was afraid Doc would get trampled but he got right in there and brought them out. At one point they all stood at the gate and wouldn’t come through. Doc had no problem biting them on the rear to get them to move. Not too bad for a gimpy ole timer…

Wearing!

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Doc 4-28-13

Doc is having a grand time helping me sort sheep for Moss to work. He won’t lie down now. It takes too much time for him to get down and even more to get up again. I can sympathize! But he will stop and stand. That works fine. He only occasionally pushes the sheep into me and almost knocks me down…

Moss is still doing great. He’s still a little close but we’re working on that. He can’t really get around the sheep since they like to huddle in a corner and that’s when he dives in. I think it’s just too much pressure for him. Once he gets them out in the open, he does fine.

What he is doing is wearing! That’s going behind the sheep and bringing them to me instead of just running in circles. He’s watching and changing direction when I move to block him.  I’m just so pleased with him with his training.

One thing I’ve seen in the house that I don’t like is Moss giving Doc the hard stare. No problems yet but I don’t like it. He stops and acts embarrassed if I scold him.