Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fun with sheep

Today Scout and Sally and I had a fun day with sheep.  I had read in our kennel club newsletter about a Herding Instinct test not too far away from us.  My original intention was just to test Sally, but after corresponding with the instructor, I decided to enter Scout in the workshop as well. 

Scout's last experience with sheep was over three years ago - I really wanted to enter Scout in the Herding Titled Bitch competition at the 2008 specialty, and she needed one more HT leg.  I had suffered a back injury in 2007 and had back surgery that knocked me for a loop for a while.  I tried to work with Scout at Susan's, but I just couldn't do it, so Susan agreed to try to get that last leg for me.

They didn't have really any opportunity to work together before (strike one) and then on test day, Scout was in RAGING heat (strike 2), but thanks to Susan's skill and persistence and a very generous judge, Scout got her second leg. and went on to win Best Herding Titled Bitch at the next two specialties.

So, I was not so sure about how she would do today, but with some good advice from the herding instructor, Scout did very well today.  She said that I really should work her - she felt Scout has the potential to be a good herding dog.  And I had a really good time today - I hope we can get back into it.

Later Sally did a instinct test.  The first thing she had me do was sit Sally on a sheep's back while she held the sheep against the fence.  Sally looked at me, like "lady, I don't think this is what I am supposed to do with them!"

The she had me put her on a long line and walk her around the fence line moving the sheep around.  She sniffed around some, but mostly followed along.  I dropped the rope and she kept moving some, sniffing some.  The instructor told everyone, "she's just a little puppy, this is probably all she will do today, but she is showing interest. 

About that time, one of the sheep turned around and challenged her a bit, and all of a sudden the light came on.  Sally said, "I don't think so, you Ewe you!  Turn around and and get back to work!"  After that, the chase was on.

I caught back up with her and asked the instructor to come back in the ring and work her so that I could watch and video.  By the time I got the camera and started shooting, she was beginning to wear out, but here she is:


SMLong said...

Way to go, Scout, Sally and Janet! I am so glad to hear that you are back in the game. Have fun!

penni said...

Good for the girls! Scout will be up to speed in no time -- and Sally will love herding. Holmes and I start on June 5th.

Taryn said...

I would love to have seen a picture of Sally on the sheep's back!

I think she did pretty well for a pup. I bet she will be raring to go next time.

Seems like there's a herding bug going around. I've seen several blogs with that as a topic.

Elizabeth Keene said...

On the sheep's back? Maybe that's what went wrong with JF's first attempt at 9 mos.

It's very cool that the girls' lightbulbs came on. JF and Dewi are up tomorrow - should be interesting to say the least.

SMLong said...

As I recall, Scout has never had a problem with the lightbulb coming on (G) Getting her slowed down was the issue. She is a marvelous herding dog. I think it is cool that I got to have a part of her HT - given that I have her daughter that is a herding fool.

Red Dog Mom said...

Moira never had a lightbulb issue either. She just believed that herding was a speed sport and I got tired of always getting on her case. When we switched to agility, we both got a lot happier. Bogey has a lot of herding instinct so maybe he will be the herding dog in this household.