Saturday, December 11, 2010
A Split Flock
When a ewe splits from the flock, my instinct is to: 1.Panic 2.Reunite the ewe with the flock. I have to learn to ignore my instinct. Sheep are herd animals. When split from the flock, they're nervous. If I panic, then we have a nervous sheep and person on the field. The dog is going to react by trying to take control of the situation -- and in her frenzy, she could grip or bite the sheep. Because the lone sheep is nervous, she's going to be hard to move. Therefore, I need to bring the rest of the flock to her. When working the new group of sheep on Thursday, I had lots of practice on reacting to split flocks. The seven sheep weren't working as a flock and would split. I had Caeli lying down while I thought of how to redirect. By Friday, they were working as a flock. I'll use this same group again today for a morning practice before turning them back with the big flock. Who knows what the next group will teach me.