Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Not Quite a "Nice to Meet You" Moment

When Mickey approached the seven male lambs in the field, the Good Mom triplet walked toward her.

"Hey, remember me from all the times my mom came into the barn aisle for grain?" he asked. "You were the Border collie hanging out in the corner, right?" He wanted to sniff Mickey all over.

A brown lamb faced Mickey and stomped. He was going to protect the flock. Another lamb, inspired by the brown one's confidence, also faced Mickey.

A few lambs, intent on grazing, paid no attention to the dog.

The ram lambs were all new to being worked by a dog. So Mickey had some training to do.

Many times the lambs are introduced to the dog while still with the big flock. When the introduction is done with the elders around, the lambs learn to follow the older ewes' lead and turn when the dog approaches.

That wasn't the case for the ram lamb introduction.

But, at 11, Mickey is an experienced sheepdog and knows how to adjust to her sheep.

When she saw that her steely eyeball and predatory crouch weren't going to intimidate them, she upped the ante.

She air-snapped in front of their noses.

That got several lambs' attentions... but not all. She did a few cutting horse moves, snapping and moving into their space.

They got the picture and turned toward the barn.

When we got to their pen, she had to air snap and cut again.

The next day went better.

By the third, they turned toward the barn when she approached.

Introduction complete.

And again, as I often do, I marvel at what a talented, special dog that Mickey is.

1 comment:

  1. Wish I could have watched it all. What a performance. In a perfect world she'd be working sheep forever!