Jump to content
BC Boards
Sign in to follow this  
Debbie Meier

Gathering a relatively large field

Recommended Posts

Hi Bob, I hope all went well with your surgery. No hurry on this one, it's more of a "What should it look like?" question.

 

I had our flock of sheep on the freshly combined corn field out in front of the house this morning to hunt up missed ears. There were about 30 ewes and lambs spread on, I'm guessing, about 6 acres with no fences and a drive way down the middle. The ewes were spread out quite a ways some on either side of the drive way. I sent Jake from the yard, he had to go down through the yard (30 foot wide then opens into the corn field), I sent him on an "Away to me". He made contact with a lamb before he cleared the fence, he eased as close as he could to the right, the lamb ran directly away from him toward some ewes, there were ewes further to the right that had not acknowledged him yet. When he cleared the fence he went further to the right, at that point the far right ewes saw him and made a break toward the driveway. He stayed on the path he was on, the sheep built distance from him, when he arrived at the road he turned hard and ran along behind the ewes running parellel then past and prevented them from getting to the half of the flock on the other side of the drive, where they stopped was lined up to come up the drive to home. I gave him a look back and he then went back to pick up the other part of the flock, I reflanked him "Away to me". The other half were split into two groups, he went around the first group and lifted them weighted toward the other group, this made the two groups move together on their own he then merged with the first and stopped when everything came together, from there he drove them up the driveway.

 

My question is, what should have I expected from him? What should have the outrun looked like? Should I have stopped him and not let him deal with the groups individually and made him address the entire field or was the way he handled it acceptable? I guess when I sent him back for the left side of the field I should have given him a come-bye, but I was looking at the job as one field, not two halves. I could have stopped him and reflanked him at any point, I just opted to let him work until he indicated he needed help, which was when he settled the first set.

 

I don't know if these pictures help or not:

 

This shot was taken before I sent Jake, there are sheep from one side of the shot all the way to the other and some grazing on the grass. The ones in the corn field are hard to see.

IMG_4798.JPG

 

This is Jake bringing them up the drive

IMG_4813.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Bob, I hope all went well with your surgery. No hurry on this one, it's more of a "What should it look like?" question.

 

I had our flock of sheep on the freshly combined corn field out in front of the house this morning to hunt up missed ears. There were about 30 ewes and lambs spread on, I'm guessing, about 6 acres with no fences and a drive way down the middle. The ewes were spread out quite a ways some on either side of the drive way. I sent Jake from the yard, he had to go down through the yard (30 foot wide then opens into the corn field), I sent him on an "Away to me". He made contact with a lamb before he cleared the fence, he eased as close as he could to the right, the lamb ran directly away from him toward some ewes, there were ewes further to the right that had not acknowledged him yet. When he cleared the fence he went further to the right, at that point the far right ewes saw him and made a break toward the driveway. He stayed on the path he was on, the sheep built distance from him, when he arrived at the road he turned hard and ran along behind the ewes running parellel then past and prevented them from getting to the half of the flock on the other side of the drive, where they stopped was lined up to come up the drive to home. I gave him a look back and he then went back to pick up the other part of the flock, I reflanked him "Away to me". The other half were split into two groups, he went around the first group and lifted them weighted toward the other group, this made the two groups move together on their own he then merged with the first and stopped when everything came together, from there he drove them up the driveway.

 

My question is, what should have I expected from him? What should have the outrun looked like? Should I have stopped him and not let him deal with the groups individually and made him address the entire field or was the way he handled it acceptable? I guess when I sent him back for the left side of the field I should have given him a come-bye, but I was looking at the job as one field, not two halves. I could have stopped him and reflanked him at any point, I just opted to let him work until he indicated he needed help, which was when he settled the first set.

 

I don't know if these pictures help or not:

 

This shot was taken before I sent Jake, there are sheep from one side of the shot all the way to the other and some grazing on the grass. The ones in the corn field are hard to see.

IMG_4798.JPG

 

This is Jake bringing them up the drive

IMG_4813.JPG

 

Hi Deb. What you did is very acceptable and no, you shouldn't have sent him to the left after gathered the first two flocks as it is one field. The other way that it could be done is for the dog to go on his outrun to the sheep that are furthest away on the field and then gather the separate flocks from there. That is the way I like to see it done. That way the dog learns to gather the whole field and then pick up sheep as he comes to the handler. When you are gathering a very large field with an experienced dog, he will go out until he finds the furthest band of sheep and then start to gather. I'm talking about 600 acres or better here. That way he will have had a chance to pretty well see most of the sheep on the field on his outrun and will be aware where they are. Generally you can leave these experienced dogs alone to gather but there are times when they will miss some that they cannot see so you need to help at these times by showing them where the sheep are with your commands. This piece of work you did today is great and the more of this type of work you can do the better dog and handler you become. Mix it up out there too. The next time you send, send a different way and get him used to thinking while he's working. You can also help by changing the balance point by you moving to a different spot and see if he notices where you are. It's good practise and also lots of fun working like this. Good luck.......Bob. PS....Knee is coming along fine. Went for my first physio today and threw the crutches away. Hopefully will be back training dogs about the middle of third week of November if everything keeps going the way it is now.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Bob, I'm having a lot of fun with him, now that we made it through the "ripping my hair out stage".

 

Kinda funny, just this past spring he would have blown right through the first group as soon as they lifted to get through to the head and stopped them from going anywhere. I wouldn't have been able to get him to stop until he shut the stock down and I would not have been able to get him to take a flank to let the sheep come up to the house let alone have him drive in the direction that they wanted to go. Each time the sheep would have moved he would have ran hard into their path and got stuck there, would not matter where I was, to him it's about where the sheep want to go.

 

I can't wait for my next dog to get to where Jake is at this time, and I can't even get a vision of what Jake will be like in another year.

 

 

BTW, still working on whistles, they are coming...slowly...I can make the dogs howl now.

 

Deb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...