1 December A good dog must catch.
Today I was doing some contract shepherding on a near by farm. They don't have their own dog so all the dog work is done by me and my dogs. I mainly use Ffion, Mist, Ghost, Chance and Lucy (not all at once!) for this work.
The first job was to catch a Cheviot hogg which had mysteriously got into a game crop (and the grass certainly wasn't greener). There was no gate to get him out, and no visible gap in the fence to push him through either. The farm manager and I, with the help of Ffi and Mist got him cornered, unfortunately he got past us and took off up the game crop again. The foliage is about 6ft tall apart from a track round the edges so I sent the dogs off in the hope they might find him. He was not inclined to come back to the corner so I told them to catch him. A good dog can bring down a sheep (only on command!) and hold it until the shepherd gets to it, and will cause no damage or stress to the sheep while doing it. The cheviot was reinstated with his friends and was very happy to be back in a grass field!
After that excitement we went to shift some other hoggs to another field. Ffi, Mist and Chance did this job.
Got them gathered and heading for the gate
Approaching the bridge.
Persuading them over an unfenced bridge. Have to be careful to keep enough pressure on them to get them across it, but not so much they jump off the bridge.
Over the bridge.
This week we have had some snow, and this morning enough to pretty much snow us in as I don't have a four wheel drive.
Neither the sheep or I like snow, however the dogs seem to like it for some reason!
I am feeding my sheep beet pulp pellets (unlike horses, sheep can eat these with out being soaked) and hay. At the moment I am lugging small bales out to them but I hope to get a round bale in the field soon. Unfortunately due to the lack of Summer, hay is scarce and very expensive. I don't have enough sheep to use silage since it has to be eaten within a few days.
Today I heard that Ffi's daughter Isla (R. Dalziel's Spot x My Ffion) was named Alberta Stockdog Association Arena ranch dog of the year and the intermediate field dog of the year for 2008. All at the tender age of 3 years.