Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Best Chore Dog

It is time now and then for Ryme to get a little press.

Ryme is the best chore dog, most of the time. He is great at helping me sort sheep.  He loves to work and begs to be the one that I pull out of the truck at any time we are at one of the sheep fields. He's really good at gate sorting and can almost pick out one sheep that I want from a group, and hold her or push her forward, depending on my body language. He is good with ewes and lambs and I have seen him push a baby lamb along with his nose like a wheelbarrow, when the going was very wet or muddy, just giving him or her a little boost to keep up with mom.

Just a little muddy!
I am teaching Ryme to shed, so that he can be more useful. Also this will give me another dog to practice my shedding skills with. He is completely different from Coal so it is a challenge but he is also more willing to come straight in. Teaching Ryme to shed gives us something different to do and work on. I try to give him  his own training session at least every other week or so, to make sure he continues to work properly.

Ryme does not like trials. He gets nervous and upset to say the least. Ryme does not like dogs that he does not know, and he is unsure about people that he doesn't know. Waiting for his turn is something he does not seem to be able to handle very well. Pretty much he does not go to trials any more, even though he is fully trained. Once in a while I make an exception when there is an event that I think might suit him. He is very happy to be a work dog and would work all day if I asked him to.

Ryme holding the sheep around the corner so that I can fill feed pans.
Ryme is superb at holding sheep off of feed so that I can set feed out without getting mobbed by the sheep. I can set him on a line to drive the sheep away and he will hold them without command until I call him off. He will not let the sheep run over him or run around him and I don't have to watch him every second to make sure he doesn't head them, either (ahem, Coal! LOL!).  Ryme makes feeding the sheep much easier on me. I sure appreciate that he loves doing this type of work. It is too bad that he doesn't get more of it.

Far from perfect, Ryme will skiff the sheep once in a while, especially on the come bye side and most especially if the sheep are moving quickly. Of course he had to do that right in front of the VIP that we had visiting recently. Ryme and I had moved and sorted sheep for a work session, and he had just been working like a top all that time. But just as the VIP arrived, Ryme skiffed the sheep right within view. Ryme! Arghghgh! That VIP got out of the truck grinning from ear to ear and asked me, "that wasn't your dog that I just saw skiff the sheep, was it?" I had no choice but to grin back and say "yes'! We all got a good laugh out of it. There wasn't much else I could say! :)

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