Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sheep Chores

All of our sheep are up to date now on their vaccinations and worming and foot trimming as of yesterday's all-hands-on-deck session. Kind of like a barn raising, in miniature. :) It is a bit of work to maintain even just a few sheep for dog training. We try to keep them healthy. When you (the handlers) are a bit older, you are pretty careful about getting hurt while doing these chores. None of us wants to get caught by a Scottie's horn or stepped on by a sheep on your bad foot. It took a couple of sessions, because we have sheep in two locations, but now everyone is done. Well, I take that back. One set of sheep still needs one round of the other kind of wormer, but that will not be too bad a chore (no shots, no hoof trimming).

And, the guardian dogs have to have heartworm preventive and flea/tick stuff too..just like the border collies.

I was listening to a conversation a while back, in which one successful trialler was saying how he just rotates sheep in and out. His main focus is on being competitive with his dog(s) in the trials.  It is one way to go, that way you have fresh sheep to work, and you avoid the upkeep of maintaining a healthy long-term flock. But on the other hand, as another person in the conversation pointed out, some handlers actually like sheep. :) They are a big part of the equation and they are the basis for the sheepdog/shepherding culture (for lack of a better word) that we enjoy. Two outlooks, two methods, both participants in the same activity.

My dogs are just happy that we have sheep!

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