Sunday, January 17, 2016

Playing the Shedding Game

This is a happy dog (Ryme) who is helping me to do chores. The best days are like this. :)
Yesterday and today I did the shedding game (seen in the video from yesterday's post) with both Coal and Spot. It was fun to do with them.

First I tried it with Coal. Our sheep are pretty easy to shed and all I wanted to do was to create two somewhat equal groups. It was good for him to have to listen and keep the groups apart and take commands without getting too eyed up. Flexibility is not Coal's forte' but we worked on it. He seemed to have fun. He needs work and conditioning as well as to stay in tune, so this is a perfect exercise for him. Today I tweaked it even more and whittled the group of sheep that we were holding on to, down to just two ewes. That made it more interesting for him but Coal was up to the challenge.

Spot is a beginner shedder, so I have to help him to make the two groups. He and I were able to do it though, both days, so I am hopeful I will be getting him to shed this spring. Spot really liked doing it, although he seemed more wound up today than yesterday. I did not change this size of his groups, as he is not ready for that. Just casting him around a group and keeping them away from the others on command, is enough for Spot right now.

I have not tried it yet with Ryme although I am sure he would do it; this is the type of at-hand work that he excels at. Ryme got to work though and I took a little time to school him on his stops and flanks. He needs that schooling time now and then just like the others. Ryme is the best chore dog, I know I have said it before, but I'll say it again. I'm also so glad I gave him a haircut yesterday; the mud is so bad that it is so much easier to spray him down with the warm water hose and clean him up, with his long hair coat trimmed back.

A notebook for 2016 has been purchased; I'm good to go. :)

We have just about two more weeks to wait before I can start working dogs a little bit in the evenings again. Happy Winter.

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