Sometimes you have training successes …

and other times, utter failures.  These three dogs are going to teach me a lot.  You have Gel who is extremely forgiving of my mistakes; correcting many of them.  Then there is Fern who has a shit load of eye and is not at all forgiving of my mistakes and will shut down if I push too hard.  Finally, Split, who is right in the middle of the two and she’s still just a puppy and can’t handle a lot of pressure.

I thought the sheep would behave in that back field, but being sheep, they had their own idea of how things should be run.  Because the fields are still so wet, I brought the sheep down using the ATV and Gel.  My muck shoes keep my feet very dry, but they are not terribly comfortable to walk in.

First, I worked Fern on driving and she did a pretty good job, even when the sheep were running.  The did settle down relatively soon and we got some good progress.  I think it may take forever to teach her flanks and it’s getting frustrating; frustrated is where I don’t need to be with Fern.

I used Gel to split the sheep and we got it done quite well, but I should have brought the separated sheep into the next field because once I had a small group separated off for Split, I tied Gel to the ATV and brought out Split.  Unfortunately, by the time I got to her, the separated sheep were heading back towards the main group and before I knew it, Split was hot on their heels.  I decided to let her go to see how she’d handle it.  She didn’t.  She was in over her head and I felt bad about putting her there.  I walked closer and helped her out, but by then she was zooming around and around.

I did my best to straighten out the situation, but Split was rattled as were the sheep.  A couple of the older sheep were turning and challenging her.  I ended her training session on what I hoped was a good note and then decided to use Fern to bring the group back to the ElectroNet.  All was going well until we cut through the back side of the field where the goats were.  The buck saw the sheep and the sex-bulb went on.  He ran full speed into the flock of sheep making a huge mess.  I tried to run him off with my stock stick, but he wasn’t giving up his hunt for more sex.  Fern hit the deck and then tried to head home.  I called her back and thank goodness she came.  By then, the buck had run the sheep all over the field.  I got Fern to collect a small group and I brought them back through the gate up to the house so I could settle Fern.

We came back out the front gate and by then the buck figured out that the sheep were not for breeding, but the does were starting to mingle with the sheep.  It seemed like it took forever to get them away from the sheep all the while keeping Fern from leaving.  Oh, I was upset, very upset and Fern knew it.  The field that we were in was full of briars some of which were well over Fern’s head and difficult for her to run through.  I was getting tore up by the thorns and those bloody, insistent dairy goats.  And darned, Gel was over a mile away tied to the ATV.

Finally, we got everyone sorted out and the sheep back into the ElectroNet.  Both Fern and Split are zonked out in their crates.

Tomorrow will be a better day, it has to be …