Gel pulled the three calves off the fence and brought them to my feet (well, as close to my feet as cattle will come) this morning. That was a very good thing. I still don’t know if I got into the ASCA trial or not. At this point in time, I don’t care one way or the other; I’m letting fate take its course. If I don’t get into this one, I’ll finish his WTCH in the fall.
From now until she has a solid lie down and stay on her, Fern will be tied or attached to me when around stock. She’s getting far too bold about running out and fetching or working stock. A puppy allowed to work stock on its own, the way it wants to, is too hard to deal with later on. Her keenness is wonderful to see, but I don’t want to start training her for stock work now. I know she’s interested and has some ability; but now it’s time for her to grow up. Having to constantly call her off stock is affecting Gel’s work. Gel thinks his name is Fern now. It will be agility only for this little girl for the next few months. In fact, I think I’m going to completely keep Fern out of the picture when I’m working Gel and take Fern out on her own for her training.
The sheep are no longer going to be allowed out to free graze. It used to be they’d stay in the side pasture where I could see them, but now they are wandering further away. That’s sheep for you. My landlord just planted a large crop of blueberry bushes and I don’t need the sheep in those. They have more than enough grass in the area I have fenced off for them and I move it weekly. They are fine where they are. I have better things to do than hunting sheep and worrying about them getting into what they are not supposed to be eating. I’m considering purchasing some PermaNet from Premier Supplies. It’s similar to ElectroNet, but it can be left in place longer. I’ll need to spray the fence line with herbicide to keep weeds and grass from growing up over the net, but it will eliminate the need to move the fence weekly or bi-weekly. Now that most of the seven acres I life on is fenced, I can fence in an even larger area with my net fence.
Can you tell I had an irritating morning with dogs and sheep?
I was thinking about the Alasdair MacRae clinic (Starting a Young Dog) this morning. The range of dogs attending the clinic will be from those who have never seen sheep before to those running in Nursery. Gel could run a nursery course at this point, but wouldn’t do a very good job at it. I’m wondering if I wouldn’t get more benefit out of the clinic if I used Gel vs. Fern who will be only ten months old at the time of the clinic. Something to think about. I have a call into my trainer to see what she thinks.
I see the errors I made in training Gel and I don’t want to make the same mistakes with Fern.