Young Kelpie Will, and his Border Collie friend Jago
Kelpie Will and Jago (above) are two of our favourite trainee herding dogs. Will's training is progressing a little slowly, but he's definitely getting there, while Jago (a Kay and Oliver puppy) is making great progress.
If anything, Jago's a little too keen. He can't resist running off to the sheep at every opportunity, even when he knows he shouldn't. It's only a phase he's going through, and we don't mind too much because, although it can be inconvenient to have the flock brought to us while we have around twenty dogs in the field, the way young Jago brings them is very impressive. Instead of chasing the sheep all over the field, which is usual when a puppy goes to them, Jago goes out wide and gets behind them before bringing them towards us. He can keep around thirty sheep under control at a time.
His training will begin quite soon, so here's hoping he continues to work so well when it's official.
"LOOK BACK" at our favourite posts! (No 1 - 23 Feb 2014)
They say sheep spend their entire lives thinking of ways to die - this one gets full marks for ingenuity!
When Gill and I were putting the dogs away after their run this morning, we heard a sheep calling. It sounded as though she was unusually close (normally the sheep give the dogs a wide berth) so I glanced out through the hedge, but there was no sign of any sheep, so I assumed she'd gone back to the others at the far corner of the field.
A few moments later however, we heard another call from precisely the same direction, so I went out into the field to investigate and was amazed to see the poor woolly creature very firmly trapped between the bars of an old iron fence and the hedge. It looks as though the bars of the fence go right through her, but they are only squeezing her hard.
In its search for fresh food, the sheep had pushed herself between the hedge and the fence, and because bars of the iron fence are so rigid, she was unable to reverse back out again.
Fortunately, these young Welsh Mules are not very heavy, because she was stuck so fast, the only way I could get her out without assistance was to lift her vertically over the fence. She wasn't in the least bit grateful and struggled like mad, but I insisted on checking her over before I released her. There was no sign of physical harm done so I released her and I wouldn't have thought it possible but as she wandered back to the flock she looked decidedly embarrassed!
The sheep was physically unharmed and recovered fully from her ordeal but I wonder how long the poor girl had been there - it could have been all night!