a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Working THREE Border Collies at ONE time

I had no plan in place for this mornings work. It was all I could do to get out of bed an hour late (7 am) after putting in some loooong hours at the hospital this week. Thankfully it wasn't too hot for me to truck on over to Task Farms with a triple latte in my hand. Thank goodness for the Heart and Soul and their latte's. As soon as I walked in the door this morning I was met by, "You're a little late this morning." "Yeppers, but at least I'm up and on the road." All they had was one strawberry iced doughnut. I took it, not for me, but for the dogs. Wayne hates for me to give them sugar, but they LOVE it. They look forward to their doughnut I think as much as they look forward to working sheep. :0)

I mosied around the ranch with all 3 dogs sipping my latte. Terry showed up with a horse trailer he needed to unhitch. He then said, "Ahhh you missed a great day yesterday, Suzanne." My eyes lit up green when he told me about range ewes, loading and unloading, overlooking Michael Jackson's Never Never land. Damn work anyways. Terry made his dog food money this month working for the movies. Good for him.

I sure could use some fresh sheep to work. I took the 7 rams out of their pen and put all 3 dogs to work. Jet never was keen working as a brace, since he always worried about making a mistake. He is better now in his twilight years. He doesn't care about making a mistake as much as he used to. I like that. Kilt, well....ahhhh you Kilt, certainly isn't remorse about making mistakes. But, baby Yoko...she was just like her sire used to be. When she heard her name called, she wasn't sure if it was her turn to get up. She needed a little extra motivating. So all in all, working all 3 together turned out to be a good exercise.

They all did a fine job. I only used verbals. I gave the dogs name first, then the command. The other two would stay put until they heard their name. It went very well this morning. Jet was perfect (of course), Yo needed a little extra encouragement that she was doing just fine and her mother, Kilt, needed to be put back where she was because she didn't really hear her name; she was just hopeful. If Yoko wasn't sure if it was her turn to make a move, Kilt would make it for her. I'm sure Kilt thought both Jet and Yoko were a bit retarded. Kilt's motto is, "I don't need no stinkin' handler." God love her.

We even did some 3 dog penning. I would put two dogs at the back of the pen on the outside to make it more challenging for the dog working to pen them. Yoko is learning that to take 7 rams out of a pen you had better be skimming the inside of the pen fence. A well placed heel bite is permissible. But, if you are not flanking as far as you can get on the inside of the pen, you will have rams turn on you ready to kick your ass. Jet used to be the same way as his daughter. Only Kilt is queen of the pens. She has been an expert in the pens since way before a year of age. She has taught me a lot.

I always try to do something new and different (especially working with dogged sheep). I don't want my dogs to get bored. It was a nice morning. No plan in place came together just fine.


Karen said...

Kilt, a girl with ATTITUDE! Sounds a bit, okay, more than a bit, like Luna:)

gvmama said...

Then, I would love LUNA, too!