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

My photo
Sequim, Washington, United States

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


What a gorgeous weekend.  Mel and I wanted to work the pups this weekend.  I had forgotten they were having an AHBA trial on Friday and an AKC trial on the weekend at Task Farms..  That nixed our plans to work the pups.  Though,  Sally offered her place which was very sweet.  I stopped by Task Farms on the way home and asked Terry is he needed some help.  He accepted.  I had to work Thurs/Friday, but I helped out over the weekend.  While I was at work, Mike Burks (the usual stock setter for the Task Farm events) called me and said he would like to take the weekend off.  No problem.

This AKC trial was put on by the San Fernando Boxer Club

Boxers...yes, you heard me correctly.  All of the Boxer entries were in the lower level instinct testing or test classes.  What a wonderful exuberant, fun loving breed of dog.  Now, out of the Boxers I observed over the weekend there were 4 or 5 that were mighty nice.  Boxers don't "bend"to pressure like a Border Collie.  Your timing really has to be spot on to be able to push them out off the stock.
I asked the club members what they were originally bred to do on livestock.  They answered that they were called the "Butcher's dog."  They were boar and bear dog.  Some worked cattle.  But, they grab and hang on.  Not exactly what the sheep were wanting to hear, but I will tell you I saw some nice dogs.  Boxers have some unbelievable muscle and stamina.  

I snapped this photo of Molly from my truck window.  She is the main guardian dog at Task Farms.  She was waiting to greet people just outside the main gate.  She will be irreplaceable the day she leaves this farm.  She is worth her weight in GOLD.

While I was setting the instinct tests had I Champ tied out away from the action.  "Too Tall' the big Hampshire ram came over to get to know him.  Too Tall is like a gentle giant.  Champ is asking him to bring on his best shot.  Actually, they both were gentleman while I was working.  I just looked up and of course had my camera on me getting this photo.  Later, Champ got to do a little circle work with Too Tall and his entourage of female ewes.

And, by the way......I saw my FIRST exercise/stress induced collapse in a dog this weekend.  It was during the Instinct testing.  This is a lesson learned.  This particular Boxer was watching about 8 Boxers work before it was his time to be instinct tested.  I noticed he had worked himself up into a frenzy watching from some 50 feet away.  I was busy watering, and shuffling sheep.  I made a mental note of it and if I had had time I would have told her to go put her dog up in her car until it was her turn.
Anyway, long story short.....this Boxer turned on instantly in the small round pen and within a few minutes I notice one of it's flews (upper lip) was hanging. And, just as quickly as I noticed that facial feature, I opened the gate and let the sheep out as he got the wobbles and became disoriented.  
The boxer was taken to the Vet.  He was fine and walked into the Vet office normally.  He will, for sure, have a cardiology check-up.

There are a couple of shaded pens for the dogs back in the sheep set out pens.  I worked the pens by myself on Saturday and I think I walked at least 10 miles.  Sunday, Melodie came and helped me with her good dog, Ty.  Both the Bonehead pups, Champ and Trip got to watch and learn patience.
Yoko and Ty are very quiet set-out dogs and both have teeth for obstinate sheep that don't feel like working on day two.    

Sunday, Mel and Ty did the whole set-out for the A course sheep.

Handler at the post waving for her sheep.  Sheep meandering out to the hay.
What a gorgeous day!

Yoko keeping an eye on the next sheep to be set on course B in the field.

Yoko trying to take a nap in between setting geese for the B course.
Yoko learned a lot about geese over the weekend.  She learned how to get them out of the small pens without teeth.  She doesn't really care for birds, but she worked them oh so quietly with a nice feel for them.  I always enjoy working Yoko.

I'm sorry Number Seven.  I promised you carrots and I forgot.  Number Seven is about to have a calf.  The goats, cow, and donkeys were in a pen behind the arena across from where we had our pups.  I have quite a few favorites and handed out many scratches ;0)

This is my favorite goat, Bertha.  Bertha is a boy.  But, I named her Big Bertha before I knew any better.  He is talking with the geese.  Later in the day, he was SNORING while napping in the sun.  I tried to get a movie of him snoring, but with geese, sheep, donkey, etc. it was too noisy to hear him.  It's those little moments that make me love being outside with all of the farm animals :0)

Bird's eye view of Penny the Jenny

Setting stock isn't something I would want to do all of the time.  It takes a lot out of a dog.  But, it gave me time to get into Yoko's head a bit.  I insisted on a better left flank and insisted on stops.  Plus, in the instinct ring they used flags and rattle oars.  Yoko is very sound sensitive to that stuff.  The first day I let her hide behind some geese pens as each dog went into the small round pen.  She even tried to crawl over the fence on Saturday.  On Sunday, she wanted to WATCH.  She became desensitized.  I let her watch from where ever she liked.  Good going, Yoko.

It was great weekend.  beautiful weather, wonderful people, great food, and working dogs.  

The END.  That's the ram lamb on the left I call "PAMPERS."  :0)


Beth Birch/Middletown, OH said...

Wonderful read and pictures!! Very much enjoyed!!

Karen said...

I always enjoy reading about your dog and sheep adventures. I had noticed that your pictures were even better than ever, and then I read that you have a new camera. Look forward to hearing about it.
Happy Easter to the Walk-up Family!

Karen said...

PS Like the new blog layout and the larger photos too:)

gvmama said...

Couldn't figure out the header layout, so I left it for another day.
Haven't taken any pics with the new camera. But, it will be a joy at the trials, I'm sure. Love my pocket cameras, though :0)