Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Sheep

Over the holiday weekend we went to my parents house in Everson and stayed a few days. John wired my dad's shop with electricity, installed lighting and outlets. While he & my father were toiling away Amy, my mother and I found several things to keep us busy.

Located directly next door to my parents is Hyline Hotel & Training for Dogs. Not only are they a fantastic facility for agility, rally, obedience and boarding - but she has SHEEP! Yes, SHEEP.

Every time I have been over at my parents I have looked through the fence at these sheep and drooled. Beth drooled...

On the fourth, our drooling was over. Kathi said we could come over and work the sheep. WOOOHOO!

What sheep these were. We're not at Fido's anymore.

Beth's first encounter was ugly. In this picture you can see how Beth split the sheep up not anticipating their reaction to her. You can also see how close this field is to my parents house. Isn't that nice?

I dragged Amy and my mother along. Amy had fun taking pictures. My mom stood with me while I explained what we were doing. I have to admit I felt a bit sorry for my mom the first time a group of 8 sheep came flying at us. The look on her face was priceless.

The sheep are Katahdin/Dorper and a mix of something else I can't remember. They are flighty, light & fast and NOT familiar with being worked by a dog.

Beth had her hands full. The sheep didn't want to be near the dog OR me for that matter.

The big brown one was mean. Meaner than Beth had ever encountered. Meaner than I had ever encountered. Actually it reminded me of my ex-husband - an unreasonable bully with really bad hair.

Beth had to give these sheep plenty of space. Beth had her paws full keeping them together - as they wanted to split apart at the slightest pressure.

After a bit they started to settle down.

Except for one....the big brown didn't want to play herding games.

The brown bully just turned around and ran from the group to the gate. Beth saw it bolt and gave chase. She ran ahead of it and tried to turn it. Then the next thing I knew the sheep rammed Beth on the side, knocked her about 5 feet into the air and sent her tumbling. I ran toward them as fast as my fat butt could move.

Beth got back up but kept her distance with a distinctly puzzled look on her face. Each time Beth approached the sheep it rammed her again. Beth stayed between the sheep and the gate it was trying to escape through - holding it. When I got there - Beth darted between the sheep and me giving me time to open the gate and let it dart through.

I dont know enough about sheep yet, but I wonder if this wasnt the ram?

Big Bad Brown Bully

Good Riddance

After checking Beth over for any injuries I worked her a bit more so we could end on a good note.

It is wonderful to know that when I visit my parents I can just go next door and work some new sheep every now and then. Kathi Seaman the woman who owns HiLine Hotel & Training said she is more than happy to let trained dogs work on her sheep. Please look her up if you are in the Everson area. Give that darn Brown Bully hell for us please...

Amy shot the pictures featured in this post. When you let someone else with a slightly whacked sense of humor use your camera the results can be interesting. When I was going through them looking for ones to use ...I found this.

Guess that about sums up Amy's thoughts of sheep herding on the 4th of July eh?


sheepkelpie said...

Wow, some sheep. Sounds like he/she needs to meet Jesus. Good for Beth for sticking with it.

Ann said...

Great place to be able to visit!

Good job, Beth!

Emma Rose said...

Beth held her ground - that is so amazing. What a girl! Sounds like you'll be visiting Mom more often :)

Kimberly-MyPets said...

I'm a new follower. Do you regularly expose your collies to sheep? My boyfriend and I would really like to adopt a collie and we plan to move to a home on 2.5 acres. We know that these dogs have loads of energy and we expect to play a lot in the yard, but should we expose them to sheep, keep their reaction time up?

BCxFour said...

Kimberly - you asked if we regulary expose our BC's to sheep...the answer is yes. That is only because I am training my dogs specifically for sheep herding. Ranger is another story all together different. Not all border collies are suitable for herding, some have high instict some have none. Ranger has very little instinct for sheep herding - so I started training him in agility but his leg injury will prevent him from ever doing agility seriously in the future. Ranger is my doofus companion dog and he is happy with that. Depending on the BC you may find one that is happy with being your companion and does not require endless nonstop exercise every day.

My other dogs are high drive and need the exercise that comes with sheep herding - and the mental stimulation. However sheep are not necessary for all border collies - as long as you do something with them daily that will stimulate their minds and physically challenge them. They are athletes and need the exercise. Bored border collies typically find their own entertainment such as rearranging your furniture or landscaping your yard.

You may want to do some research on the border collie breed before adopting. There are several excellent reference articles on the PNW Border Collie Rescue website. Or please feel free to email me and we can chat further. My email is bcxfour@yahoo.com