Thursday, April 19, 2012

Brynn & the Lambs

The lambs are growing like weeds.  

Or should I say like 'tanks'.  

With the daily work, chores and what-not Brynn has matured, gained confidence and self assurance in her work.  In the fall I depended mainly on Beth to do the majority of the chores.  Then transitioned to using Brynn sometime in November.  Since then she has come into her own and our partnership has blossomed.  

Every morning and evening we move the sheep from one pasture to the other.  I also have to split the flock up some days to move into the back pasture behind the house to graze.   


I need a dog that will listen, be nice to the sheep and the lambs (Beth does not believe in actually listening).  I also need a dog that can stand up to the bitchy over protective ewes.  Brynn has held her own in all areas.  

She is very gentle with the lambs, which the ewes seem to appreciate.  Still they challenge her, and attempt to slam her into the ground.  Brynn learned quickly to keep back, yet move up slowly enough to communicate to the ewes she will not hurt their lambs, at the same time shows enough strength to persuade the ewes to move.  A few ewes have received a well deserved nip on the nose.  

Ewes are one thing, but the lambs can be a challenge on their own.  While exceptionally cute, they are not known for their brilliance.  

When we clear a pasture Brynn starts at the edges.  I send her around and she moves the sheep off the fence-line.  

She pushes them into the center and begins to move them in the direction of the gate.  

Slowly, plodding along.  No need to rush or upset them.  They can be very heavy (difficult) to move because they typically do not want to leave this pasture of good graze.

After the flow to the gate is started, Brynn will then start zig-zagging through the pasture and find where the lambs may be sleeping or hiding out.  Most lambs are typically hanging out in the same vicinity as the ewes.  Often they will find warm places to take naps while the ewes graze, and not notice their moms are running for the hills.


Brynn's favorite thing is to find the groups of lambs, wake them up and shoo them off back to the ewes.  

She sneaks up...

Ever so quietly

Gets close enough to lick it or bonk it with her nose, the lamb pops up and runs off to mom.  

Brynn moves on to the next set.  

"Wake up little ones, time to move."

"Come on, up and at 'em."

"Don't give me any nonsense.  Go to your mother."

"Thank you for listening to me, I did not want to have to bite your tail off today."

"Everyone move along now." 

Sometimes a lamb thinks they are more powerful than a dog.  It will stamp it's feet.  She ignores it, yet keeps moving ever so slowly forward, till it turns, sometimes running in the wrong direction. 

Silly lambs.  

Good Dog. 


Daffycat said...

I loved this post.

Doniene said...

As always awesome photos!!! I've been doing the same with Tate this spring and our goats! So satisfying and rewarding for our canine partners to step up and do what they were born to do!!

Have a great weekend!

Ferreh Hiatt said...

I've always believed that the best showcase of a sheepdog is how they handle lambs and ewes. The finesse that is needed to handle the lambs, the no-nonsense grit to properly handle stubbon/stupid ewes... it's the total package! Good girl, Brynn!