Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ho Cassidy and the Sybildance Kid

Nothing beats having an old, experienced dog around to teach the youngsters how it's done. I have found that pairing Ho Dog, the old man, my first WTCH and all around get'er done dog with the youngster is the perfect pairing. He's old, slow and steady, doesn't have the bad habits that daddy Hoke and momma Cricket have, and I can sort of call him off when I want Sybil to take over on her own. Sort of. Sometimes. Just depends on how tired he is as to whether or not he'll lay down and take a break and let the youngster go it alone for a bit.

Lot of pix here, and don't forget to click on 'em.

The Old Man gathers the flock for the morning festivities. Don't they look thrilled?
Sybil watches (and hopefully learns something) as Ho Dog brings 'em up
Okay, she's got 'em going in the right direction. I'm not saying anything yet, just letting her get her bearings, and I may go ahead and train her to the whistle like I did Ho

Picking up the stragglers on the turn up the fenceline northbound. The sheep are not fond of this direction for some reason, so this is pretty punk what she's doing with them

Ho Dog couldn't leave it alone, got up and turned them back, and poor Sybil is having to work to keep them grouped. She's taken especial fondness to taking on Rufus, the big, oldest wether there in the lead on the outside, black with the dirty looking wool and one white leg. He's got a ton of respect for her already

Ho drops back and lets Sybil take them thru the corner on her own

Okay, so I could blow everyone away and say that I asked for a shed right here from a 14 week old pup on her second outing on the sheep, but no, you and I both know that is NOT what happened. Not intentionally, anyway

She finally pretty much got that group back to the others before they hit the first gate

And, Ho turned them around and back down the fenceline they go. He's working the rear and she's got the lead - they actually made a great team using this formation

Sybil takes them back across the arena (Ho was pretty pooped out and lying down on the other side, zero influence from him)

Nicely done! She's got a ton of patience and is very instinctual as to which sheep she needs to eye up to keep control of the heads and keep them from bolting, especially with Ho back there pushing again. Darn his 10 1/2 year old hide - he still manages to get involved even when he's pooped out!

And, then Ho Dog got his second wind. She's still got control on the lead tho

Up to the other gate, the one they aren't crazy about going thru in this direction. Notice that she's NOT looking at the straggler but keeping Spot, the other oldest wether, from pulling off and going around the gate, his fave thing to do here

On the way to the second gate, showing a little of her dad's impatience
Yeah, she's got some of her daddy's speed in her. We'll be working on that, believe me

Ho Dog, once again, decides they need to turn and go the other way. If he could just NOT catch his second wind when I really don't want him to, it'd be much easier on Sybil

But, she helps him out by keeping the lead ram in his place - I missed the shot of her starting this move on our young ram, but this is the finish - challenge accepted and turned around by the 14 week old Sybil Pup

Keeping the flow going

She's a lot happier as things are flowing as they should, so she drops back with great uncle Ho for a bit

Flossie the oldest ewe (and the one with a pretty poor attitude towards the dogs) gets a lesson on tag team tactics from Ho Cassidy and the Sybildance Kid

Turn baby turn!

Alright Uncle Ho, I got it from here. You go take a breather, okay?

Hey, I said I got it - look, they all stop for me at the gate!

Nicely done!

About as pretty a picture as you can get - the old veteran and the young upstart teamed together to drive the flock towards home

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