It Wouldn't Happen This Way Without the Dogs

Our current evening routine of putting sheep in the night pen goes something like this.

The dogs and I walk out to the pasture, about a distance of a quarter of mile, which brings us about mid way along the pasture and at the back of the flock or close to it.

Much to the dismay of the herding dogs, ninety-nine percent of the time, the sheep begin heading home upon noticing our arrival so there isn't a lot of stock work.  
 
It is only the cows who need more encouragement to get going. A task Cajun takes to readily. Getting Cajun to stop moving cows is actually the difficulty of the evening.

Once the group is headed the right direction we let them go while we make a loop around pasture to check bales and for the rare ewe who was too engrossed in eating to notice her flock left.

Then we head back to the night pen, close up the gate and carry on with the remaining chores (checking ewe lambs and horses and feeding guard dogs).
 
Yet this simple routine wouldn't happen this way without the dogs. I've tried it. I left the dogs at the house one particularly bitter cold day. The sheep did not head home upon just my arrival. When I applied a little pressure they ran around the bales, easily eluding me. I tried a bit longer and a bit harder but grew tired playing ring around the rosy with a few hundred sheep and ended up going back to the house for a dog.

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