Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pasture Visit Encore

There are several good signs with the pups and a few hiccups.

Heading out, Wren has the front seat
Because the flock is in a large space and can disperse, heading out in the morning at a time when we have the best chance of a good set up helps.  If the flock is still bedded no one seems disturbed by the pups arrival.  The adult dogs are stationary and the pups seem to feel more comfortable staying in that situation.     

If the flock is already dispersing to head out to graze, the pups are not as easily convinced to stay with the flock or follow along.  The adult dogs will move with the sheep, quickly dropping a puppy off.  As the pups move along to keep up the ewes readily move away from them and so the pups can find themselves suddenly alone.  

The ‘go to you sheep’ effort is paying off when I leave them, yet I can tell that sometimes the picture is much more clear to the pups than at other times, depending on what is happening. 


In the beginning they did not stay for long lengths of time before I opted to take them home again. The other day they spent a few hours out there after I left and when I went back to check they were right amongst the ewes.  That gave me hope which gets me through the hiccups like this morning when the ewes were already on the move.  I watched the pups for a bit and decided not to leave them at pasture at all.   I fed them there and then took them back to their little group of sheep.  

Eating with the adults
It is debatable if all the back and forth is a good move with pups or not.  It does help solidify that any particular place is not what they are there to protect, but wherever they are set with sheep is where they are to stay.  However it does promote traveling back and forth with us, and returning to the same paddock at night.  I do feel that with age and maturity the pups will grow out of coming back to the barn paddock.  With all the dogs to date, that has been our experience, but it does take time, patience and some good set ups on occasion.  

There was something that twigged at me recently as I watched Wren and Crow.  I think Wren would transition easily to the pasture flock, and she would shadow the adults.  It is Crow who is pulling her away.  Wren showed me this, this morning when she trotted off to catch up to some sheep while Crow circled the Ranger, climbed onto the floorboard and curled up for a nap.  My temptation is to separate them but have not tried it yet.  I would like for the right situation to present itself again so I can slip away unnoticed, taking Crow with me.  I suspect he will have a hard time being without Wren.  




2 comments:

  1. Love the process...thanks for sharing your insights and ponderings about possibilities. :-)

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  2. Such a great picture of the 2 pups. They are so beautiful. I did have to smile at Crow wanting to take a nap. It could be the mastiff in him. They do love their naps. Hopefully, he will take on the job he was bred to do, as soon as he has a little more maturity behind him. You are doing so well with these pups, Arlette.

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