BlackJack Works on Lambs

I have fifteen bummer lambs (have no momma ewe) that are on a milk pail.  At the conclusion of lambing I wanted to start working my young stock dog again and I began with taking him with me for chores, which included checking the bummer lambs and refilling the milk pails.  

I started letting BlackJack work the lambs and to my delight discovered there are some things you can teach a dog with ease when using lambs, provided the dog will work lambs.  Lambs are very erratic in their reactions so they won’t suit all situations or dogs or what you might be trying to teach.  BlackJack started out being overly fixated and excitable on the lambs and I won’t know till later if I’ve cemented that fixation or caused lambs to become just another sheep in his mind, which is the outcome I’m hoping for.  

With the daily work/training on the lambs he has definitely become much more calm among them.  He comes into the pen smooth and calm, I can circle him both directions and call him to come through the lambs (the start of learning to split a group of sheep on cue - easy to do on lambs btw, hard to do on adult sheep).  This is all done within a small 20 foot irregular shaped space, not a big pen or field because if we can’t get calm, cool headedness in close proximity we won’t have it in a larger space either (large spaces just fool you into thinking you have it because the you can put distance between sheep and dog). So far, so good.  We’ll go back to working adult sheep soon but this interlude with the lambs has been quite rewarding for both of us.

My fab five: left to right - Cajun, BlackJack and Coyote Mic in front, BJ and Gibson in the rear.  Missing is Fynn, I believe the old timer was still in the house. 


  1. It seems you never have a dull moment. What a nice portrait of the Kelpies.


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