SageHill Ranch Journal

Ridgetop

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Just found your thread and finished reading it. Where do you find time to take the sheep out and stay with them for hours while they graze? I always wanted a trained herding dog but a friend who trained and showed dogs told me not to get a Border Collie since they would need to be kenneled when not working. BC's high working drive would have them moving the sheep on their own! Laura moved to the east coast years ago and is now a herding trial judge.
We did have an Aussie from working lines that we started but never finished. She was good, but since our sheep came when we shook a bucket of grain, and were halter trained by our 4-h children, she had no real work!

Now with the LGDs I would be afraid that they would go after the herding dogs if they got into the pasture. We are just not set up here for both herding dogs and LGDs. The LGDs are more necessary at this point due to our predator load. When we move to Texas we might have to look for a trained dog. Maybe we could buy a dog that is not quite up to trial standards or is being retired. DS1 said he would rather have a Mule - the gas operated kind. LOL

I do think you should breed Barb next spring. The ram will be old enough, and you can use him on the other sheep, including his mother. You can use the same ram on his daughters and sisters for 2 generations with no problems, but the 3rd generation must be terminal. You can choose specific ewes to breed each year since you won't want to train other dogs on your lambs at first. For trials do the dogs have to know how to drive pregnant ewes and ewes with lambs? The dogs have to be gentler with them than they would be with a flock of wethers and open ewes. Or maybe for trials you don't need the dogs to herd ewes with lambs. I think it would be interesting to train your own dogs to discriminate between mamas with lambs and sheep without lambs.

Love all the pictures.
 

SageHill

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Just found your thread and finished reading it. Where do you find time to take the sheep out and stay with them for hours while they graze? I always wanted a trained herding dog but a friend who trained and showed dogs told me not to get a Border Collie since they would need to be kenneled when not working. BC's high working drive would have them moving the sheep on their own! Laura moved to the east coast years ago and is now a herding trial judge.
We did have an Aussie from working lines that we started but never finished. She was good, but since our sheep came when we shook a bucket of grain, and were halter trained by our 4-h children, she had no real work!

Now with the LGDs I would be afraid that they would go after the herding dogs if they got into the pasture. We are just not set up here for both herding dogs and LGDs. The LGDs are more necessary at this point due to our predator load. When we move to Texas we might have to look for a trained dog. Maybe we could buy a dog that is not quite up to trial standards or is being retired. DS1 said he would rather have a Mule - the gas operated kind. LOL

I do think you should breed Barb next spring. The ram will be old enough, and you can use him on the other sheep, including his mother. You can use the same ram on his daughters and sisters for 2 generations with no problems, but the 3rd generation must be terminal. You can choose specific ewes to breed each year since you won't want to train other dogs on your lambs at first. For trials do the dogs have to know how to drive pregnant ewes and ewes with lambs? The dogs have to be gentler with them than they would be with a flock of wethers and open ewes. Or maybe for trials you don't need the dogs to herd ewes with lambs. I think it would be interesting to train your own dogs to discriminate between mamas with lambs and sheep without lambs.

Love all the pictures.
I do believe it's a small world - I'm guessing your friend Laura N. who moved to the east coast lived down here in San Diego county before moving - she's also a friend of mine (we're also both judges)!
Yeah - the BC's are pretty high drive or at least need to be working a large amount of the time. The are kind of OCD in that they need to work. Can't quite leave them alone with the sheep - they're movers not guardians. I know a lot of people who have guardians - and most of them have to put them up when they go to work the dogs for herding. A lot are ok with their own dogs, but client dogs, even regulars, are not a good mix.
You're being realistic in all your thinking about the LGDs and the herders. Having read a lot of your threads "that's you" :).
HUGE HUGE thank you for the advice on breeding! :):) I'm so entirely used to breeding in the dog world this is another thing all together.
As for time to take them out to graze - it's a first thing in the morning while it's cool / cold (less chance of snakes), and it's the style that I train my dogs to work, "large flock" (though my flock is far from large) but the work is still the same - keep them on the road, move along the sides, put them in a grazing area, keep them there (i.e. dog has to become a "fence", change the direction they are grazing in, etc. There are trials for this type of herding as well. AKC has two types of trials for this - C course, and French course. AHBA calls it large flock. It's very different from the typical herding trials you see, not at all like the border collie trials.
So I spend the first few hours of the day out grazing - that includes "training" the dog (though Obi Wan doesn't need the training any more), grazing "mows" down the growth :)lol: - yeah I know a weed whacker is faster), and as they graze I'm out there checking fences, picking up boards from the old grove, ripping out old irrigation lines, trimming trees, yanking bad weeds, filling in holes, etc. all the while Obi keeps the sheep in a grazing area that I decided needed some "clearing".
Too funny -- when the wild cucumber starts up I rip out the vines and on the walk back to the barn/corral/pasture I put the vines on the backs of the sheep to carry back!
.
Sad to see that you are moving to TX (though I totally understand), but CA will be losing a good person with a wealth of knowledge.
 

SageHill

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Another day in my paradise. 46 in the AM and 68 in the PM. Layers! HA - I find my layers on fences, hay bales, boulders, --- it could look like laundry some days :lol:.
Typical Tuesday cleaning stalls, and now the added shred the stems. Though I'm shredding them 3-4 times a week now. It sure is knocking down the volume!!! YAY
DH spent time out on the ranch road trenching and doing work to put in more drains. Last week's rain was perfect to point out areas that needed improvement. So it's drains, swales, maybe gunnite swales, and who knows what else. He's also checking out ordering bark chips for the circle in front of the barn. YAY - that'll look nice.
The lambs are too cute sometimes. Today was one of them. I take some pics and send them to my friend who lost her dog the day they were born - it helps her. Easy for me to do, and something good for her.
This one made her laugh....
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Here they are - not the greatest pics -
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IMG_4105.jpeg
 

Mini Horses

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These grow out months are why young boys are a PITA for breeders. Almost easier to have a few, to house together and away. It's also a reason for castration. :hide yours would have a difficult time reaching your adult ewes, for a little while, to be breeding effective.

ETA Whoa!! Just saw the pic, he's definitely getting tall! 🤣. Now you'll be needing a pen just for him. 👍🥴
 
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SageHill

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For trials do the dogs have to know how to drive pregnant ewes and ewes with lambs? The dogs have to be gentler with them than they would be with a flock of wethers and open ewes. Or maybe for trials you don't need the dogs to herd ewes with lambs. I think it would be interesting to train your own dogs to discriminate between mamas with lambs and sheep without lambs.

Love all the pictures.
@Ridgetop -- oops missed that question. In trials we do not use heavily pregnant ewes, ewes with lambs, or lambs.
Though my dogs have worked with all of those. They are very perceptive of them and work them differently than open ewes or wethers.
Obi Wan loves babies -- of any type, he's super calm and sweet with them. That's pretty much true of all the dogs I've had, though it's definitely not true of all herding dogs. Mine know the difference without me telling/teaching them. And we all know ewes with lambs are usually not to be pushed around - they push back! :D =D
 

purplequeenvt

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Just found your thread and finished reading it. Where do you find time to take the sheep out and stay with them for hours while they graze? I always wanted a trained herding dog but a friend who trained and showed dogs told me not to get a Border Collie since they would need to be kenneled when not working. BC's high working drive would have them moving the sheep on their own! Laura moved to the east coast years ago and is now a herding trial judge.
We did have an Aussie from working lines that we started but never finished. She was good, but since our sheep came when we shook a bucket of grain, and were halter trained by our 4-h children, she had no real work!

Now with the LGDs I would be afraid that they would go after the herding dogs if they got into the pasture. We are just not set up here for both herding dogs and LGDs. The LGDs are more necessary at this point due to our predator load. When we move to Texas we might have to look for a trained dog. Maybe we could buy a dog that is not quite up to trial standards or is being retired. DS1 said he would rather have a Mule - the gas operated kind. LOL

I do think you should breed Barb next spring. The ram will be old enough, and you can use him on the other sheep, including his mother. You can use the same ram on his daughters and sisters for 2 generations with no problems, but the 3rd generation must be terminal. You can choose specific ewes to breed each year since you won't want to train other dogs on your lambs at first. For trials do the dogs have to know how to drive pregnant ewes and ewes with lambs? The dogs have to be gentler with them than they would be with a flock of wethers and open ewes. Or maybe for trials you don't need the dogs to herd ewes with lambs. I think it would be interesting to train your own dogs to discriminate between mamas with lambs and sheep without lambs.

Love all the pictures.
That’s not true of all BCs. My boy is out of solid working lines, is partially trained, and would spend ALL day outside working if I let him. He does NOT go into the sheep pen with them unless I call him. In the house, he’s a complete veg. I’m down with the ‘Rona and spent all day in bed sleeping yesterday. He spent all day in bed sleeping with me.

You need a dog with a good “off switch”.
 

SageHill

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That’s not true of all BCs. My boy is out of solid working lines, is partially trained, and would spend ALL day outside working if I let him. He does NOT go into the sheep pen with them unless I call him. In the house, he’s a complete veg. I’m down with the ‘Rona and spent all day in bed sleeping yesterday. He spent all day in bed sleeping with me.

You need a dog with a good “off switch”.
Yup! You’ve got a great one 😊. There are many that are like that and then those that are OCD about working. Breeds and what they do is a generalization with odds in favor of what the breed does. I worked with an Dobe that easily was a good herder. Every dog is an individual.
 

SageHill

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Cool morning in the 40s, comfy afternoon in the low 70s. Can't complain. Getting things ready for continued work on the drains for the ranch road and next to the big arena - more pieces to get.
Not much new, just the same ol' same ol'.
As for the phone, that listens in to every word I say (need to get a "cage" for the darned thing) - I think it should be renamed an "information gathering device" o_O BUT the phone that thinks it knows everything seems to think the lambs are dogs.
Check it out !
IMG_4131.PNG
LOOK - it's a DOG!
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But what kind is it??
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IMG_4154.PNG
IMG_4155.PNG

What next?!! :lol::rolleyes::th

.......
 
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