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Life in a small town.

Meg again.

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Meg's training is now on phase three. Phase one was fairly disasterous, where I tried her with sheep straight away and she kept running off in ever increasing circles. Phase two was to take off all the pressure and have nothing to do with sheep for a bit, so that the "come to me" command now means come here and have a cuddle, and "lie down" means roll over and have your tummy scratched. This has worked as far as it goes, she has become alot more relaxed.

Phase three is born of that old adage ; "there's nowt trains a dog like work ." So as it's sheep shearing time where I need to gather sheep in smallish bunches (I'm no longer young so I like small bunches of sheep to shear) I've decided that will be Meg's job.

Straight away there was a Problem, she has been trained principally to bring sheep towards the handler. This is a very strong natural instinct anyway in sheep dogs (because the handler is the alpha dog,) and in the days before quad bikes it was very useful, the shepherd could stand at the gate while the dog went round and gathered the sheep. I need a dog that can work along side me and the quad, in other words a dog that can drive sheep as well as gather.

So anyway, I was driving sheep towards the farm and Meg was trying to gather them back towards me, but eventually we got some in, so it was a qualified sucess.

Then tonight I was returning some to the field, and Meg had gone round the wrong side again and I whistled her to "come here" and she came ! Is it a breakthrough? Time will tell.

Updated 07-12-2013 at 04:38 PM by prendrelemick



  1. qimissung's Avatar
    I hope so. She sounds adorable. Not what your looking for, I understand, but still.
  2. Helga's Avatar
    A small victory at least! I just love working dogs that are treated so well, farmers on the ice are very harsh when it comes to dogs, often not always. My icelandic sheepdog was once offered a life on a farm and it was tempting until I found out they never go to to a vet and that the old dog on the farm couldn't work anymore was to be shot the minuet my boy came. So I said no and he stays with me.

    Sheepdogs are wonderful creatures with good training and good owners, so again I hope for the best with you and Meg.
  3. prendrelemick's Avatar
    There is a school of thought that shooting a dog that can no longer work is a kindness. This is complete rubbish of course, a retired sheepdog can have a perfectly happy life, either pottering round the farm or in a new home.
  4. Virgil's Avatar
    Great! She's going to work out.