This past weekend Erin and i went back and revisited The Sort. We discussed the epic sort failure here in My Side of the Job. For the purposes of ease, i’m going to put the positive steps forward in bold.
Much of the work was the same outside of having to create more groups (YAY, er um… yay).
1) Run out and grab the whole group, sort off the lambs into the Round Pen. This went well, aside from missing 4 sheep. I used Molly to hold the sheep in the gate sort and a few smaller flanks to help bring the a few more lambs to the front. Aside from the small flanks she stayed when told.
2) Move remaining group down to sorting area, pen against the trees. First, she stayed when and where told and pitched wide when needed. She did overflank and did not stop on the pressure when i needed her. However in cleaning up that little mess she did push the sheep by walking up on the tree side that has previously been a bugger.
3) Sorted off 4 specific sheep. In Record Time, thankyouverymuch. this is not a dog task, but to say i struggled with my part of the sort last time is a total understatement. Moved the 4 up to other storage pen, near round pen.
4) Sorted off 5 other specific sheep. Moved to far pasture. Lots of winging around… she really struggled to hold pressure while we were getting through the swampy areas where the sheep (and I) get slower. She did do a nice job of covering to not escape off to LGD’s and other sheep in round pen.
5) Took lambs from Round pen to lower pasture holding area. This is hard as there are a lot of places to get into trouble. the narrow spot at the gate is right next to the other holding pen that had some sheep in it and is flush to the evil trees. She lost them behind the 2nd holding pen and struggled to find an ‘ok’ places to get through the trees (in her mind). So i showed her where she could get through and started to create a little draw. She did a nice job of not pressuring the lambs in the corner as they can slide under the bars and mix in with the other sheep. Once clear of that sticky spot, the walk down to the lower pasture was pretty uneventful.
At the end of the day we also let almost everyone back out. Tanya let the horned sheep in the far pasture out.
1) Molly and went down the lower pasture and let the lambs out. She did a nice job of placing herself appropriately to pressure them out of the pen without being too pushy. Also started a nice little assisted drive up to the sorting pen. When i sent her out to stop the drive and hold the lambs at the sorting pen, she did a nice standing hold.
2) Let the rest of the sheep out of the sorting pen to meet with the lambs. Once we were positioned well, I started opening the gates, called her off the hold and to cover any draw to the lower pasture. She stayed like a champ and watched every single sheep run off to the feeders.
So while we’re struggling with some things, what took a hour and a half last time was done in 40 minutes this time. 🙂
** Quick add: when bringing the sheep down to be sorted… she was struggling to keep her group together around obstacles (feeders and such). I need to make a conscious effort to help her see everyone and keep them together.