Orchard Hill English Shepherds
English shepherds are first and foremost working dogs. Mace and Ember are my cow dogs, and help with chores around the farm. Mace has been to several clinics, and helps gather cattle. Ember has been introduced to cattle work, and is showing promise. We recently added a small flock of Katahdin ewes. Josie has been helping Craig with cattle and sheep chores. She is Craig's "go to" dog, and they make a great team.
Mace waiting patiently for the calves to turn and head up the hill. Calves need some finesse, or they tend to scatter.
Ember flanking the cattle to return them to their pasture one-half mile away. She is just a year old here, and did most of the work by herself, with little direction and occasional encouragement.
Mace gathering ewes and lambs.
Josie learning calm, quiet pen work with the sheep.
English shepherds are known for their nurturing attitude toward young stock, and Ember is no exception.
Training Mace
Training Ember
Training Josie
Video of Mace driving sheep along a fenceline.
Video of Ember driving sheep along a fenceline.
Ember gathering sheep to put them through the gate next to the barn on the left.
Catching a straggler up with the rest of the flock.
And moving them to the gate.
Video of Mags at almost 2 years old. At this point, I was just starting to use her for help with sheep chores. Her focus is not constant, but she does want to move those sheep, and help me. She looks at me frequently for assurance that she is doing it right, or direction on what she should do.
What you see here is that once the sheep start moving, they think about turning to the right. Mags and I go around them to push them back toward the gate. As soon as they start moving, Mags dove back to the left to cover them and make sure they didn't go back out into the yard. She pushed them back toward the gate, but got a little pushy, so I called her to back her off. Then encouraged her to follow the sheep on through the gate. She called off with "That'll do!" and got praised profusely for her help.