Orchard Hill Ranch 

WORKING DOGS ON THE RANCH

English shepherds are first and foremost working dogs. Mace and Ember were my cow dogs, and help with chores around the farm.  Mags would dearly love to be a cow dog.  Fae, at this point, prefers to work sheep and goats, but I have plans for her future!  Mace has been to several clinics, and helped handle the whole herd of cattle. Ember was my go-to dog for moving cows with young calves, or when I needed other quiet stock work.  Mace is better at handling large herds or flocks.  Mags prefers cattle work to sheep work, though she helped with both.  Loki has shown some interest in stock work, but doesn't get opportunities to show us his working character.

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Mace waiting patiently for the calves to turn and head up the hill. Calves need some finesse, or they tend to scatter.

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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.

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 Mace bringing me the sheep, and practicing bringing them through a constricted area (they came through the gap between the fence and the tipped-over feeder).
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Ember loves babies, and let this orphan lamb try to "nurse".  She adopts orphans, and protects them - even from the other dogs.

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Mags at a herding clinic, learning that what I want is for her to get around the stock.  She showed wonderful working instincts - calm and quiet work, a nice gather, a good sense of keeping the flock together, and appropriate power.




Below is a video of Mags helping me put the escaped sheep back in their paddock. This was the first time I had asked her to help, so you can hear me encouraging and guiding her frequently.  I liked her calm, quiet work.  I liked that she watched me to see what came next, then helped that happen.  I liked that she darted back between the equipment to prevent the sheep from turning into the yard again, rather than turning into their paddock.
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Ember helping with chores - gathering up the flock and heading them toward the gate.  Below, she has moved them to the gate, and the lead ewes are ready to go through and out to pasture.

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