The dogs and I took a walk to the Creek and took my camera to
capture some photos, etc. When we got back it was "chore time" and
still had my camera in my pocket so I managed to take some photos of my
ES working/helping me as I checked my lambs.
When I went into the barn the lambs weren't all there so the dogs and I took off looking for them. The
"found" 4 lambs were peacefully grazing in the pasture and since I
wanted to view them all together, I asked Copper to "bring 'em to
me". Of course all the dogs are with me and yet each one are getting
more and more used to me asking for one, only ONE : ) to help.
These photos are in chronological order, showing how Copper gathered, moved the lambs "to me", and then "go to the barn". I was very lucky to have captured how my
"header" working style dog, Sasha and Copper who is the natural heeler
type *work* together! Not often I have my camera when I have these
moments, so I'm happy to share them here. Click on each photo to enlarge for better viewing.
I cannot take all the credit for how the dog(s) work for it's really up to the dogs, not me. From the time they are a pup they are following, watching and learning basic farm rules, rituals and routine. They not only "bond" with me but also the stock. That is, they know me (practically better than I know myself : ) as much as each and every animal and in turn each and every animal knows the dog(s) just as they know me (the caretaker : ). No-nonsense is allowed, therefore the dogs do not harass the stock. However, if the stock is rank towards the dog(s), the dog(s) are allowed to give them an attitude adjustment, only appropriately as needed. All in all, harmony becomes a "rule".
As the pup grows into an adult dog, they learn what I want by my molding their movement, telling them when they're doing it right or wrong. If they're doing it wrong, they must readjust by using their quick and ever-so brilliant minds to figure out how to do it (right). Granted I have some commands but it's not like I'm remotely telling them what/how and when to do it. (I'm not that smart. LOL! : ) Actually, my "commands" are very vague. Sometimes they're in the form of a sentence, sometimes just one word but I happen to use a lot of hand signals.
Working multiple dogs can be a challenge and yet can be easy if all steps have been taken to form a working relationship with them. That is, a sound and beloved bond to their owner is a must along with solid basic obedience commands (come, sit, and stay along with "leave it alone" and "out") and under all circumstances *I* am the BOSS.
Puppy Probation is an excellent training tool.
FARMCOLLIE GUARDIAN BEHAVIOR
BORDER COLLIES AS COMPARED TO ENGLISH SHEPHERDS