Man’s finest buddy, a loyal companion, and a farm’s biggest asset – the worth of a well-trained sheepdog can’t be overestimated.
However even essentially the most skilled of collies can have their quirks, leaving farmers pissed off and not sure on the perfect course of correction.
Right here to assist with coaching challenges are shepherding husband-and-wife crew Emma Grey and Ewan Irvine, who’re identified for breeding, competing and coaching a few of the nation’s most interesting sheepdogs.
On this month’s sheepdog coaching tip, the pair inform Farmers Weekly about the perfect sheep breed for coaching a younger canine.
See additionally: Sheepdog Faculty: What coaching tools do you want?
“We get requested on a regular basis what the perfect sheep for sheepdog coaching are. The brief reply? It’s Hebridean sheep.
“The Hebridean breed is a smaller-framed native breed which has excessive intelligence and, inside one or two classes, flip into sensible coaching sheep.
Mild and free-moving
“They’ve good ‘flockability’, which is vital. You don’t need your sheep splitting and being simply separated.
“For instance, Shetland sheep, whereas additionally smaller-framed natives, are fairly unbiased, they don’t bunch or flock effectively, and as such aren’t well-suited for younger canine.
“It makes your life a lot simpler in case your sheep are good for coaching. You need one thing that’s gentle and free-moving and conscious of your canine’s strikes.
“The alternative are heavy, uninteresting or, worse but, aggressive sheep. An instance can be your tups.
“They’re usually in a handy smaller packet near the farm, however they don’t transfer and react freely to a teen, so it’s finest to keep away from in any respect prices.
“We wish our kids filled with confidence and attaining success, so we wish to keep away from battle conditions.
Welfare is a precedence
“Educating your teen to herd is demanding for each your canine and your sheep. Welfare of animals is a precedence, so hold the classes brief.
“Heavy, lowland ewes received’t have the health to remain free-moving for lengthy and can rapidly be taught to face within the nook of the sphere once they see you coming, making for a clumsy and intimidating begin.
“We discover the Hebrideans be taught to carry to the handler, warding off the fences and have that motion we have to hold children eager.
“Usually, they are often picked up moderately, typically from different sheepdog trainers, already dogged, and this funding can pay dividends for you and your canine.”