'The Trouble with Sheep' !!

Jul 10

Loki the Vallhund  Researches 'Fly Strike'!

Loki the Vallhund is concerned about one of 'his' sheep!

He noticed last week that on of his sheep had been afflicted by the dreaded 'Fly Strike', in which flies lay their eggs in the sheep's fleece, then the maggots.....well you can imagine the rest!

It is often said that sheep are always looking for a new way to die!

Like any good shepherd Loki is 'reading up' on the subject, in his book : 'Practical Shepherding in a Smallholding where you are 'Borrowing' Someone Elses Sheep'......

Seriously though, Loki proved useful in that he managed to seperate the poorly sheep from the others & put it in the Barn so it could be treated with a pour on preparation by the owners.

It has been suggested to me that Loki is merely 'Looking @ the Pictures' in these photos, or indeed that I need to buy him some glasses as he is clearly short sighted!!

Ridiculous! If he was unable to read, how would he be able to turn to the correct Chapter on 'Fly Strike'?!

Loki does admit though, that he struggled with some of the longer 'technical' words, such as 'Insecticide' etc......

Loki moving 11 sheep out of the Barn

Jul 5

One example of a practicle task for your Vallhund in a Smallholding!

One example of a practicle 'chore' for your Vallhund in a Smallholding : Taking Sheep out of a Barn!

It's quite easy for Loki to persuade these C.A.D.E. Lambs to go into the Barn - which they associate with warmth, food & safety.

However when asked to exit the Barn, they all gather together in a corner, one even stands on the hay bale.

Some dogs find sheep huddled together difficult to move, & the obvious approach of running @ them could end in disaster, as panicked sheep are very skilled at doing suicidal things, & there are several obstacles in the Barn for them to damage themselves on.

So, if you click on the Gallery below, you will see that Loki is actually capable of trotting to circle around the edge of the Barn (come bye) keeping nicely on the far side of the sheep, with enough purpose to persuade them to leave the security of their corner, but in a steady manner.

Quite a contrast to the idea that Vallhunds are 'just' Cattle Herders who rather wildly move stock on by keeping just behind their heels, nipping & barking.

If necessary Loki will give a quick 'force bark' if the sheep are reluctant to move, which again is a perfectly acceptable 'tool' that a Vallhund has in his 'armory'.

Job done Loki!

Vallhunds have C.A.D.E. lambs to work

Jul 1

Loki & Tilly have new sheep to work!

We have 11 new sheep to work!

The downside is that they are 'C.A.D.E.' lambs ie handreared, who are used to wandering around the field following their owners gundogs, even butting them for milk!!

I did wonder if they would therefore take any notice of a Vallhund, however when Loki 'introduced' himself in Vallhund Style, it became apparent that these 'tame' lambs realised after all that they are SHEEP, & that Loki is a potential little WOLF!

And so begins the sometimes lengthy process of 'dog breaking' these sheep so that they can be useful to us for training.

Lots of following them around, putting them in & out of the barn, getting the dog behind them to 'fetch' them, slowly getting a partnership between the dog & sheep, so the sheep realises there is really no need to panic so long as they cooperate with the dog.

Eventually (from previous experience with my Valls), the sheep will view the 'human' as a better option than the dog, & we can do some useful training.

This is Loki driving them steadily, keeping a nice distance outside their 'flight zone' but keeping them nicely together. Nice example of 'reach & drive' as the 'Breed Standard' says!!

The second photo is Tilly, managing to calm down from her initial excitement @ seeing 11 very 'light' sheep for the first time.

Note the electric fence, which keeps 4 pigs from entering the sheep field, also the many 'obstacles' strewn around the field, knee high thistles & nettles abound!

Incidentally both Vallhunds have come into contact with the fence without apparently feeling it, I checked it out myself & it is most DEFINITELY switched on!

There are also guinea fowl in the field to distract the dogs.

But such is the reality of working your Vallhund in a Smallholding! A far cry away from 'Arena Trials' in the USA, & not akin to 'Moor Gatherings' in Yorkshire!

But the Vallhunds are loving it, tired & content after their first few sessions.

Keeping it 'Real'!

Loki enjoying a Pint in the Pub !

Jun 14

Loki refreshing himself in the Pub....

Ahhhhhh! What better way to end a hard day's Sheep Herding than in your Local Pub, a chat with the Barman, & a Pint of Pedigree........

UK Vallhund Weekend in Norfolk 2013

Jun 12

Vallhund 'get together' in Norfolk, camping & visiting the beach

Our Vallhunds recently returned from the Annual long weekend 'get together' with other Valls & their owners in Norfolk.

We chose to take the tent again, all the dogs enjoyed romping along Holkam beach, where Loki & Tilly enjoyed rescueing their frizbee from the sea, while Megan enjoyed getting a great deal of fuss from strangers & socialising @ the BBQ!

We're looking forward to next years event!

Swedish Vallhunds

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Vasgotespets

Bowkol Swedish Vallhunds

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