Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Queen still rules the Kingdom!!

Tess is almost 11 years old and quite the seasoned dog on the farm. She had tons of miles at the trials and over her career has done exceptionally well. However she has also proved herself her at home, swimming to get sheep off islands, moving cattle and so forth.

She shines when it comes to moving ewes and lambs. She has been doing it for 9 years now and is the *Queen of the Kingdom". She is my right hand and knows what to do, even before I tell her.

The ewes all had the lambs born in a short amount of time and are very protective. Most of the time they will try to smash a dog into the ground if they feel threatened. Tess knows how much pressure she can out on them to move them and not back down.

I turn my ewes and lambs loose to graze on the front lawn and when I am done, they have to go back into the lambing corral. Sometimes they don't want to or have a mind of their own.

This ewe with her lambs that are a day old didn't want to go anywhere except on the front lawn. I told Tess to "Bring her in" and I just waited. (click on the pixs for a larger view)

She is walking straight into the ewe and not backing down.

One foot lifted and turning her head to take the pressure off. Look at the ewe's back leg and you can see from the first picture to this picture, that Tess has gotten her to step back one foot at a time.

Now she has backed he up a couple of more feet, very slowly and with tons of patience.

Still backing her up one step at a time. It's very slow and steady as the lamb was just wandering about, oblivious to all of this.

Mama ewe is checking on the lamb and Tess inches forward.

Now the lamb is going in the right direction, Tess faces the ewe and start walking more into her and locks eyes with her. They have a mini standoff at this point.

One large step to get her to back up more.

She stops and freezes and holds the ewe with her eye. The ewe dropped her head and pawed the ground and Tess froze and didn't back up. Tess won't back down and if any ewes charge her, she will grip the nose and then stand firm.

Now Tess has backed the ewe about 20 feet to the well house lawn. See how intense here eyes are? Notice the white in her ears and around her muzzle.

Still backing up the ewe one step at a time. During this the lamb ran up to Tess and nuzzled her and Tess froze until the lamb wandered back to the ewe which is what is happening here.

Pushing the ewe more and the ewe finally turned and went to the corral. During this time, I just took pictures and Tess did all the work on her own.

Frozen in time.

Close up of her intensity.


WalkOn Border Collies said...

very cool sequence. what a dog!

An English Shepherd said...

great pictures of a very good dog :-)