STEADINESS PRACTICE : One of life's essential skills - being steady to livestock. Every year we have the delight of hundreds of sheep passing the gate as they come down from the high fields to the farm below our house for shearing, and then seeing them returning again one or two days later 3 or 4 kilos lighter! This provides an excellent opportunity to reinforce the desired steady behaviour! This is a big occasion in the farming year round here and it's a question of "all hands on deck" for the muster - Land Rover, pick-up, quad bike, car, three dogs, the farmer and his family riding, walking or arm-flapping at errant sheep not to mention the frantic shouting and swearing that went on when a bunch of them veered off into the churchyard . . . and that's before you start counting the "yard brigade" of shearers, fleece rollers, sheep managers and refreshment providers; it is certainly a major operation!
Nénu IS a very calm and steady dog (when required to be ... she has her moments at other times!!) so it isn't a problem, but she is always very fascintated by the procession past her gate. This photo was taken through the gate and shows the sheep on their downward journey; last night I timed the uphill return and it took very nearly 20 minutes for the whole flock to pass by . . . it is quite a large flock!!!!