on the road

on the road

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Confidence

Since we've started lambing, my older border collie, Taff, has lost his confidence.  The ewes aggressively defend their lambs, which makes it difficult for Taff to get them to move.  Taff has a tendency to sulk if things don't go his way, and the ewes have exacerbated the problem.

Yesterday, I decided to try working Taff with our young dog, Mo, who belongs to our daughter Lara.  Mo is a brave if inexperienced dog, and I thought that Taff might have more confidence if he had help.  My plan worked!  Taff was much more courageous, and the two dogs successfully moved the entire flock (young lambs and all) into a new paddock.  Taff regained enough confidence even to take on ewes that challenged him.

One of the things I love about working with animals is the challenge of figuring out how best to communicate with them.  I have found that problems are generally the result of my inability to communicate, not disobedience on the part of the animal.  Yesterday was rewarding because I figured out how to get through to Taff.

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