Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ernie's Progress - an update

Ernie had to be a big dog today!  I needed to give Mo a break this week, so Ernie and Taff came with me to McCormack Ranch.  Ernie's a long way from perfect, but he's an equally long way from the dog he was 12 months ago!

This morning, we pushed ewes and lambs about half a mile up the road onto new feed.  Ernie, for the most part, did wonderfully - he even drove sheep (which has always been difficult for him - he wants to get to their heads).  Then we helped gather about 450 pairs out of an adjacent field.  Again, he did great!  This afternoon, we pushed these pairs onto the the new feed, which took about an hour.  Ernie wasn't perfect, but neither did he quit!  I was quite proud of him.  He'll sleep good tonight - I think he finally figured out what the other side of tired looks like!

Taff, on the other hand, shuts down when I have to focus on Ernie.  Taff's always been a sulky dog, and it's even more pronounced as he gets older.  That said, I'd still be at work (it's 6:15 and dark here) without my dogs.  Thanks, boys!


  1. Thanks for the update on Ernie. You read my mind as I was just wondering lately how Ernie was doing. How awesome to be able to work 450! That is just a dream for my boys!

  2. A brief update - yesterday morning, I used Ernie to move a single ewe away from a small group of sheep back up the valley to where the rest of the pairs were grazing. The past, he would have tried to get at to her head by the shortest route possible. This time, he stayed behind her as I asked and drove her calmly for nearly a half a mile. When we reached the gate (which I had to open), several lambs came through. Ernie took my flank commands and brought the bunch through the gate. This might not seem like much, but it represents quite an improvement for him and quite an accomplishment for us both!