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Working on the Drive

How to Drive Sheep

driving involves the dog working on its own, pushing the sheep or cattle away from the handler, sometimes for considerable distances…It has a great number of uses and although driving has a reputation for being difficult to teach because a dog’s natural reaction is to bring the stock to the handler rather than push them away… Andy Nickless

holding sheep
The sheep see Tuf enter the field.

 

Border collies
“I got this mom. You go fill the hay feeders.”

 

working on the drive
Tuf drives the sheep all by herself.

 

Though Tuf came to us already knowing how to drive sheep, my flock has proven to be a bit difficult. I have a couple of ewes that just don’t want to be worked by a dog. So every day, at chore time, Tuf gets to practice driving, and the ewes get to practice respect for the dog. The first two weeks, I had to do what Andy Nickless calls “droving”. I would walk along next to Tuf and encourage her to walk up on the sheep. Together, she and I would drive the sheep up the hill, away from the hay feeders. If a ewe turned to challenge Tuf and refused to move, I was there to support Tuf. Now, Tuf drives the sheep all by herself up to the top of the hill. She holds them there while I fill hay feeders and water buckets. No more sheep bumping me about, getting in the way, and being a general nuisance at chore time!

training sheep dogs
Tuf keeps the sheep off the hay feeders during chore time.

 

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