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  • Writer's pictureJ. A. Thomas

It is very exciting to watch the light come on in working dogs

Well I am super excited today. Those of you that have been following know that we kept two puppies out of our last litter for the purpose of starting and training them on stock. I have been doing my best to keep them out and exercised daily. While either walking around our orchard or driving a golf cart and running them.

I have been protective of them as the mother got hit by a mother goat while a pup and it took a long time for her to not run from them. Well I had them out a few days ago and was feeding my last transient cow, a highland with full set of horns. Roan trotted into the pen and she walked over to him nice and calm until the last second and rushed and flipped him with those horns. Well he ran off a ways and I was bummed. I had done so good to keep protect them while young from this and didn't want to deal with the retraining necessary. So I am on high alert to what they are doing.

Today I let them out and they go running around and into the barn. I hear chickens squawking and flying, the visiting rooster cackling like he laid and egg, and out they come around me and back in. Just quick enough to redirect roan back into the pen but patch is keyed into something. I am calling her but she is zoned. I think to myself oh boy that chicken is dead. Well to my surprise she runs up to it and when it got stuck against a fence she stops and lowers down, just waiting for it to move. About that time my brain triggered to realize she isn't hunting or chasing she is herding, Yahoo! It clicked, she is growing up.

So now I am shopping for some goats to start them on and hoping that Roan is not going to be to scared from being hit. Time to break out the training video's and books this winter and hopefully by spring I'll have two new hands to help me out. Got a lot of work to do though as these Mini texas longhorns know how to use their horns.

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