Whenever there are animals around Archie wants to watch them. He stares so intently that we call this 'watching TV'. Archie has many channels but his favourites are Chook TV, Piglet TV and especially Guinea Pig TV. He has despatched several chicks and a handful of guinea pigs but he prefers to play with his food. They die of fright rather than being savaged. If a chicken escapes Archie is prone to rounding them up and staring at them. It is the smaller dogs that are more likely to kill them.
On our farm we do not really need a sheepdog. The sheep mostly come when they are called and will go most places for some sheepnuts rattled in an ice cream container. So when Archie returned from his training all fired up for some serious sheep moving, he was disappointed. Nearly all the time he was in trouble if he went too near them. He couldn't forget it but he learnt to restrain himself. That was a long time ago in dog years.
Today I had to round up both groups of sheep and put some into the yards so that eight can be taken away by friends, who want them to chomp their way through their grass. Both big dogs were off their chains but as the sheep were close to the right place I thought I would give it a go. Toby had no clue and so he had to be tied up. Luckily the pony riders on the weekend had dropped a lead in a convenient place.
Archie came when called and sat down where I showed him. He even stayed there when the sheep had moved down into a laneway. I called him and he came and then waited. For the first time in a very long time he seemed to understand what I was trying to do. The first mob was easy. He became over-excited when moving the second mob and ran in the middle of the mob and split them but otherwise he was great. I'll have to try that again.