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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Round Pen Dilemma

Do I build a round pen and turn my sheep into knee knockers so I can train Reese?  I think I'm going to.  I won't need the round pen long, and by the time I turn the sheep into knee-knockers, I'm going to hate them.  But ... after taking Reese and her sister over to someone else's tonight, I've decided it's what I need to do.  Reese's sister Majia, I've noticed, is more like Echo.  Started a little rough, but widened up pretty quick.  I got her going both directions and took her off.  Not before one of the sheep decided that she'd rather run into the fence than contend with the dog.  Ugh.  I hate that.  I think, though, that Majia's owners could start introducing her once or twice a month for short sessions and see how she does.

Put Reese on, and she's more goofy.  Tail up, not all that serious, liked to split one off and chase it.  I let her grab a bit of hair to see what she'd do, and she wasn't all that committed, although she came up with a bit of hair to floss with.  She needs more time to mature.  And I'm good with that.  It will give me time to get the round pen built, and my sheep knee-knocker ready.

So where to put the round pen.  I measured tonight, and I could do a 50' diameter round pen on the far NW corner of my property.  It won't be perfectly round, but there will be no corners, and it will be out of the way.  Best of all, the only thing I need for it is about 4 ranch panels.  So, about $100 and I've got it made, literally.   Maybe I'll grab a couple of bags of concrete and set wood posts for the entrance gate.  That's something that's always bugged me about my old round pen.  I had those big horse bow entry gates fibertaped to some T-posts (the fine workmanship of the drunken ex-husband), and it always wobbled (big shocker).  So, hopefully, I can do this right this time.

Then I'll need more puppies to work.  Anyone got any they want to send me?



  1. Go for a larger pen -- 70' is recommended in Vergil Holland's book. Too small and you are putting too much pressure on the dog which in turn pressures the sheep.

    Working them in a round pen won't necessarily turn them into knee knockers, either.

    Hope it works out for you!


  2. Thanks Debbie. Yes, if I can make it larger, I will. I have two things working against me ... land ... and sprinkler heads that need capping off so no one gets hurt.

    They need to be knee-knockers in order to work in the round pen.

  3. Nitro said he wants to come work sheep!

  4. Ours is 60 feet and it is just fine.

  5. Yeah, my old one was 50' and worked just fine, also. We'll see. It's all going to depend on what I CAN do as opposed to what I want to do. I CAN do at least 50'. And it's not "round" at that. It's sort of oblong. As long as there's no corners, it'll serve the purpose.

    Nitro is welcome any time!