I did work the dogs, but my husband did the majority of the training. He'd use a whistle once he got used to it, but mostly voice commands. We were blessed with a dog that just seemed to be born to the work. He started with her very early, which is probably why we had fewer problems. However, if Mac is keen, that's a good portion of it. He just needs to learn to rein in that enthusiasm a bit. They are a joy to watch, even if they're still learning. Kerry (our dog) tried to herd anything that moved, including cats. No success there, of course, but her mother herded pigs, of all things. I thought the breeder was pulling a fast one on me until I picked up the puppy and smelled hogs x 10. I figured if Kerry's dam could herd swine, the puppy would be great. She was. Her sons, however, were daft as a post. Never did figure that one out.
Most of it is just persistence and working them regularly. The rest I suspect is pure luck.
What is the weather like - hm, not the usual, that's for sure. We have had extremely high winds over last few days, a little sleet and a light scattering of snow on the higher "hills". However, in the main, exceptionally wet - so wet, that I went and gave the hogs a "top up" - which is early. Some mists stay low in the early part of the day as well - but I don't mind that - adds to the quiet. Been an odd year all round - wet in Jan/Feb, then we had a very early summer in march/april, then back to horrendous wet again - never had a year like it - give me snow any day.
I bow to your superior knowledge of the working collie - any tips - I'll gladly accept. Mac (he's the dog) and I are "learning together". He is 4 years old - way late to be learning, but he tries real hard. He was given to me a year ago, supposedly "trained" - read: shouted and sworn at more like. He is extremely keen and fast - at times, too fast for me. I tried the "rope" attachment trick to control him - that left me flat on my back being dragged up the field. I have finally figured out, that I have to stand in the right place too - so we are beginning to make headway now.
I got a whistle - a half moon, but nearly swallowed that, so got an "A" whistle in its place - this has a string attached so means I am less likely to swallow - so far, I can make only one sound, but hey, I'm learning and the dog is patient...
Trust me, I am not writing this at 9.35 am - more like almost 1am. A shot - how very American, which, as you probably speak with a US accent would have been perfectly understandable - fool them by asking for a dram next time.
My ewes were Cheviots - probably a stupid cross to do as a beginner - the suffolk lambs are huge. Yup, I had triplets once and don't want them again as the third had to be bottle fed - that's my little Rosie. She has since had Baby Rosie and this year had Baby Baby Rosie - her mum and grandma are still with me as well.
I don't like Suffolks - daft, dopey and pretty stupid really. I swopped Noel the Suffolk tup for James a Cheviot a couple of years back - far fitter lambs, faster of their feet.
I am thankful I only have to worry about foxes, we don't have coyotes. There are no wild dogs round here, unless you count the newly acquired part-trained sheep dog. I am honing my whistle skills!
The malt can be cheaper - depends if it is "legal" or not - the UK government take a huge chunk in tax. Edinburgh, nice city, but way south of our location. If you want good old fashioned hospitality - go further. You won't need a navigator - there are too few roads up here.
Ounces? Wow, now you are talking old money. When you get to Scotland - just ask for a dram. You'll confuse them by asking for an ounce or probably risk a "European" fine, we are supposedly not using imperial measures. Give me pounds and gallons any day.
Yes, I started keeping sheep 6 years ago - to help keep the grass down - however, as I soon learned, 6 sheep were not enough, so, when the neighbours gave me a Suffolk tup, I went into sheep production - and the learning curve rocketed. Now up to 34 breeding ewes and have 2 tups. I do not recommend anyone with a delicate stomach go into lambing - however, they do taste good.
Now there is a thought, Sheep in Atlanta, that would be novel. But, yeah, getting up every 2 hours was the norm, until this year - when, due to fox problems (first time ever) I was out all night with a torch running round like an idiot. I think this is the only time I have regretted leaving my nice cushy life... well, just a bit anyway.
Your single malt might be even cheaper if you travelled northwards from London. We have multiple distilleries - closest are Morangie and Balblair. Far more interesting than your traditional pub crawl. No smog here though, just a lot of spooky mist. Enjoy Crimespace.