Sunday, March 22, 2009

Swineherding, airedales

Red, the Airedale puppy, is showing promise as a herding dog. Both he and his mother, Cat, are proving helpful in moving the pigs around. Here Cat is at the center, and red is at the far right.

They'll work as a team, bunching and herding the pigs, circling the herd, keeping them together. With my minimal electric fence, the smaller pigs slip out, and the dogs are pretty clear about the rules: If the pig is outside the white electric fence, it should be back inside. They patrol the open areas around the current field and take their job very seriously.

I don't know much about training herding dogs. I think it's time I looked for someone to take some herding classes from. It'd be useful if the dogs could cut a pig out under my direction.

I've been slowly moving the pigs into a three acre wooded area on my property. The goal is to have them clear some of the area so that they can have shade in the summer, and I can get more use out of my land. So far it's working well.

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