As you might have gathered, we only have a small flock, so are not at the stage where we consider a proper sheepdog a necessity. We generally manage with strategically placed sheep hurdles and the help of Hatty and her daughter Henrietta.
Hatty is an old sheep that we took to when the lady, to whom we let some grazing, brought her to Quainton. Hatty looked like a hat rack - hence her name. She is a very tame sheep, who will take rolls out of your hand, but has manners as she isn't pushy and doesn't climb up your back. She is sensible and not flappy so will lead the flock where you want them to go. She is part -bred Wilt and throws decent lambs, does them well and is a great mother.
We kept Henrietta as she was a lovely stamp of a ewe lamb and grew well enough that she was covered as a ewe lamb, and produced twins of her own. She inherited Hatty's great character traits so looks set to be giving us a helping hand as a luring sheep for years to come. Here she is looking very St Moritz in the snow! Hen had triplets in 2012 and has reared all three remarkably evenly.
Most of the flock bow to Hatty's leadership but some of the younger ones are a bit flighty when it comes to worming and feet inspection time. We then engage the Cyril. Cyril is a pedigree wire fox terrier, who has done basic obedience and dog agility training. He does the occasional good out-run, and will wait, sit and stay. For the young sheep, just the presence of the dog helps to make up their mind and we get them in.