Joe, from an early age, did not want to stay with the sheep. I always encouraged him to return there, never harshly, but firmly, and he would go in and right back out. He wanted to be with the pack of dogs. Mike, on the other hand, was much better at staying with the sheep, and although they both come out of the pens or jump in other pens, Mike returns to his sheep most often. I have caught Joe with Georgie in his mouth and a second time, trying to play with her. She is a crippled lamb and it is not a good thing.
Today, Joe was not with the sheep as usual, but Mike was. Even when company came, he was nowhere to be seen. The sheep have a new pen which is the bush buffer between the farm and the highway and they are in Heaven in there, tasting this and that and loving it. The goats are there too, and they especially like the leaves and dandelions. But the kids went in with the moms, then went to a corner near their pen and curled up to take a nap. The moms returned home, calling for their kids, but they actually were on the bush side of the fence, even though they could see one another. Mike was lying down watching the kids on the bush side. He stayed with them and guarded them until I came to rescue the babies and send them home to their moms.
I was so proud of Mike. He is just a year old and is already an excellent livestock guardian dog. Although there are 7 dogs on the farm and 6 are livestock guardians, only Mike stays with the sheep. Joe does a little, but not often. Mike will be able to protect the sheep and goats though, because he would sound the alarm in a heartbeat the other dogs would be there with him. I am pleased that Mike is all I had hoped he would be. Thanks Mikey. You da best!