Not all "farm dogs" herd sheep for work, and herding sheep is not the only work farm dogs do.
Bella is a German Shepherd, built to work steadily and comparatively slowly, her preferred job is to guard rather than herd.
Indeed, the truth is that despite her size and strength, my sheep know her well as friend and protector, but have very little regard for her authority over them. The lambs will follow her, their mothers will trustingly allow them, and turn their backs to graze in peace. Lambs can be exhausting charges.
The lamb in the photo, a Wensleydale whose mother makes an annual gift to me of a day-old lamb. She gives birth easily and washes the lamb with great gusto. Then she nudges it firmly and continually at both Bella and I. I'd prefer lambs to stay with their mother, but this lady is determined. She will let me milk her so the lamb gets the early supply of cholostrum, essential to pass on mum's immunity, but she will not feed it directly or even care for it. Why, I do not know. In earlier days she was a perfect mother, shown on my avatar and below.
Bella gives in to her demands first. Quietly she lies down and nuzzles the lamb against herself, as it is on the hearth rug above. Oddly, the lamb never looks for milk from her foster mother, but will sleep against her warmth and skip by her side for a month or so. Quickly it learns to seek milk in a bottle from me, then head for comfort from Bella.
Happy with this arrangement, its real mother heads off to rejoin the flock. She'll see her baby daily and half-heartedly bleat a welcome without lifting head from grass. But when the lamb is weaned, she willingly takes it back and encourages it to sleep and graze at her side.
Hmmm.... Have I made a few mothers envious out there?