Understanding the flight zone and point of balance is very important if you want to work with animals. The flight zone is the area surrounding the animal that if entered by a potential treat will trigger a reaction. The flight distance depends on the animal, as well as the environment the animal is in. If sheep are in a smaller pen they will have a smaller flight zone, and sheep in a larger paddock will have a bigger flight zone. Sheep are herd animals and tend to move in the opposite direction of the handler movement.

The point of balance generally lies behind the animal’s shoulder. Standing behind the point of balance causes the animal to move forward, and standing in front of the point of balance causes the animal to move backwards.

It is better to remain outside the flight zone when handling sheep so that the animals don’t become stressed. The point of balance can be used to move sheep around enclosures and get them into the areas you want. The flight zone and point of balance can be used when trying to restrain a sheep.