Sheep herding

On Sunday, hubby and I went to the Ventura County Fairgrounds to see the Highland Games.  This isn’t something I’d normally go to,but a cousin’s husband was playing in the bagpipe competitions so we went to show our support.  I’ve never seen so many men in one spot wearing plaid skirts before so it was quite interesting.  The most interesting thing for me, though,  was seeing the Border Collies herding sheep.  I could have stood there all day.  If the dog wasn’t herding, sometimes the sheep just stood there as if to say “Well?  What now?”  It was so neat to see the dogs do their thing.

They told us that this is something the dogs are born with, they aren’t really trained to herd.  They brought out a 9 week old puppy and put him near the sheep.  He was more interested in chasing the bigger dog, and at one point showed the person in the ring that he could hold on to her pant leg pretty well 🙂  Seeing all of them made me want a Border Collie.  They’re gorgeous dogs and the way they worked was so neat.  However, with the warning that “If you don’t give a Border Collie a job, then they’ll make one”, I think we’re better off sticking with just the one dog we have.  She tries to herd the cats enough as it is.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Life Looms Large
    Oct 15, 2009 @ 11:47:22

    That’s interesting that they’re born with the herding instinct.

    On vacation, we were driving down a back road and could see a sheep that was on the median of the road, across the street from the herd. Suddenly, a border collie appeared, and moved the sheep back across the road to the herd. We were amazed that it knew to do that. We didn’t see any people around at all. So it must have just been part of that instinct that they’re born with.

    I’ve heard that border collies are also the dog breed most frequently surrendered to animal shelters because they’re so smart and they really need a job to do.

    Beautiful dogs though!!



  2. Life Looms Large
    Oct 15, 2009 @ 16:11:27

    There’s an award for you on my blog, if you want!

    Your newest fan,


  3. Janice in GA
    Oct 15, 2009 @ 19:09:04

    There was a program about dogs on PBS a few years ago. They had a video of a BC puppy being exposed to sheep. He was all puppy-all-over-the-place silly for a while, and then all of a sudden something turned on in his brain. Srsly, you could see it happen. One minute he was “lalalala I’m a puppy!” and a minute later it was “SHEEP! MUST HERD SHEEEEEPPPP!”

    Absolutely amazing dogs.


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