The border collie breed is named for the region in the United Kingdom on the border of Scotland and England where the dogs have thought to be initially bred. The breed is highly intelligent as the farmers in the border region of the UK needed a dog which was a workaholic, always wanting to please their master, and a very quick study – to the point of becoming predictive in nature. Additionally the breed is meant to somewhat resemble the look of a wolf for intimidation purposes.
The goal of the border collie? To care for sheep in the fields and to be able to move them from one field to another and to bring them in for shearing.
In the first of December 2017, we took Skyy to a sheep farm to see how he would do “rounding up” the herd. The goal was fro him to chase the sheep in a clockwise and counter-clockwise motion around the handler. This is the beginning of training for a good sheepdog.
Here’s what happened…
I was trying to show Skyy how to get the sheep off of the fencing, as soon as they were away from the fence, the instinct kicked in!
The border collie moves sheep/geese/mailmen/cars/children/leaves/snowflakes (whatever they are trying to herd) mostly through an intimidation stare, or “the eye”. Just through pure staring and intimidation, these dogs can move flocks of sheep across miles of territory!
Herding Pt. 2
As the temperature soared into the mid to high 90’s, we took the dogs to herd sheep! This time to play with sheep was preordained a month earlier, so the weather was not a factor in the decision, although there were times when we questioned our sanity while we were working.
Skyy and Syrah found ways to keep cool…(Syrah rolls in sheep poop in this video)
Braving the heating elements of mother nature, we traveled to the Spicy Lamb Farm in the Cleveland/Akron area to let Skyy and Syrah to see what their instinct would do. We certainly were not disappointed.
We took some time during our working sessions to cool off. There were a few kiddie pools there but Skyy found a mud bath was much more suitable for him…
Skyy was very engaged with the sheep and was successful moving the sheep around the pen both clockwise and counter-clockwise.
We all had some ice cream afterwards and we all slept very well.
Until next time…