Border Collie herding sheep

No matter how often I see examples of Border Collie herding sheep it still blows my mind. I grew up around farms but not “on the farm” by any means so a lot of this stuff is still pretty impressive to me. As you’re most likely aware these dogs have been breed to be working down assisting farmers with the herding of livestock like sheep and cattle. There is a very strong “herding instinct” in these dogs however there is a great deal of training required to bring out the best in this breed and focus that instinct into a usable trait.

Typical sheep herding training starts at about 10 months of age. Before they get to this point basic command training has been in the works starting at about 10 weeks of age. This the the standard regime of dog training such as sit, stay, lay down and so on. The sheep herding training is built over on top of the basics. It takes many months of work but when you see what a fully trained sheep dog can do it’s simply stunning…

Our Border Collie Ned had never really been exposed to any livestock until about 3 years of age. We took him to Upsate New York to visit my Father in Law who lived in farm country. My wife and her father took him out to a neighbors barn and opened the door to show Ned the cattle. He froze for a second, his hackles went up and he started to growl like she’d never heard him growl before. He then slowy backed around behind my wife and looked at the cows from behind her legs…growling the whole time. Big baby.

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