The OES-club invited to a hearding the other day. On a private farm we could come and have our dogs tested on sheeps.
We entered Misty, and friend Winnie was there as well with Alfa and her seven months old puppy Whisky. The rest of the dogs were Shetland Sheepdogs and Welsh Corgy.
Instructor was Collin Seaburne, who had the sheeps in full controll because he brought his own two Border Collies.
The day began with a talk about the different ways og hearding attached to the different kinds of breeds - and the different ways they get 'turned' on to the sheeps.
Then we went to the field and the sheeps. First we all stood on on side of the fence, while Collin took the sheeps close to us all by means of his Border Collies. Most of our dogs barked wildly! But were they barking just beacuse the sideman did, because of Collin's dogs or were they actually turned on by the sheeps? We found on later.
So a small group of sheeps were placed in an enclose, and one by one our dogs were taken very close to them. Some of the dogs ran straight to the enclosure and found the 'points of balance' between the dog, the sheeps and the owner (shepherd).
Some other dogs stayed safely behind their owners.
Next step was for the owner to go in to the sheeps. The sheeps were moved around, while Collins watched the reactions of the dogs standing outside.
Then the dogs were let in to the enclosue with the sheeps. Some dogs were stood behind the owner, others moved the sheeps around in there.
All dogs tried to go in to the enclosure three times, and it was obvious that they were more and more attached to the sheeps.
Finally the dogs and sheep met on open ground. On at a time our dogs tried their abilities as sheepdogs.
Alfa was carefull from start, but soon she forgot it all and ran around trying to get the sheeps together.
During all this Collin and his dogs stayed close by, preventing the act from getting to wild, taking care of both sheeps and dogs.
Our Misty enjoyed it very much. And for the first time she was praised for barking!
Seven months old Whisky has his own sheeps at home, so he is used to them. Even though his behaviour was simply play, he showed fine gifts as a sheepdog.
It was a very nice day showing us all that Old English Sheepdogs still have the power to heard sheeps.
Misty watching the sheeps from a distance.
Then her instincts are turned on by the sheeps.
Outside the enclosure she tries to keep the sheeps together.
She fetches the ones who ran away from the group.
Misty bussy getting hold of the sheeps. She is barking very much and running around all the time.
Winnie and Alfa. Alfa was carefull at first, but soon her instincts are awoken.
(Left) Whisky is used to sheeps. He is just seven months old and feels like playing. Bu he has apitudes for hearding
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