We have all bought a shepherds dog. For most of us it is exciting to find out, if our pet dog actually have the abilities to herd.
So the interest of taking part of the herding instinct test was big. Sunday we all met with 10 OES’ and 1 Bouvier des Flandres at Anne’s place in Jægerspris. All the dogs had one thing in common: They had never stood in front of sheep before. Anne began explaining the day’s program. For us all to understand the meaning of herding, Anne took all the people and told some to act ‘sheep’, some to act ‘shepherds’ and some to act ‘sheep dogs’. The meaning was to show how a shepherd should guide the dog to herd the sheep. Not an easy thing, and it also ended very chaotic.
So it was time for the real dogs to meat the real sheep in the closed round-pen. Some dogs were very careful, which the sheep soon found out and then they stamped in the ground. Others were really turned on and wanted to chase the sheep round in the enclosure.
At the same time other dogs and leaders worked two by two on the large field to try and move a group of sheep with lambs from one place to another.
In the round-pen Anne placed three sheep in a smaller enclosure and let the dogs run free around them in the pen. We should work on the subject ‘balance’ – which means that we should get the dog to front the sheep and us (shepherds) behind the sheep. Not many OES’ found that easy to understand, but Helle’s Bouvier was really clever.
After lunch there was more working in the round-pen, while others – 3-4 at a time – should work on the huge field and try to guide a group of sheep around a small moor. It was not easy at all, and it was really important with teamwork.
The final lesson of the day was trying to let the dogs run free with three sheep in the round-pen. Anne stopped the keenest dogs with her rake.
It was a wonderful day and we all got a fine expression of a sheep dog’s mission and the art of understanding the sheep.
Thank you Anne and helper Jonna for a super day.
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Ute with Fuzzy in front of the big group of sheep on the field.
Lis and Fnuggi. Those are sheep!
Tina and Luna meeting the group of sheep.
Birte with Alonso. He wanted to chase them around.
Karin and Silke in close contact with sheep.
Kit and Sophus. He was not brave, but very interested.
Susanne with Yenko - and Anne with sheep.
Alonso running around the sheep in the small enclosure.
Karen and Cashew watching the group.
Monika with Fie. Fie was a bit careful in the beginning.
But when Fie was loose she really wanted to herd the sheep.
Birte needs to hold Alonso, so he won't run after the sheep.
Helle and Dipsy showing a perfect 'balance'.
Tina, Lis and doggies leading the sheep on the field.
Helle and Dispy are coming - better get away, the sheep seem to think!
Teamwork - Helle, Karin and Birte.