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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shepherding 101

We went to watch a sheepdog trial at the local farm today.
It was amazing! The shepherd was kind enough to show us how she trains the sheepdog to watch the animals and listen for commands. Some of the dogs were as young as 12 weeks old and they went about their business, unperturbed by the howls from visiting children and pet dogs.
I had no idea that working sheepdogs were used to herd other more skittish (and fragile) animals like ducks, geese and chickens. Apparently, the herding instinct is such that the dogs will naturally try to gently round up any group of creatures into one place - humans included.
Stardust was very inspired by the demonstration and even had a go at it himself, trying to round up some billy goats. When he tired of running around shouting "LADA LADA" ('Lie ye down'), we sat on some picnic benches and had some Victoria Sponge cake for tea.

That'll do, eh?


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