This is What I Was Born to Do

This was Joni’s first experience of sheep herding. The owner of the sheep, Paula, kindly offered to introduce Joni to her flock and give her a first taste of this wonderful work. Joni was so excited when she realized what she was there for, but it was just wonderful to see the way she instinctively ran round them and kept them together. I was really impressed when she spotted this sheep who was moving away from the flock and she came out to bring her back. What can I say? She was born and bred to it. She has a long way to go before she has the knowledge and skills that really make a good herding dog. But Paula was really pleased with her potential. And I felt like a proud parent on the first day of school.

I suppose you would probably like to see a photo of the bath that followed? I will post that too, but in the meantime, don’t be bothered by the mud. She wasn’t.

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37 Responses

  1. Tree planters are not too bad for herding, I suppose, +Jay Eves but I would be a bit wary of the black bear flocks! (LOL) I was pretty excited when I heard about how this lady will help those interested in teaching their bc's to herd. And since then she told me of others not too far from where we live. We need to get her a bit of training before I let her tackle anyone's flock but Paula's.

    +Suhaib Ayaz it's a wonderful thing to see and really seems not to have got her destabilised at all, which was my only concern. She loves chasing her balls and toys just like she always did, while she waits for her next trip to the sheep.

  2. So happy that you and Joni had this wonderful experience. We took one of our BC mixes to try sheep herding once and it was so amazing to watch. Would have enjoyed doing it again, but unfortunately we lived in the suburbs and no sheep farms were near enough to make that a practical option.

    1. It was a great one for Joni and I hope that we can keep it up as weather permits. The snow is too deep just now (for the sheep in particular, though she also finds it slow going). We are in the country but even so, there are not many sheep around here so we had to travel a bit of a distance too. Thanks for the comment, Vicki.

  3. +שלמה ארגוב 🙂

    You could say that, +Joyce Fay (you just did, didn't you?? LOL)

    She really was, +Heiko Mahr – thanks a lot, Heiko.

    +Arc Morpheus I worked with her for a very long time (it seemed a long time) to get her to respond to commands and really form a bond. It was about playing but also about working and learning. They love it but it takes a lot of patience and hard work. I'm sure yours will be fun to train and work with.

    It's true +Hippie Hege – it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. We are here all the time, or mostly, and she has free run of our 3.5 acre property which takes up some of her energy. But really they want to be with their master and training and walking and just bonding. Even though she is our second bc, we found her hard going until she was about 1 year old when suddenly all the hard work seemed to pay off and she 'got it'. People often say to me that they would love to have a border collie (they see how obedient and good she is, without knowing what went into that, time and energy) and I usually try to dissuade them.

    +Bonnie Magpie – that's sad, I hate synthetic clothes and so I support the wool industry. But sheep are not big here. Joni's breeder has sheep, of course. But lamb is very expensive here and most people don't seem to like it. We are vegetarian and no longer have animals as we did on our farm in France. It's so nice that you rescued one from the pound. Our first bc was a lower energy level than this one, or rather she tired quickly, almost unnaturally so and we took her to the vet's about it more than once. He couldn't find anything wrong with her. This one is very high energy. She's just go go go!

    Thanks a lot +Alex Lapidus

    +HQSP Animals and +Krystina Isabella Brion thanks so much, she really was. And thanks for the reshare. 😀

    +erlinda dillman – keep an eye out for updates. When she is good enough I will post a video, if I can get a good one. (The other way to see pics of Joni is to subscribe to my blog so that when I post (not just about Joni of course) you get an email about it. 🙂 The link is in the posting above, in case you want to.)

  4. These days in Australia, everything that used to be wool is now acrylic and not to mention made in China. We don't have enough use of the sheep for the amount of dogs {Border Collies} we have. There was a time when all our sheep went to The Arabs but that has meant to have stopped because of their filthy treatment towards them. My first Border was born with Hip Dysplasia due to inbreeding, The Border I have now I took out of The Pound totally healthy, loves the couch and his one walk a day and company but he's not a hyper type.

  5. So beautiful to see a dog in its right environment! They really do love the work. The Border Collie is now the most popular breed (most sold) in Norway, and that concerns me. They are not bred for sofas and the odd trot around the block. There's already a lot of them on different adoption pages. When they are between 1 and 2 years old it's obvious that a lot of owners give up on them.

  6. Wow the happiness she is showing, pure joy of doing what she was created for.. I gave a four month old Border Collie and can't wait for the time she becomes old enough to experience her heritage 🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾

  7. My thoughts, exactly, +Shelly Gunderson – and she was! Today it was all clean (no sheep either) just snow.

    She was, +Jamie White – she really loved it. Border Collies smile and she was grinning all over her face when she had finished.

    Oh yes, +Elizabeth Lund – she's not just a pretty face. 😀

    +Liz C – thank you Liz. I felt just like that, though I did get pelted with mud myself.

    They are wonderful, all the different breeds with their typical traits, you are right +Jasbir S. Randhawa – I did not know you had Labradors. They are wonderful dogs, too.

    Thanks a lot Lou! +Lou McCorkle

    You get to see the bath photo, in a little while, +Christina Lihani – I thought I would let the mud sink in for a while first. 🙂

    Thanks a lot +Jen Nifer

    Thank you +Kerstin Thieme-Jäger – I hope so!

    They will indeed, +Lynn David Newton – there is a wonderful series of videos put out by the Scottish Border Collie Rescue people. It is short 10 minute segments making up the whole program. You can view it here if you want, on Youtube. You can then really understand the full merits of these wonderful dogs.

  8. I saw a demonstration of these dogs at a fair a few years ago. I was astounded at how precisely they responded and at how tirelessly they worked. The owner said these dogs will literally work until they keel over, and so you have to watch them to make sure they don't overdo it.

  9. +Ellie Kennard Amazing! Wonderful image, Ellie! These working breeds are so instinctive, and it's such a joy to watch them in action. One of my very young Labrador pups (a long time ago), used to bring me a bone just so that I could throw it, and he so enjoyed bringing it back to me! Retrieving is so ingrained in the breed! 🙂

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