Herding sheep is the work border collies were originally bred for. They used to help their shepherds at every days farm work, one border collie replaced five persons. For nowadays this kind of work is not needed in a normal pet dog home, the breeding lines split in ISDS border collies (the working lines) and FCI border collies (the show lines). You can't compare a show dog and a working dog on sheep or in the ring, they are bred for different purposes. Even though our dogs are not necessarily needed at daily farm work, it is still very important to us to keep their "sheep sense" and to preserve the herding instinct for the following generations.
Even though the nearest herding trainers are about 2 hours away from us, we try to work our dogs on a regular basis.
Borderline Country Palucca "Lucy"
The picture gallery shows the first lessons of herding. Lucy. our multi talent, did a good job, she is very alert and interested, with a lot of drive, even though she is a bit stubborn sometimes, thinking it's better to do it her way ;). But she learns quickly, eagerly and easily, as always trying hard to give her best.
In 2018, Lucy did her FCI working exam and took the first place with Excellent (94 points), being the only show dog among the working bred dogs :)))
She also entered a trial class 1 in 2018, passed with 54 points and took the 7. place out of 10. (54 points first run, dis secound run, unfortunately we had to skip the third run for I had to leave earlier for my night shift that day....).
But still not bad for a show dog on her first ISDS trial :)))
fci herding instinct test
first time on sheep
Borderline Country Winningstyle "Joyce"
Joyce enjoys herding sheep like any other of our dogs, she is very interested and always excited to work. She always gives her best on the sheep, but our other dogs still have a tad more talent than her. We still take her to the sheep because she loves it, but her passion is rocking the show ring and stealing others the show.
Glaendale Alabama's Southern Belle "Belle"
Our Belle is our most passionate and talented herder. She started late at the age of 3 years (for lack of training possibilities), we just tried it 2-3 times when she was not even one year old. She always tries to please me. In the beginning we had some difficulties, she didn't want to get away from me, she always followed me like shadow since the beginning - this stage took a while and we never expected her to understand what she should dog. But then at some point it made "click" like someone switches the light on. Then she was just amazing in what she was doing. I sadly only have pictures from the first 2-3 tries, but luckily some videos.
Within 1 year she learned going right and left, bringing the sheep, getting them away again, and moving them across the field in quite some distance, she always keeps quite nice distance to the sheep, so she also does good on wild sheep. She slows down on her own following the sheep, so they always stay relaxed and calm.
At the moment we work on staying focused on the sheep and not looking at me for the next step.
It is also very remarkable, that she works cattle as well :)
In 2019 she passed her FCI working exam with an Excellent (third place 90 points).
Can't wait to go on with her...
Glaendale Deep Impression "Chase"
Up to now, we have only tried Chase a few times on the sheep, he started to become very interested, because of his kind and soft character it is sometimes not easy to correct him - but he already handles it pretty well.
Unfortunately I only have videos from the very first tries - but more to come :)
Glaendale Dance of Joy " Maya"
Like Chase, Maya also only had few lessons when she was still a puppy. She understands quickly what we are expecting from her and is a very constant worker.
Can't wait to see what the future holds for us...