Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sheep Dog Trials

On Sunday, for a little pre-anniversary treat, we went to the sheep dog trials at Rural Hill in Huntersville, NC.

It's a joy to see these intense, intelligent dogs do what they've been bred to do -- move sheep in accordance to their master's signals. . . (There's a good description HERE.)

And when the sheep are penned and the master has said,'That'll do,' there's the reward of a handy tub of water.



Below is a slide show of the day and I'll try to explain just what amazing things these dogs do. Click on the picture to biggify.



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14 comments:

Hélène Glehen said...

Found your blog through your comments on Maria Cecilia's. I have not the time to read all your posts for the moment but I will go again.
Have a nice day

Martin H. said...

Hi Vicki

Looks like a good day out with plenty of sunshine . Aren't these dogs 'super' intelligent?

In the UK we actually had a TV series called 'One Man And His Dog', a televised version of your post. The programme ran for about 14 years and attracted audiences of around 8 million during the 1980s.

Pat in east TN said...

I've seen these dogs work before and they are amazing. I like the picture of the dog in the tub of water ... I guess he thinks it's the best reward possible!

vicki archer said...

Clever pups aren't they? xv

Vicki Lane said...

Welcome, Helene! Yours is a beautiful blog I know I'll visit regularly.

Hi, Martin, We've had Border collies as long as we had our farm, to help with the cattle but none trained like these are. In fact, our current pair are really just pets -- one has no interest in herding at all,

The series sounds interesting --we may see if we can find copies.

Hey, Pat, The dogs finish the course and zoom to the water -- they've got to be almost at the point of heatstroke, they've run so hard.

Good morning, Vicki! Enjoyed your post about your doctor. What a treasure!

Reader Wil said...

How clever are these dogs and the shepherds too! Thanks for the beautiful slide! Great post, Vicki. I can now see where Elizabeth lives! It's a great country.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Vicki the dog in the second picture has the exact same markings as Roxie! I can't wait for her to grow out of the puppy stage!
It reminds me of "the terriable two's "! HA! :)

Vicki Lane said...

Hi, Reader Wil -- the place in these pictures is two hours away from our home in the mountains -- in the Piedmont, the center part of the state. But the farm buildings are typical.

Carol, I hope Eric is working with Roxie on training. These dogs are so smart and they actually seem to enjoy learning stuff.

NCmountainwoman said...

I just love watching sheep dogs. I even watch them on television. It is amazing how the dogs respond to the whistles.

Tammy said...

These dogs are amazing (although I can't pull up your video for some reason). I've seen them do a few demostrations around here. Not sure I would be able to bear that intensity though--and well the sheep here pretty much stomp the dogs down if they come to close. I guess they'd need an expereienced sheep dog on them. However since their love of feed is great, I can usually round 'em up that way....while my pretty much useless dogs run around playing. :-)
Tammy

Vicki Lane said...

What I love, Mountainwoman, is how eager the dogs are to do this. You can see it in every inch of their bodies.

Tammy - I think these dogs come into their own in places that have huge pastures, maybe steep, and the shepherd can send the dog off to fetch the sheep from wherever without having to tromp all over.

Our cows, like your sheep, are fairly well trained to come when we call-- and rattle a bucket of feed.

Liz said...

Vicki - We went to the sheep dog trials in Portage, WI last year - the top handler was a Scottish gentlemen who had the most wonderful brogue and when he said "Lie down" - we all felt compelled to obey!! I was amazed at the dogs' ability to 'cut out' the one sheep wearing a red ribbon on its neck - now that is smart!

willow said...

Hey, just like in the movie "Babe". Baa-ram-ewe!

Vicki Lane said...

Ah, that Scots accent has caused many a lassie to lie doon, Liz! Take care . . .

Yes, Willow, I kept thinking about Babe as we watched. Pigs are reportedly quite intelligent -- but they're not exactly built for speed the way these guys are.