Herding

The Bearded Collie was originally bred for herding. The beardie uses it's bark during herding. They are really passionate about herding! Even though the Bearded Collie is nowadays mostly bred as familydog, in nature they have still got the skills to herd!

On April 3rd 2011 we've been to the "Taster Day" of the Working Bearded Collies Belgium in Hasselt, Belgium. A lot of photo's and video's were made, also by Rianne v.d. Hoef who participated aswell.

First we started the "Taster Day" outside of the "pen" to see how the beardies would react to the sheep. Then we were allowed to take the beardie into the pen on a leash. Shortly after that, the beardie was released from the leash. The beardies were assisted by the instructor and owner. The instructor also used a long stick, not to hit the beardie but as an extension of your arms so that it would be possible to direct the beardie at distance. Later in the afternoon, the beardies, one by one, were allowed to enter the meadow with sheep. It is very difficult to have controle over an untrained herding beardie in such a large meadow, but it is so wonderful to see how the beardies cope with their natural instinct...herding. We have had a fantastic day and the beardies had zo much fun!!

Please find below the photo's and at the bottom of the page a few video's of this day and some old pictures from Lindsey's first taster day many years ago.

Photo's

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Disney's first encounter in the pen with sheep 03-04-2011 Disney's first encounter in the pen with sheep 03-04-2011 Disney's first encounter in the pen with sheep 03-04-2011 Disney's first encounter in the pen with sheep 03-04-2011 Lindsey outside the pen with sheep 03-04-2011 Lindsey in the pen with the sheep Lindsey in the pen with the sheep Kayley's first encounter in the pen with sheep Kayley's first encounter in the pen with sheep Kayley's first encounter in the pen with sheep Disney in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Kayley in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Kayley in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Kayley in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Kayley in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Lindsey in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Lindsey in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Lindsey in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Lindsey in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Lindsey in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Lindsey in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Disney in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Disney in Hasselt 03-04-2011 Groupphoto 03-04-2011 Lindsey's first encounter with sheep in a pen on a leash when she was really young Lindsey's first encounter with sheep in a pen on a leash when she was really young

Video's

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Lindsey inside the "pen", she's really getting the hang of it!! And this only on the second time ever that she encountered sheep!

 

 

Later in the afternoon, Lindsey was allowed to go into the meadow with the sheep. She's totally content. 10 years old but certainly not to old to show her natural instinct in herding sheep! A lot of youngsters could learn a lot from her!!

 

 

Kayley's first time in the meadow with the sheep. She totally loves it!! She aswell showed a lot of herding instinct!

 

 

Disney's first time in the meadow with the sheep. She doesn't really seem to know yet what to do with these silly sheep!!

 

 

 

 


History

"The Bearded Collie was used as a workingdog by Scottish shepherds for a very long time. The beardie was deployed to herd the sheep that roamed freely in the Highlands towards the shepherd in the valley. They called this style of herding 'huntaway'. The dog walked independently into the mountains and used primarily his hearing to locate the sheep. Once the beardie knew where they approximately were, it would stand at the lookout lookout to check if it could see the sheep, often surrounded by the many bushes and rocks they were not always easy to detect. Once the sheep were found he would walk into a wide circle around and herd them together, while barking also to get the sheep together that were hiding in the bushes or behind rocks, and brought them to the valley. The 'lesser dog' was waiting in the valley which was usually an older Bearded Collie who kept the sheep together and followed the orders of the shepherd. Most Bearded Collies work with 'loose eye'. This means that they usually work quite short to the sheep to get it moving. The 'huntaway' would perform his work in the mountains completely independently, without orders from the shepherd. He had to deal with recalcitrant sheep but also treat ewes with lambs with caution. The' lesser dog 'worked close to the sheep and followed the orders of the shepherd quickly and accurately. Little or no indepence was required from the 'lesser dog'."

© Daniela Wernigk

 

 

 

 

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