My Family and I have lived and worked with Border Collies for now over 25 years. Each Border Collie has his or her own way of working, but there are similar patterns of course. Border Collies like other herding breeds are breed to do a particular type of work, herding, but they are all individuals. I am talking about “working line” Border Collies, as part of the “dog world” which are breeds that retain their instincts to live lives were individual dogs can participate in a collaborative, “making a living” with their humans. I find nothing wrong with well-cared pet dogs, breeds, breeding, but I just love to be involved with this age-old way of how humans and dogs, and in our case, farm animals have lived together. Each dog and human has their individual way of moving, thinking and being part of a team. With Wild Goose Chase NE we turn the farm-oriented activity “herding” into herd/chase, in this case, geese away from a clients property without harm to the geese.
So, now to the “moves” thing. Actually, herding is a very mental activity involving a strong relationship between handler and dog as well as deep understanding of the animal being herded, usually sheep, but also cattle, pig or poultry. And this, of course, is as variable as humans and their brains and personalities are.But even as variable as the dogs are, I have yet to meet or work with a Border Collie who is just like another.
Consider of our female BorderCollie, Skye. She has characteristics of her dad and as her mom as well. In the case of the pup pictured here, Tara, her litter mates are all pretty similar I am told, which is unusual, but you can parse out differences too.That is important for a handler to understand about dogs, see both sides of the same coin. Then you can understand how your dog’s brain moves. Which of course gets to how its body moves.
Every one of our five dogs got different unique moves when working, playing, eating or even sleeping which means, of course, individual perception of the world around him or her. Tara is calm and precise with her moves when herding. Our three-year-old Blade,( see “Our Dogs” page of this site), is athletic but can rush too much. Jim, our rehomed older male is a bit award unfortunately and get on the wrong side of the sheep when working, as he never started learning much until he was six years old.
Were a herding dog places his or her self in relation to whatever is being herded ( herded/chased for goose control) and in relationship to the handler is all important. Communication is key, and knowledge and practice of “moves” lead to success. A pup that begins with poor perception or “moves” can work on “that” with his or her human. A pup with excellent or amazing talent can be a stunningly good worker, exhibiting ease and care of getting the job done without harm and be the natural wonder these dogs are. It is up to the human to get the moves down too, so the partnership can be a good team.