Few things are more satisfying than knowing you’ve put in a good day’s work, especially when you get to do something for which you feel uniquely suited. And herding dog breeds and breed mixes? Made (literally) to herd. People who share their lives with these energetic and intelligent dogs report that no amount of off-leash activity induces a fraction of the blissful tiredness in their dogs that they see after a couple of rounds on the field with the sheep (or goats, ducks, etc.). Given the number of herding dog breeds—the AKC lists 24, but there are more than 70 worldwide—and their popularity as pet companions, it’s not surprising that many people take up herding recreationally.
A sheepdog trial commonly involves using whistles and calls to direct your dog to move three sheep through an obstacle course of slatted panels and a Y-shaped plywood chute into a pen. But there are many different herding events and different courses within each type. Also, plenty of enthusiasts never compete, but simply go once a week to have fun with their dogs.
Interested in herding with your dog? Check out www.fidosfarm.com for more details.