Doggone Shame

The southwest of England has a long history of rebellion, riot and just being awkward. The latest little fracass is playing out in Langbridge, a small village near the old city of Bath. There is a group of one hundred protesters intimidating one poor individual leading a dog's life. Both the Daily Mail and Telegraph are running reports.

One hundred sheep have ganged up on poor Ci their Border collie supervisor. They close ranks and march forward with fixed expressions. As they get within a few feet, poor Ci has to back down. When Ci tries to walk away, they trot after him in a manner that can only be described as "purposeful.

What is this break down in discipline due to? Sheep dogs are not allowed to use physical punishment on the flocks in their charge. This may be a case of “spare the teeth and spoil the sheep” but we can't ignore the responsibility of the flock owner in this sort of situation. How much support have they given Ci? Was there adequate training given before throwing Ci into the general milieu teaching the naughty sheep their manners?

Well, the answer to these questions is a resounding “No.” Ci was put in with the flock as an inexperienced young puppy and the flock immediately took charge. That was the start of his ovinophobia. He has had this for four years now and there is no sign of him being booked in for therapy.

The next big question is what happens to a sheep dog that fails herding 101? Could he be re-trained to herd cows or would he be reduced to herding chickens? Perhaps he’ll have to maker the best of it and resort to fetching a tennis ball for a living. To make his disgrace complete, the Telegraph has a video of the action (1).


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