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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rams vs. Collies

Dave and Maureen came up with a special treat for our tour.  After we visited the Culloden battlefield we headed down to Kincraig to see a sheepdog demonstration at the Leault Working Sheepdog farm.  

Neil Ross and his dogs are champions in the sheepdog trials network.  He should be… he’s been competing since he was 8 years old!  His dogs aren’t pampered superstars; Neil is the shepherd at Dunachton Estate where he has about 2500 sheep to care for!  That’s a lot of sheep who need to be chased!!!

When we arrived we were welcomed by 3 pups and a female collie.  We sealed our friendship with some beef jerky while we waited for Neil to arrive.

Soon enough we heard the sound of a truck and the baaaa-ing of sheep.  Down the farm road came Neil, with a Border Collie herding some sheep next to it.  After getting the sheep to the field we waited next to, Neil opened the back of the truck and out poured 8 more collies who zoomed down to the sheep. 

It wasn’t long before they were putting those sheep thru their paces.

The pups wanted part of the action too.  They were only 10.5 weeks old but already they had the moves. 

Unfortunately… they had a few too many moves!  More than once they scattered sheep the dogs had just gathered up. 

See the little guy on the right?  The sheep are supposed to be going in that direction but are instead turning to the left. 

Here Neil has had some of the collies to lie down – therefore acting as “gates” for the other collies to drive the sheep thru in the same way a skier goes thru the slalom poles.

“You’ll not be getting by ME!”

Neil had the dogs come lay next to him as a couple other dogs brought the sheep right up to him.

After the demo, we had lamb and calf feeding time.  Man, they could hork down those bottle fast!

Then Neil came out with a surprise.  Ten DAY old puppies!!!  I could have spent the rest of the day right there cuddling the babies. 

And I think Dave was a bit smitten too.  But I don’t think Jed would be happy about that…  

Below is a 2 minute video Himself took during the demonstration.  The quality isn’t the best (I really need to get a movie camera…).  But it will let you see some of the fun!  

At about the 50 second point, you can see one of the pups cause the sheep to take off in the wrong direction. 

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