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There’s supposed to be a video in here of Dexter having his first go at working the woolies this afternoon at the Llama Farmer’s.

Alas, the video is too embarrassing to show anyone so I refuse to upload it.  In fact, the evidence was so shameful it broke my Outlook mail (incidentally, if you can fix my Outlook mail, feel free to email m- … oh … nevermind.  Dammit)

Often young dogs when first introduced to sheep go batshit crazy, bowling through the sheep and grabbing wool left and right.  They are unstoppable locomotives hell bent on causing a stampede.

But not Dexter.

Some young dogs are nervous about the sheep and don’t know what to do, so they wander around the paddock eating poop, sniffing wool, or just generally being oblivious.

But not Dexter.

Sometimes, you have to put a more experienced dog in with the young dog to generate some interest for the baby in the woolies.  As the older dogs moves the sheep around, the newbie starts to show some flicker of interest (see first example).

But not my Dexter!

MY puppy is *terrified* of the sheep.  Balls out, flailing at the end of the line, crying to get away, escaping the paddock under the gate and scaling any human within climbing distance, begging them to take him back to the car.  Even when I carried him into the paddock and sat down next to the sheep with him, he tried to get away, tried to bite Issac in the face and then scurried away as fast as his stilts could transport him.

It was humiliating!!  My little prairie bred, hard headed, cattle-working parents of a puppy was a total wash on the woolies.  Le sigh.

Instead, I worked Miss Versatility, Princess Piper.  Not very much, because I have not worked sheep for so long and I am way out of practice.  But I had to redeem my dogs’ reputation a little bit!

That’s my girl!

(No worries, Tweed was confined to his crate and did not work anything, sheep or otherwise, so try not to spaz out, call me names, swear at me or otherwise get yourself all worked up, mmmkay?  I was a good Food Lady, and very strict with myself)


  1. Click, treat! for confining Tweedster!

    Aw, Dex, you’re a border collie! Sheepses are in your jeans! Wait, I’d be afraid of sheepses in MY jeans, too. Oh, wait, we’re talking *genes*. Heck, I don’t want any sheepses there either!

    It’s strange that with all Dex’s eye and crouch he wasn’t a natural. No wonder you were so surprised! But little princess Piper showed her stuff, huh?

  2. I would just like to say that adding videos to Wootube is fuckin’ fantastic.

  3. Oh Dexter…. :P

    If it helps, that was Indy’s first reaction to sheep too (not that the BC and sheltie folks who evaluated him at 6 months expected a whole lot from my show-bred Cardi). But when he was re-introduced later, around 3? HOT DAMN. He’d figured it all out and was awesome everafter- he’d work sheep, goats, and would really have LIKED to have worked cattle (but had the sense to retain his brain when told to leave it.). He just needed to grow up some. (I also blame taking him to a couple of real BC herding events and sitting up on the hill and telling him to watch the BCs having fun while HE was stuck sitting on the hill might have helped. :P)

  4. I’d be interested in seeing that vid Sheena. At Kathy’s ( the intro is on line and we walk the fenceline for a long while until the dog starts figuring it out. Sometimes they are in there for 3 seconds, sometimes longer. For the dogs that are worried, they feel safe just walking around and eventually start sneaking peaks behind your legs. There’s no rake or stick involved, and the sheep are calm since we’re just walking around, taking a stroll. We start in a much smaller pen than what is shown in this vid. Pete was worried in the beginning – because I was worried. You should see him now!

    Email me, friend me, something! ::rolls eyes::

    And, btw, <3 Piper.

  5. PS – you and Gret …. get on a plane, both of ya’s, for a camp…
    just sayin’

  6. Baby Dex, go see Aunt Lynne and Aunt Greta they have two cuties that can show ya how it’s done and they will feed ya yummy stuff.
    Loved the video too….more, more.
    Good job FL with Tweed,,,I know it was probably hard to do, but you can do it.

  7. He’s still a baby, Sheena. He just hasn’t turned on yet. Wait a month or two and try again–you’ll likely see a whole different animal. And I can’t wait to see the video evidence of Dexter turning on! :)))

  8. Give him some more time to mature and it will come. Every dog is different. Besides once he’s turned on you can’t go back.

  9. The Food Lady says:

    Hey all – just for the record, I know that Dexter is young and that putting him for a couple more months and trying again is probably a good idea. I do know they don’t all turn on right away. I just thought his immense over reaction was beyond hilarious and downright silly, so I thought I’d share this amusement with you. Plus I needed a good segue into Piper’s video ;-)

    To be honest, I don’t really care if he *ever* turns on because I didn’t get him to work … I can’t afford another ‘sport,’ I can’t afford sheep of my own and I can’t afford lessons on a regular basis/clinics etc. He’s supposed to be my next agility dog, so working sheep would not figure largely in our future. If he did excel on sheep, I’d feel obligated to work him and then I’d have to get ANOTHER dog for agility and I already have too many damn dogs ;-)

    But honest, if you could have seen him … it was funny and pathetic and sad all at the same time. I’ve never seen a 40lb puppy scale a person before!!

  10. I have all the scratches to prove the body scaling. Next he comes over I am wearing think clothing for protection. Poor pup didn’t even want to look at the sheep, not even from a safe distance outside the paddock. If we let him, I think he would of run all the way home.

  11. When I got my second puppy (he was from working parents, with sheep on the property), we tried Murphy with the sheep- similar setup, 3 sheep in a pen. She was six at the time, and she looked at me like I was crazy. It ended up with me walking around following the sheep, and her hiding behind my legs with her poor little heart pounding. Bit embarrassing, as a border collie owner, but she is the love of my life all the same! Must admit, I was a bit happy to see someone who was more scared of sheep than she was!

  12. i would like to plead with you, food lady, to put up the video of dexter anyways! i know that it would make my day, and i have a sneaking suspicion that it would make the day of others. c’mon people!!

    post the video! post the video! post the video! post the video! post the video! post the video! post the video! post the video! post the video! post the video! post the video! post the video! post the video! post the video!

    (please join my rally?!)

  13. Tempe is terrified of sheep so she feels Dexter’s pain.

  14. Fridley says there are far scarier things out there than sheep, for example spoons and cameras. And computer mouses. Thank goodness Dexter is not scared of cameras. We’d only know what he looks like from behind then!

  15. “But honest, if you could have seen him … it was funny and pathetic and sad all at the same time. I’ve never seen a 40lb puppy scale a person before!”

    We could have seen him if you had posted the bloody video! And you never need a segue into showing anything about Piper. Don’t make us beg – post the damn video. We promise not to tell Dexter we saw it.

  16. Bev Johnson says:

    Okay food lady you entice us with your words get us wanting then you take away that’s not fair. Are we not your venting group!!!
    Play on.. bring it on we have a right to see the wonderful awe inspiring video of Dex.. gives us all something to strive for… perfection at people scaling

  17. Bev Johnson says:

    waiting patiently looking for it eyes searching computer screen…

  18. When my Sheltie Shiri was a youngster, I took her out and tried a sheep intro with her … I had some notion that because littermates of her mama’s were working and titled in herding, there might be some instinct to boss sheep somewhere in my princess.


    As she departed for the truck in a huff, the thought balloon over her head read “That is a job for the hired help, not for me!”

    Ah well, she is a southern belle (from Arkansas), a Jewish princess (her breeder and my friend is not offended by that characterization), a Sheltie bitch, and a singleton puppy. I should have known.

    Dexter, OTOH, will almost certainly have a much better showing the next time out. But he’s got a way to go to match Piper. She’s lovely!

  19. Don’t feel too bad. The third and last time I took my male for a lesson he saw the sheep, jumped/climbed ouf of the round pen, ran to the truck and into his crate…and pulled the crate door shut. That was the end of herding for him. No worries, he loves agility. ;-)

  20. Wootube fans, if you click on one of the flickr photos at the bottom of this page, then on “The Food Lady’s Photo Stream” words on the right of that page, you will get a page where you’ll see the infamous Dexter meets sheep video.

  21. Dexter’s probably just in a fear period. Try again after puberty.

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