This post was republished to Ziggy Stardust Sheep Tales at 19:26:47 14/09/2013
Exercising Border Collies is genuinely what life is about, they are simply wonderful, bonkers, energetic and fun and with our little pack now complete the fun could really start. I think it was actually a few weeks before we collected young Stardust that a walk on Burbage Common made me realise just how these crazy creatures can get under your skin. As we mentally prepared ourselves for being a 3 dog family for the first time we got chatting to a friendly family out for a walk with their 7 border collies! These dogs all seemed to get along well and were so focused on playing ball as a pack they were great fun, while JackJack ignored them young Ziggy did his best to join in the fun but was a bit slow (more on that subject later).
This knowledgeable border collie bunch were advising us enthusiastically to do things with the dogs, agility was highly recommended but they didn’t think fly-ball was wise. To be honest I didn’t have a bloody clue what fly-ball was at the time but nodded and agreed with them. Some investigation later that day and I just couldn’t see myself entertaining the dogs in any kind of group activity and running round jumping hurdles with a bunch of enthusiasts. I can see the appeal for some people but not for me, I was still much more impressed by border collies doing the sheepdog work they were bred for rather than pretending to be miniature showjumping ponies. Also I like walking dogs in big open spaces away from that most annoying thing in the world, other people, so why volunteer to be surrounded by them.
So we needed another plan to keep our dogs happy, you can surely guess where this is going just by reading the title of the blog!
A further internet search found The Working Sheepdog Website, could this really be true, these people were offering group training sessions for border collies to introduce them to sheep. There was no snobbery involved and they seemed open even to fools like me who just fancied giving it a try with their pet dogs, as long as they were border collies of course. Quick as a flash DVD’s were ordered to see if this was really true and within a few days I was watching Andy Nickless on my TV with Ziggy and Stardust at my side. Utterly addicted, we were gonna do this.
An exchange of emails, particularly about Stardust only being a few months old and whether this was too soon for her, and the first group course was booked for May 2012. The story of that first group session will be the subject of the next blog unless I get distracted and stick some more puppy pictures in first.
Check out www.workingsheepdog.co.uk if you are even slightly interested in these crazy dogs and what they can do.