And I don't mean he herded chickens. We took Theo to get his herding instinct tested today, and it was a very odd experience. First off, it wasn't nearly as official as I've heard other people describe it (at different locations of course). The place I went was very informal. In a nutshell it was go in the pen, see what the dog does, give advice, give money, and leave. I'll go more into it, but you can see how it wasn't exactly a "test", and Theo didn't exactly "pass".
When Theo got in the pen he went straight to the opposite side of the pen from where the sheep were. That's where it all went downhill... The lady said I should run around and herd the sheep myself to show Theo how it is done. Sufficed to say neither Theo nor I were very interested in herding those sheep, nor were we very good at it. It took a couple of minutes looking like a complete idiot before Theo seemed to notice the sheep. He seemed to get into it. I praised and praised and praised...and then he stopped herding. About 30 seconds was all I got out of him.
After 30 seconds Theo stopped dead in his tracks and wouldn't do anything besides eat sheep poop. The lady said to let Theo watch another dog try it to so he could see how it was done. Theo wouldn't get anywhere near the sheep the second time in. He only had eyes for poop. He actually started acting very badly and kept running away from me anytime I got close to him. I was not pleased, to say the least.
At the end the lady said that she thought Theo was afraid of the sheep because they were so big. She suggested we start with ducks, and after he gets comfortable with them ,we could move to sheep. Of course, we couldn't try ducks today because she hadn't caught them (I guess they're more free to wander?). And that's how we left it. She didn't really give much of a second thought to Theo before she wandered off to do something else. We paid her, then left. It wasn't a very pleasant experience for me, and I don't think it was a pleasant experience for Theo. I'm disappointed that it wasn't something fun for us, but at least there are plenty of other fun things we can do together. Maybe other herding places are better? At least Sidney had a good time.
Pictures to come!
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6 years ago