National Geographic : 1958 Aug
Pinney, Monkmeyer "No You Don't-Come Back!" A Great Dane Tugs His Mistress to Safety trancelike attention on the flock and force it to move without stampeding." It was indeed an astonishing display, as a 40-pound dog silently pushed balky sheep hundreds of times his own weight at his mas ter's wish (page 201). Bradford or one of his sons annually combs the English and Scottish countryside for work ing Border collies to augment their kennels. Although these dogs are consistently black and white and run 30 to 50 pounds in weight, color and size are of secondary importance. None can be registered in the North American Sheep Dog Society without certified working parentage. This breed's fanciers believe with the Highlands shepherd that "pretty is as pretty does." Training develops the Border collie's long inbred herding instinct. As with all working breeds, basic obedience comes first-except for the command, "Heel." The last place a shepherd wants his dog is at his side. Fifteen minutes a day for six or seven months trains the dog for most herding work. 218 Swine are the hardest of all stock to move, Bradford told me, requiring a forceful dog. A cattle dog needs the courage to return for a second nip at the heel of a kicking heifer. Sheep usually prove the most tractable. Herd ing poultry, particularly turkeys, the dog can work closest of all, using slighter movements to control the flock. Carl Bradford, Jr., and his brother Jerry demonstrated for me the difficult feat of work ing three dogs simultaneously. The subjects were four reluctant ducks that flapped and skittered in ragged circles to escape the canine fence around them. Oddly, a few fowl are harder to work than a large flock. With whistles and different commands for each dog, Carl skillfully directed his charges as they herded the quacking quartet back and forth between wooden barriers. Even an unpracticed eye could discern dif ferences in style. Fly, veteran of sportsmen's shows and State fairs, pursued her duties with artistic flair. Nan tended her business with grave concern. Towser let the others tire themselves on the flanks as he ploddingly shut off escape to the rear.