Herding stuff. And watching….

So how do the words driving, mustering and boundary go together?  They are all words having to do with herding. And given that my human lives with three herding dogs, she has become very interested in the different types of herding styles exhibited by different herding breeds. Not that they probably can’t be trained to do all of them – but some breeds are definitely better at certain aspects than others. For example, the term driving refers to moving livestock from one area to another – like through a gate and into a pen. Mustering refers to the retrieving of livestock from far away – and bringing them back to the farmer.  Boundary herding refers to the patrolling around the livestock – kind of like border patrol.  They keep animals from breaking up and wandering out of a certain area.  They also guard the flock. One site that talked about these behaviours noted that German Shepherds are great at boundary herding while border collies excel at driving and mustering.  But as I said, herding dogs can probably be trained to do any of these tasks. 

When we looked for info on the Picard, it seems that they fall into the boundary or tending category of herding. They certainly can be trained to move sheep – but they really excel at protecting their flock.  Which makes total sense when you watch the FG.  My human has never had a dog who likes to find the highest vantage point so he can survey his surroundings.  He will climb up on rocks and hills just to stand and watch.  He does this ALL the time.  ALL the time.  And as I have mentioned before, he is fascinated with birds – probably relating back to a sense of guarding against birds of prey.  Mind you, I’m no so sure he has to worry about those chickadees that intrigue him!
When we looked for info on us PONs, it appears we also like to guard our flock suggesting we are probably in the same category as the Picard in boundary herding.  We certainly can also drive sheep, but when it comes to the PONs in THIS house, we would rather drive in a car. But we DO know of some PONs who have done VERY well at herding trials – so we definitely can be considered as drivers too.  But it is interesting – while we guard our property VERY well, we are still not as intent as the FG when it comes to surveying the environment.  Mind you, this could be an individual difference and not necessarily breed specific.
So much to learn about us dogs.  We are a never ending source of fascinating facts.  And occasional frustration….No – not to worry – we were GOOD yesterday.  Maybe we should start a counter for good behaviour.  Nah.  It would never see double digits…
Have a good one.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure-free days: 16

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