Border Collies Demonstrate Duck Herding Tricks
The energetic and incredibly affectionate Border Collie has been called the smartest dog in creation. They are true working dogs, being especially exceptional in herding sheep, athleticism, agility, and especially cuddling. They have also been known for their “herding eye,” that intense gaze they use to stare down and herd other animals.
The Border Collie has been designed by both nature and man to be a herding dog, but first we need to understand what makes any herding dog so good at its job.The American Kennel Club recognizes 25 breeds in its Herding Group designation. They all vary in size, shape and country of origin, but one thing they all have in common. They all share the ability to successfully shepherd other animals, both bigger and smaller than they are.
According to an answer on Quora to the question “How do border collies herd sheep?”, it all boils down to a very deep-rooted desire in the canine to control flock animals and keep them together, along with the desire to bring them towards the shepherd. It is a combination of the dog’s instinct and experience that ultimately give it the knowledge of how to control the flock.
You have seen Collies herd sheep, you have probably even seen them herd goats. But have you seen them herd ducks?
That’s right. Apparently, it really does not matter what kids of animal it is. As long as it is in a group, a Border Collie can keep the animals close to each other and ultimately bring them back home. In this here video, we got two Collies, Lass and Celt, that have been working with their owner on duck herding tricks.
Basically, the two dogs need to gather up the six birds and make them go into the box. The owner is giving the dogs their signals by whistling in different tunes and frequencies to indicate what they should be doing. Five of the ducks comply rather quickly, going into the box on the spot, but one bird seems to want to stay outside.
The plucky duck keep running circles around the box, while the rest of its flock waits patiently inside. Good thing this is a two-dog team, otherwise who knows where the duck might have gone! It doesn’t take the dogs more than a minute to get the rogue quacker inside the box, although it might have gone a lot quicker. Good job!
These dogs have been bred especially because of this instinct of theirs to chase and organize other animals. It is a sort of modified predatory behavior that is incorporated in the beginning of the hunt, like stalking, crouching and nipping, but without the killing. They are very independent and intelligent, which makes them exceptional at this job. That need is so deeply ingrained in their DNA, that modern day owners of Border Collies actually rent sheep for their pets to corral.
They do have their faults though. For example, one Border Collie in Xianyou County, China, interrupted a stage performance of the Puxian Opera because it...didn’t like the costume design? Who knows.