Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Herding - "Oh Heck They Are Born To It"

One beautiful fall day in Ohio I was taking one of my daily long hikes in a Metro park with my 7 year old female Aussie Mana. I came up over the crest of hill and saw an elderly man in trouble. He had unloaded three horses for his grand-daughters to ride on the Metro Park Horse trails and they had gotten away. They had taken off at full gallop across the open field. As we approached him he called out "Can I borrow your dog"? I explained to him that Mana had never been trained to herd nor did she have any experience with livestock. She ran geese off the golf course, fetched a mean frisbee and knew about every trick we could think of to teach her but she was a "city dog". He replied "Oh heck, they are born to it". I expressed my concern that she would run the horses out even farther and possibly on to the nearby highway. We may never see any of them ever again! He asked her name and asked her to come and sit and she did. He told me it was obvious to him she was a good dog and well trained (and she is indeed) and to let her try. Mana was already alert and keenly watching the horses grow smaller in the distance so I knelt down and told her "bring em back" the same phrase I use when the cat makes an escape. Off she went!

Much to my surprise Mana raced directly towards them, and took a wide turn left away from the highway. This brought them together and they came thundering back towards us. The old man calmly opened the corral gate and again to my surprise Mana expertly ran them in and posted herself at the gate. The horses were pretty freaked out but you NEVER saw a happier dog! The old man thanked me and gave Mana a quick pat on the head and said "good Dog" That was plenty of thanks for her.

My brother's Aussie had 8 beautiful pups and Mana was a gift to me from him. I always told him how smart she was, (my very first Aussie) When I told him what had happened he was not surprised at all. He told me Mana's father was grand national stock dog of Mexico.

Mana is 13 now but whenever we walk by that corral or field she is on high alert. I know she wishes she could run those horses in every day if she could! She still has an active fun life but somehow after this event the geese were never quite as exciting as they used to be.

The old man was certainly right...

Heck, she was born to it.

Comments for Herding - "Oh Heck They Are Born To It"

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by: Tracy Weidman

What a great story!!

assie lover from sothern ohio
by: dog

in feb2011 i lost my ossie she was 15 she was my first ossie.when she died i was heart broken and i said i never want to go threw that again. But i was so lost because i live alone and am 65 so i got a pup from the internet only had her four days and she died,Then i was realy heart broken then a friend called me and said his assie had pups i went to look and bought my best friend now i am so in love again.

Herding - Born for it
by: Charles

What a terrific story.

Although we live on the coast of Maine, we don't have that much room to let our laddie romp as hard as we would like. My wife has a friend who has offered to let us take our Aussie to his farm to herd his sheep around. I can see that happening soon. I'll post about it when we do it.

Thanks for the tale.

by: Anonymous

thanks for sharing this story.
I have my Aussie, and I wish I could set him loose, but I live in the suburbs, so the best I can give him is walks, and toys to retrieve.
At least yours has a memory. lol

by: Gayle-- Big Run Aussies

What a wonderful experience. Give that girl a hug from her Auntie Gayle! Treasure everyday with that girl. She is special.

Touching Story
by: Linda

Wow what a wonderful story. I think we all underestimate our Aussies! Thanks for sharing!

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