Oh my gosh, Ally herded sheep!
Culbertson, Montana
October 11, 2006

This was such a great moment! Ally, our troublemaker dog extraordinaire, probably considered this the best day of her life.

We were driving around my uncle’s farm, and parked several hundred yards from this herd of sheep. Ally, who had never seen a sheep in her life, bolted out of the car like a bullet. We had no idea what she was going to do when she reached the sheep. Ally! Come back! Come here! Bad girl! She totally ignored us and sprinted toward the sheep. Mike and I ran after her, not sure what to expect.

Then I held my breath as she got to the herd. Immediately she ran circles around them. She was herding them! She even retrieved one sheep that got separated from the herd. I was shocked. How is it possible that this dog, who has no experience at all with sheep, knew exactly what she was supposed to do with them. It was like a light bulb went off in her head, and she discovered her true reason for being. Fascinating stuff.

Of course the sheep weren’t too thrilled with Ally’s discovery. Mike caught up with her and dragged her away. Poor dog.

More pictures of our shepherd-mix in action

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COMMENTS

That’s amazing!

Ally is the cutest dog! I want one identical to her one of these days. It’s amazing that she had never herded sheep before that day. She looks like she’s having sooo much fun!!
Amy

I was looking at these pics again (they’re hilarious and I wanted to see them again after a long day ;-).) and the comments triggered a memory of when I was about 4, and my cousin (who was 3) and I were annoyed with my grandfather’s border collie b/c she kept trying to herd us while we were running around my grandparents’ yard, which had a stream running through it. We’d try to run towards the water to play in it, and she would circle around us and block our path so we had to go the way she wanted us to. Susan got so annoyed that she lay down on the ground and yelled and my aunt had to come and rescue us and took us inside where my grandmother was making donuts…mmmmm. (tangent- some days I wish I could deal with the world like a three year old!)

my grandfather loved collies and always had them around. the dog that herded us used to catch mice for him, too, which even now I ind just weird.

awww she’s a natural!

and belated happy birthday to ewe! πŸ˜‰

lol! I think you give her too much credit. πŸ˜‰

ROFL, that’s excellent! Eddie Izzard is hilarious!

Hi there! It’s great to meet a friend of Christy and Lynda! Thanks so much for the birthday wishes.

I’d love to photograph your family the next time I’m in town. Wow, two-year-old twins! You and Christy must have lots to talk about. πŸ™‚

They really are amazing! Their minds work so differently from ours, yet they are still very smart in different ways!

Wow, I’d love to see border collies in action like that.

I actually wanted to take her back to the sheep the next day, just to see her have that much fun again. But I decided it wasn’t nice to the sheep or my uncle.

It really is amazing! Living here in Colorado, she has seen all kinds of animals, and never tried to herd them before. Then suddenly she sees sheep, and everything is different. Weird!

It’s just fascinating how their minds work!

Oh! Ally nips at our feet, too, and it drives me crazy! I didn’t realize that was part of the herding instinct.

You’d be welcome to buy them, if you like. πŸ™‚

Have you seen my photo of the sheep family? That’s one of my favorites. http://www.cafepress.com/charlottegeary.15267062

We told him about it afterward, and he got a kick out of it!

Thanks! I wasn’t sure what “HBD” meant at first… “hella bad dog” was the first thing that came to mind. I did some googling–thanks for the birthday wishes!

A basketball partner–that’s awesome!

I know! She is nervous around other dogs, but showed no hesitation at all around those sheep!

awwwwww… so perfect!

And happy birthday!

Happy Birthday, BTW. πŸ™‚ And thank you for your photographs, I like watching them.

I think you’ve just got a genious dog. Perhaps she watches TV when you’re not home.

LOL. this reminds me of an eddie izzard skit about how all animals could have secret talents- he talks about how its amazing that ALL seals are good with balls, which is weird because there are no balls in their natural environment…. which leads to a discussion of how tigers might be good with banjos, but no one’s ever thrown them one.

Hi, I added you a while ago because I love your photography (I’m friends with and ). Anyway, I just noticed your birthday is tomorrow, and so is mine….so….

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

p.s. I’d love to hire you to take pictures of my family sometime (I have 2 year old twins). Let me know next time you come to Northern Virginia πŸ™‚

that is so awesome! animals are AMAZING! i bet she was very proud of herself!

She’s a natural! It’s amazing how instinct kicks in. I grew up with Border Collies that my dad competed with in sheep herding. It was so fun to watch.

awww … these are awesome. Ally dog is the best! She had such a BLAST!

Thats amazing that she just knew what she was supposed to do. She looks so happy too.

That is awesome that Ally herded the sheep!!! Jeff and I were just talking last night about how wild it is that animals have those instincts. Like our cat, who has never been an outdoor cat in all of his 8 years, still somehow knows that when a bird flutters onto our balcony that it is prey. He gets crazy excited and sits at the backdoor as if he is stalking it.

Jon’s parents’ corgis herd us all the time πŸ˜‰ if you run they try to nip at your heels instinctively. It’s hilarious!

I could not be prouder of her!

I love it!!! Ally looks so happy chasing those sheep around. I may have to purchase these prints from you! I’d love to have them on my wall and I love sheep!!!!!

Very impressive!!!! Especially getting the “loose” one. So – what did your uncle think of her skills? πŸ™‚

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. And! HBD!!!

O my gosh that is so cute. She looks like a natural. She looks so sad being pulled away from the sheep πŸ™

Haven’t you ever run around and noticed that Ally tries to herd you too? I used to do that all the time with my dog in the yard, and he really can not stand it if you try to trick him. That’s why I could always count on him as a good practice partner for basketball. He’s good at defense cause those herding dogs just do not want you to go outside of the limts they set for you! lol

That is amazing! Ally looks about half the size of any of those sheep. Wow!

Charlotte Geary

CHARLOTTE GEARY

Lifestyle, event, and portrait photographer with a vibrant, joyful style and 17 years of professional experience.

Located in Reston, Virginia near Washington, D.C. and available for travel.

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