Being herding dogs Bouviers are highly intelligent and, while some people like to brag how smart their pets are, having had dozens of dogs and even pet sheep, I know that a dumb pet is often the best choice – friendly, easy to control, etc.
But intelligence has its place in the canine world. When we moved our closed kennel from where we were living in a small town (see the local bridge for an idea of how rural it was) to a 30 acre ranch, we knew Bouviers were classed as herding dogs but not until a dozen of our sheep got out one day and were heading for the woods behind a neighbor’s pasture, did we know how smart they really were.
My personal dog who stayed with me 24×7 for years had only seen sheep at a distance but apparently knew they belonged on our ranch. Not knowing what else to do I let her off leash at the edge of the field and what did Claymore do? She didn’t run at the sheep, instead she ran down the driveway and I thought she was going to be lost but when she reached the line of trees where the road and the pasture met she ran full speed along the tree line and circled behind the sheep chasing them back to the gate across the pasture and driveway.
Claymore (aptly named for the Scottish sword) followed behind the small flock of about 20 sheep until they went through the gate where she stopped.
A perfect performance from a dog which had never been trained for herding.
Included are some photos of her brother Donnie with a bum lamb – we always gave sick lambs to Donnie who watched over them until they recovered or eventually died – giving them warm comfort and protection.
Jacob rams mowing the lawn