We were pleasantly surprised at how readily our urban pooches became farm dogs. They seemed to know instinctively know that the livestock are to be protected, not chased, even though they chase rabbits and squirrels obsessively. Yesterday, our friend Pat arrived here from Portland OR, with her two city dogs. She did not intend to let them out of her vehicle loose, fearing they would chase the animals. But I accidently opened the van door and Billie, the bigger black dog of uknown heritage, leaped out and, sure enough, raced joyously after 50 squawking, scrambling chickens.
Sudddenly, there was Nutmeg, running interference between the chickens and Billie, herding her away and firmly letting her know that chasing chickens was not allowed. Billie got the message and stopped! We were all astonished. Numeg has never had any herding training, but she knew just what to do.
Here is our younger dog, Cocoa, an Australian Shepherd rescue dog who is equally good with the animals, and a good protector of the farm, although considerably more alarmist than Nutmeg is.
Nutmeg and Cocoa are good buddies who love to play dog tag
and keep away with a stick.
Nutmeg, demonstrating the dog-herding technique on Cocoa.