Checking corgi herding instincts with Nancy Creel

After a little encouragement, Buddy started to take his job to heart.

Nine corgis spent a sunny October afternoon at Saddle Peak Equestrian Center trying out their herding instincts. Trainer Nancy Creel brought four of her own lambs and her Border Collie, Nero, to assist with an introduction to herding, just for low-riders.

The dogs had an opportunity to circle lambs from outside the confines of a pen, and then later, they got to try their paw at herding them. Most of the corgis were herding newbies, but that didn’t prevent them from getting down to business and circling the sheep to keep them in a bunch. It was pretty amazing to see them at work.

It took a little bit of encouragement to assure some of the corgis that they were actually allowed to bark and chase livestock. If needed, Nero was willing to help out by getting the lambs moving, and in more than one case that was all it took for the herding instinct to go “ding!” in the corgi’s head. Away they went!

Only one or two dogs in the bunch didn’t seem to have any interest in lamb domination, preferring to cozy up to their handlers, or enjoy a bounty of ready-made snacks in the form of sheep manure. Their handlers were happy enough just to see how their corgis reacted and let them stick with their day jobs.

The youngest dog of the group was Kipper, barely over a year old. She took to herding like a duck to water. Before long, her handler, Grace, was exclaiming triumphantly, “Kipper penned the lambs!”

But Nancy chimed in, “You get to take some credit too. You and Kipper worked as a team. You can say we penned them.”

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Most of the photos in this post were taken by Steve Hample. Marla Goodman took the photos of Cabo, Bella, and Buddy.

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