Shortly after we bought the ranch last September Mike really got the itch for a new dog. Our pooches at the time were 13 year old blind Dharma the minpin and 11 year old dachshund W.D. While they are good dogs, they really aren't cut out (anymore) for the rigors of working a ranch.
After kicking the tires on a few breeds, he quickly decided on the Shetland Sheepdog. High on intelligence and energy yet small enough to grow up in the condo while we organize the move, shelties are perfectly designed for ranch life. They also have a strong herding instinct which we hope to take advantage of with our eventual herd of sheep and goats.
Well, the goats are here. They are friendly and funny and a real kick in the pants but not exactly easy to lead to the barn where we put them each night to keep them safe from predators. Enter Scouty the Wonder Sheltie...
After spending 30 or more minutes every night for the first week trying to get the goats in the barn while Scout waited patiently outside the fence, we decided let her in to see what would happen. It was pretty amazing! She went right in and started rounding up the goats and pushing them to the barn with no training whatsoever. Within minutes she had them all in the barn... and she LOVED it.
Now, a week or so later, the goats have learned that the barn is a safe haven from the annoying, yapping fur-ball coming through the gate and often file in before Scout even gets a chance to kick up some dust. We recently added a couple of new kids who don't have the routine down yet but it still takes less than a minute. Scout is definitely earning her keep!