For Bad Border Collies, a Solution: Rented Sheep

How to keep an antsy city herder happy
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2010 4:33 AM CST
Baaa-d Dog: Border Collies Get Sheep to Herd
A border collie cools his heels in Vermont.   (AP Photo/Frank Bass)

(Newser) – Sue Foster knew just what to do when her antsy border collie Taff got naughty: Rent him some sheep. Now Foster owns a herd of sheep, some land in Washington state, and two more border collies. "I never dreamed it would go this far," Foster tells the Wall Street Journal. And she's not alone. Border collie fans are finding out fast that herds of sheep are the only real answer for really baaa-d dogs. Some 18 dogs visit Fido's Farm in Washington state daily, where for $15 per dog, border collies can relentlessly herd sheep.

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They know they "need to get their dog a job," says the owner. Finding sheep for their herders "is really snowballing" among owners, he says. Some dogs are on their own, while others are carefully trained by owners who have become as captivated by herding as their canine companions. "You don't have to treat the dogs with food," says Foster, 56. "Their reward is the sheep." (Read more Washington stories.)

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