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Dog Lacks Herding Experience

Video shows sheep with upper hand
By Karen B. London PhD, May 2018, Updated June 2021

Well-trained herding dogs make sheepherding look so easy, but it is and extremely challenging job that requires skill, finesse and experience. The video of a dog who lacks these advantages being chased by a flock of about 20 sheep makes that quite clear, to the amusement of many who have watched it.

Accustomed as we are to seeing dogs control the movement of sheep, it looks ridiculous to see them turn the tables on this little pup. Adding to the humor is the voice of a person calling, “Nelson, Nelson, come here Nelson”. He speaks in an extremely calm manner reminiscent of the teacher saying, “Anyone? Anyone?” in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and with no more hope of getting a response.

Dogs can be seriously injured by sheep who charge at them, but this dog does not seem to have suffered that fate. Hopefully, he is not psychologically scarred by becoming a viral sensation who has given thousands of people a hearty laugh.

Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression. Karen writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about canine training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life