I get emails and requests from people to "instinct" test their...insert herding breed. Because their herding breed dog rocks at "herding" their cat....they are sure it will rock at "herding" livestock. I don't mind talking to these folks......it is all about education......there IS a difference between "herding" and "prey drive". I recently read a blog post that really sums up prey drive vs "herding"....check it out http://lassiegethelp.blogspot.com/2010_01_01_archive.html
Another fine example of beautiful "moves" but NOT herding can be found here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVrKwmXEPAE If you view this youtube...you will see the Ethiopian wolf busting some serious moves, with style and eye....gasp......hunting! Yes, using prey drive to bring home dinner! Mind you, I have seen some nice border collies and kelpies use some similar moves on sheep!
I have watched a few youtube videos...that say "corgie puppies herding cat" or the likes. Sorry folks, but those corgie puppies are actually practicing their prey drive....on the family cat. Might be cute to some....but not to be sold as "herding".
Recently, I have sold a few border collie pups and kept one for myself. As much as I wish with all my heart that my best plans of coupling two really nice working sheepdogs will produce a World Champion......when my little Gyp busts her moves, I know she is not "herding". I also know, I won't know what she has until we get there....on stock....seeing what she has in the way of natural "herding" talent. And only time will tell what she has and if she will make it as a good working sheepdog and open trial dog.
This is my pondering as I wait, impatiently, for my ewes to give up their tiny bundles of lamby races and fun. Off to check..........
Seize the day!