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Working with Border Cheviots


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Does anyone have experience working with Border Cheviots?? I have acquired 5 from N. Carolina,they are about 3 mos. old. They were never exposed to any working dogs, only a guardian dog.

Upon expulsion from the back of the truck into the pasture, they converged on my BC, and one at a time proceeded to sniff her very calmly and very curious!! She politely did not bite, and let them sniff her. I called her off, and then sent her to round them up.They of course, faced her off, and we had a little bite session to get them in pen so I could inspect them. I have since had to split the little suckers up to break up the "pack" mentality, and they are in 3 separate groups with the Blackface and Barbs. They seem to be extremely light, and I am not sure they would be good for an inexperienced dog.

Any words of wisdom, are there particular types of dogs they are better for?ie,sticky,etc. I got them because I heard they were light, and I have dogs (pushy) that I like to work on light sheep. These guys seem a little crazy tho, and I am not sure they would be suitable for beginners or clinics. Just wanted to get some info on their general traits,are they good mothers(of course I have ewes and a ram!),etc. They remind me of rampant rabbits from Monty Python!!:rolleyes:)

Jill Hurst

Ewenity Farm


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Border cheviots are indeed good mothers, known for ease of lambing and lambs that are up and nursing in the blink of an eye. They are also generally easy keepers. The reason they "ganged up" on your dog was because they had never seen a dog before. Any livestock that hasn't been worked by dogs will react that way. Lambs also react differently than adult sheep and it was wise to break them up and put them with your other sheep because lambs by themselves generally don't have a leader and so will behave erratically when you're trying to work them with dogs. When I am dogbreaking stock, I generally will get the dog to keep walking into their faces and allow the dog to grip on the nose so the sheep learn the dog has teeth. I will also walk toward the stock and help the dog, if needed. Cheviots are generally very light, reactive, and are good jumpers. I wouldn't consider them suitable for beginner dogs, but some folks use them because that's all they have. Remember, though, that sheep as prey animals can assess the "predator" too and know when they can take advantage. Cheviots are no different, and if they suss out that a dog lacks confidence or push, they will stand up to the dog. But in general, they are pretty light and flighty and not nearly as likely to stand up to a dog as a Scottish blackface. I would put them below barbs on the scale of lightness though.



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