The Rough & Smooth Collie
If any member is intending to seriously work their Collie with livestock it would be welcomed by the RSCTA as these breeds were originally developed for this activity and can make efficient working animals who enjoy their work. The RSCTA can provide these members with details of organisations which run controlled herding tests. The RSCTA would be delighted to receive any news or updates of members working their Rough or Smooth Collies in this particular activity as it is one of the under represented activities for these versatile animals. Please contact Ruth Lambert for further information.
A word of caution...
The RSCTA committee would like to strongly recommend members who are not intending to work their Rough or Smooth Collies in herding to avoid putting their animal in for a herding test. Most Collie owners (and indeed any pet dog owners) spend much time training their dog to ignore livestock at all times for the safety of both the livestock and the dog. To then put the Collie in for a herding test would undo the training already undertaken to ensure the reliability of the dog with livestock and would cause confusion for the dog as to whether or not it is acceptable behaviour to chase sheep.
The new 'Right to Roam' legislation will offer farmers
even more support to shoot if dogs are only loose in a field of sheep and
farmers will become increasingly vigilant. A Collie who has undertaken a herding
test and therefore perceives sheep chasing as a now legitimate activity and
is unpredictable in its behaviour towards livestock may well come to grief
through inconsistencies in its training.
Please be careful.