Well Trained Dogs (or Well Trained Sheep)

B11I6931.jpgAlameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton are home to more than just the Alameda County Fair.  They also held the Highland Games.  This was a mix of Celtic sports and other rural activities from the UK.  Part of that included some sheep dog trials.  A variety of owners and their dogs took turns in herding a group of sheep around a variety of obstacles and in to a pen – all done against the clock.  I love watching sheepdogs at work.  They are so controlled in the way they move and keep the sheep where they want them.  We have seen them in action for real while in the UK and they really do know what they are doing.

B11I6933.jpgIn a more controlled environment such as a show like this, things are a little different.  There are people all around them and you can’t help but wonder whether the sheep are beginning to learn the routine after a while.  Then again, I have crossed paths with sheep on the hills and they really are the dopiest of creatures so expecting them to learn is probably a stretch.  My favorite pose for the dogs is when they are crouched down on the ground waiting for the next sign to move.  They look so intent.

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