It was not until after this past weekend that I saw the topic for this week: eyes! I spent the weekend at a herding clinic. You can't herd, unless you have talked about a dog's "eye". There are strong eyed breeds like the Border Collie and Australian Kelpie. Then there are the loosed eyed breeds like the Collie, Australian Shepherd and German Shepherds. Strong eyed dogs "intimidate" the stock by using "eye", or, stare and are supposed to work silently. Loose eyed breeds run, bounce and bark, sometimes biting, to get the stock to work.
Me, I like the strong eyed breeds. Of course! I have Border Collies! I have watched many of these dogs work and I can tell you, sometimes it's down right creepy. Shut your eyes, imagine you are a sheep, goat or duck. Now open them and imagine you are inches from one of the dogs below in their working shots. I've chosen pictures that show the dog when working and when not working. See if you can see the change in their eyes.
This is Baron. He is new to herding, just been at it a few weeks. Even at "rest" his eyes are so stunning.
Next up is my Fionn's brother, Dodge. He has been working and learning for about 3 years now. Look at how much more intense his gaze is when working!
Here is Pebbles, another Fionn Relative. She is a sweet, fun girl, but pretty intense. Look at the difference in her stare on and off the stock.
Here is Sam another younger dog. He is almost always "on". If he looks like this when not working... check out when he is!
So, the eyes have it, in herding! Again, close your eyes, pretend you are a duck and open them up to Sam's photo above.... wish you were a duck now? Hope you have enjoyed seeing another slice of my passion for these dogs. For the next in this series of blogs, check out the following link: Marianne Cheery from Sydney and Mac Creative Designs, Fairfax VA.