Response of bonded and unbonded sheep to the approach of a trained border collie

TitleResponse of bonded and unbonded sheep to the approach of a trained border collie
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsAnderson D.M., Hulet, Clarence V., Shupe, W. Larry, Smith J.N.
Conference Name41st Annual Meeting, Society for Range Management
Date Published1988
AbstractIntra-and interspecific association of young cattle and yearling ewes bonded or nonbonded to cattle was observed under free-ranging conditions preceding, during and following the approach of a trained border collie dog. The dog treatment provided insight into the response of livestock to an aggressive, threatening canine. Sheep bonded to cattle remained together as one interspecific group when threatened by the dog. Interspecific space decreased and the sheep positioned themselves among the cattle and away from the dog. Bovine aggression, ie., kicking and bunting at the dog, was only observed when the dog approached the heifers. Nonbonded sheep and cattle reacted as two distinct intraspecific groups. The ovines reduced their intraspecific space and moved away from the bovines when threatened by the dog. The protection which bonded sheep receive from cattle appears to result from the close association with the cattle which pose a threat to predators.