Sheep for Rent: Entertainment For Bored Border Collies

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At her wits end after her border collie Taff was expelled from puppy school for herding other dogs, Washington resident Sue Foster knew she needed to change her approach, so she went out on a limb – and rented sheep for Taff to play with. Thanks to border owners like Foster, sheep rentals are on the rise. Fido’s Farm outside Olympia, Washington sees about 18 customers a day, and each pays $15  for a session with a 200-head flock of sheep. Owner Chris Soderstrom says revenues from herding are up 60% over the past five years.

Sue Foster now owns three border collies, a flock of sheep for the dogs, and keeps a llama to defend the lambs from coyotes so she can continue to send some to market to support the expense of the sheep. “I never dreamed it would go this far,” she said.

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10 thoughts on “Sheep for Rent: Entertainment For Bored Border Collies”

  1. I formerly worked in an office where on occasion the business owner would bring her Border Collie. “Emma” would at some point without our really fully realizing it gradually work/move us all toward the reception area (that part was easy for me, I was the receptionist and Emma would “herd” me at the last when I would get out of my chair and move about the office for whatever reason). Emma was quite subtle about it and gathering all of us who were usually scattered around the office must have pleased her mightily if her grin was any indication. All of a sudden we’d look around and realize: there would be a reception area full of our firm’s employees, all 7 of us, and Emma would then be sitting decorously and proudly at the edge of our little group but still with that “Collie Eye” on us lest one of us make a “break” for it….

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  2. Is there any where in California where I can take my border collie to run sheep? This is a great idea. I used to live in Idaho but now SoCal. My dog didn’t want to come but he’s here now.

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  3. I just had a chance to sit down and watch this video and “wow!” what a beautiful thing to watch these dogs do what they were bred to do. What marvelous working dogs and it all comes so natural. Simply wonderful!

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