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.