I watched a video today where a well-known handler was working a dog in a round pen with an aggressive ram. The dog walked up on the ram and it alternated between backing up and charging the dog. When the ram charged, the dog gripped. What is the purpose of this? To show off how tough your dog is? My feelings are: one, why risk your dog in a round pen with a sheep like this, if he’s so rough on dogs, then he should be in someone’s freezer; and two, sheep abuse, there was no reason to have that ram in with the dog except to show off.
Then again, given the handler who was working the animals in this manner, it doesn’t surprise me. Some handlers purposely breed for tough dogs who can handle hard training.
Sheep do not asked to be worked by dogs. The whole point of using a dog is to move stock with the least amount of stress on the stock and the dog. Putting a nasty ram in a round pen with a dog to show off is pompous. You may recall I put this photo up on my Blog a while back. When this photo was taken, I was using Gel to keep the goat in position so I could take the photograph against the backgroud of the barn when the billy goat decided he didn’t want to move where I was asking Gel to put him. After that one grip, the billy goat moved where Gel wanted him to. If that was not the case, I would not have continued to take photographs.