The farmcollie has been bred for centuries to herd his own stock in his own territory. He is a bossy dog- enforcing his owner's will and rules on the lesser pack members. His herding style is dominant and authoritative. He is unsurpassed among herding breeds in rating his stock, he applies just as much force as necessary, a style that is not flashy in the herding trials- but much easier on the stock and more economical to the farmer in the long run.
Here are Farmcollie pups being introduced to the routines of the farm which they will later be expected to enforce:
And here a pup is not quite sure how to react to this big "bully".
But they soon learn who is the boss and how to react when challenged:
Will the calf rule?
Turning the calf
Getting the calf to move
As in the Hunting And Guardian aspects of the farmcollie working character, the dog's sense of his own territory plays a huge part. He knows the boundary of his home and keeps the livestock in their own separate pens.
Sheryl Chesney says of her farmcollie, Lilly:
"I truly couldn't see Lilly working off our farm. She may watch and be interested but would not leave my side if the work wasn't "hers" to do. Also the way people perceive the stock dog, as a "hard eyed" herder that has to be put away from the livestock in between work. If a persons idea of a dog and the dog itself don't match then we would have done the AWF a great disservice."
Shooter had no other dog to learn from when working the cattle, and Dan slaps the cows to get them into the milking stalls, so Shooter sometimes stands on his hind legs and slaps them too! If a cow kicks at him he is all business and quickly bites her back and puts her in her place!