Herd thinned to 1 on last day of Lacamas Valley Sheep Dog

first_imgTen skittish lambs walked across the field as Andi the border collie followed behind, stopping to hunker down in the grass at her handler’s command. From across the field, Patrick Shannahan whistled and shouted orders, including “come on” and “lie down” as the sheep headed toward the appropriate location and the seconds ticked down on a clock. “There they are through the fetch panels. Very nice,” an announcer said. The audience, seated in lawn chairs and on bales of hay, let out a cheer. Andi, a 7-year-old female, was one of 15 dogs competing Sunday in the final competitions of the Lacamas Valley Sheep Dog Trial at the Johnston Dairy Farm in Camas. During the previous three days, the dogs beat out about 155 other herding dogs to reach the final contest, which included more difficult tasks than the days prior. Dogs in the final round had to herd in 10 lambs from one side of the field, then run to another corner of the field and herd in another 10 lambs. Once the group of 20 lambs was together, the dog was supposed to guide them through two gates and into a circle in the middle of the field.The challenge continued with assistance from the dog’s handler, who helped winnow the group to the only five lambs wearing red collars; the other 15 lambs were shooed away. In the final part of the trial, each dog was tasked with herding the last five lambs into a nearby pen.last_img