When we got Kelly, the vet said she was sure Kelly had some border collie and some beagle in her. I can see both of those in her as well. Most of the time, Kelly acts like a hunting dog. She digs at moles underground, stalks birds in our yard, and she has this strange bark that I don’t know if I can describe, but she only uses it when she’s hunting moles. She’ll stare at the ground, jump and then give this bizarre quick deep bark.
At any rate, definitely got some hunting dog in her and her behavior has always leaned more towards the beagle in her… until recently. A few months ago, I decided to trust Kelly to walk from the backyard to the garage without a leash. This is a huge thing for her because she was a runner when we first got her. Lola is good at following orders though so she’s been doing it for years.
The first time, I allowed Kelly off leash from the backyard to the garage I noticed she did something she’d never done before. As she awaited me to get to the garage, she was running around Lola, barking at her, and occasionally jumping at her or throwing her body against her. Huh, that’s new. Kelly is not my first Border Collie (I had one as a teenager when my nephews were little). Frisky, the border collie from my teen years did this same thing with my older nephew when he started walking. Frisky would herd the nephew around the room this way. He was better than any baby gate at keeping the toddler away from doorways.
Kelly doesn’t herd the toddlers, but Lola does and has since Jude the Great Nephew began toddling around. Kelly has never really herded anything and I thought despite the collie in her she just wasn’t inclined to be a herder. Until Wednesday, I let the dogs out the gate to the garage and watched Kelly corral and herd Lola into the garage. Interestingly, Lola mostly ignores her when she’s doing this. J came home from work and I watched Kelly interact with him in our dining room and realized she was herding him towards the couch. Kelly has a routine, when J gets home, J must sit down, allow Kelly to jump into his lap, then she leans her body against his chest while sitting on her haunches and expects him to hug her. If he doesn’t do this promptly, she gets mad and ignores him for the rest of the night.
Watching Kelly herd J towards the couch, I had a sudden thought. As everyone has heard me say, Kelly is a jumper. We even tried a shock collar for a few weeks in an attempt to break the habit to no avail. Anyway, as I watched, I wondered how often Kelly’s excited jumping is really just a miserable attempt at herding a person but due to her excitement, she can’t stay focused and get the job done…