Dancing in the Dark by Ann Witte

As choreographer of your Beardie’s herding, you will need to consider all factors that may affect the “dance”

Both sheep and dogs are visual animals with intrinsic reations to varying amounts of light. In addition, both are highly responsive to movement. The behavior of each species will change indoors simply because of the lighting conditions.

The artificial light at indoor arenas and outdoor arenas at night is flat which interferes with animals’ perceptions. As a result, the sheep’s flight response is increased as much as double, and the dog will have difficulty discerning the perimeter of the arena.

Dark, cloudy days and twilight are the times that create light conditions similar to an indoor facility. Train occasionally at twilight or under lights to accustom your Beardie to working in flat light.

© 2000 by Ann Witte. Reprinted with permission from the author.

This article originally appeared in “Bagpipes”, the Bearded Collie Club of America’s monthly newsletter. Reprinted with permission of the author.