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Arts & Entertainment Border collies put through their paces at Taste of Scotland

Bill Coburn rounds up the sheep for the demonstration. Photos by Kimberly PruettThe Border Collie demonstration behind Town Hall brought crowds attending the 15th annual Franklin Scottish Tartans Festival tot their feet. Bill Coburn, of Windy Knolls Farm, said that he loves working with the dogs. Border Collies are a special breed and are workaholics. He explained that he can usually get 14 to 15 good working years out of one of his dogs. Coburn jokingly added that “Border Collies work well with all kinds of livestock — even children.”

Franklin’s Scottish Tartan’s Festival was the first event that he demonstrated the dog’s ability outside of trials and he has been coming to the festival for almost 10 years. Now he travels up and down the east coast doing both demos and trials.

For this year’s festival, Coburn brought three collies; Spot, a six-year- old Collie, Hope, Spot's mother, and Meg, a two-year old female Border Collie. He demonstrated the dogs ability to gather, herd, and “shed” the groups of sheep and ducks. Coburn explained that “shedding” the livestock is where you have a group and are trying to separate out certain ones.

Meg, a two-year-old border collie, carefully watches the sheep.Meg begins to “shed” or herd the sheep.Meg skillfully guides the sheep where she wants them to go.Coburn said that the best advice he could give anyone trying to train their dog, no matter what the breed, is to be patient. “Work with them as long as you have to and don't let them get away with whatever they know they aren't supposed to be doing,” he said, “but the main thing is to be patient.”


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