Nancy the sheepherding Chihuahua proves size isn’t everything

Nancy the sheepherding Chihuahua proves size isn’t everything

28 June 2011
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home


Last week Ci the Border Collie hit the headlines after his fear of sheep was revealed, even though he’s meant to round up his owner’s flock. But now another dog is creating a stir in the sheepherding world. This time its Nancy the Chihuahua, who has been caught on camera herding sheep with all the skill of a seasoned Border Collie

Tiny Nancy weighs just 2.5 lbs but she has proven her expertise in the field, by confidently herding sheep more than six times taller than her. 

Farmer Geoff Temple from Surrey has seen Nancy in action, and describes her as “amazing”. He explains: “I’ve been herding for 17 years and I’ve never seen a Chihuahua work sheep. I now train other people and their dogs and see about 15 people a week, and almost without exception they are all Border Collies. Nancy really is something special - she’s a fun-size sheep herder.” 

The plucky pooch was brought into Battersea Dogs & Cats Home two years ago, when she was aged just three weeks old. Nancy had severe sarcoptic mange and had to be hand-reared by the animal charity’s Head of Canine Welfare Training Ali Taylor. Ali decided to adopt Nancy, and as the years passed, she frequently took the tiny dog on visits to farms.

Ali explains: “Nancy used to watch all her Border Collie friends herd the sheep and she seemed very interested in what was going on. One day I decided to give her a whirl in the ring and she picked it up straight away. I started in a very controlled environment but it quickly became evident that Nancy has natural ability and loves herding sheep.”

 Despite Nancy’s impressive skills you won’t see her on One Man and His Dog anytime soon. Ali explains: “Nancy and I only do this for fun, and to prove that rescue dogs really can do anything. At Battersea we rehome a lot of dogs to working homes, such as with farmers, in the armed forces and as assistance dogs. People sometimes underestimate rescue dogs, but they really are fantastic, and go on to do amazing things.”

 Ali also stresses that owners shouldn’t try this at home. “I wouldn’t encourage anyone to try sheepherding with their dog unless it is under proper supervision from an expert,” she says. “Some dogs could react very badly, and you could end up harming your dog and the sheep.”


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