The cat shepherd, Bodacious aka Mr. B, has kindly demonstrated how you approach sheep without disturbing them by using body language. We have chosen sheep that were lying down as this way you can see they are the same sheep with little change in them as we walk around and up close to them using our quite none predatory technique.

These 2 ewes & their single lambs we will use as our case study subjects.

These 2 ewes & their single lambs we will use as our case study subjects.

Approach sheep with your eyes averted

Approach sheep with your eyes averted & with your body at an angle not directly towards them.

If they look worries look away from them

If they look worried or about to get up look away & pause on your approach.

When they relax continue to approach

When they relax continue to approach at an angle.

Every time they look at you just look away pretending something else is much more interesting.

Every time they look at you just look away pretending something else is much more interesting.

So now we are sort of between both ewes who are still lying down comfortably

So now we are sort of between both ewes & lambs, who are still lying down comfortably

Sit and just wait till they get comfortable again but make sure you are showing them your profile. Cats like humans are considered a predator animal, so a direct approach is seen as threatening to any species of prey animal not matter how domesticated.

The lamb is still a bit worried. Note it's alert ears & direct gaze

The lamb is still a bit worried. Note it’s alert ears & direct gaze

Moving slowly Mr. B makes the most relaxing move possible for a cat

Moving slowly Mr. B makes the most relaxing move possible for a cat

Having a bath shows he has no interest in the lamb & has no interest in trying to pursue the lamb

Having a bath shows he has no interest in trying to pursue the lamb

When lamb relaxes he approaches a few more steps

When lamb relaxes he approaches a few more steps

So he looks away from where he is going to relax the lamb

Looking away again from where he is going to relax the lamb

Then he looks the other way just to show he has no interest in getting closer

Then looks the other way just to show he has no interest in getting closer

Then Bodacious sits down to calm the lamb down

Then Bodacious sits down to calm the lamb down

Looking away with most of his body turned away from the worried lamb

Looking away with most of his body turned away from the worried lamb

The lamb gets up not due to the cat shepherd but because I have not been paying attention to my movements towards the sheep but trying to catch everything with the camera.

The lamb stands so Mr. B stands but with his back to the lamb

The lamb stands so Mr. B stands but with his back to the lamb

When the lambs attention is diverted Mr. B turns slowly

When the lambs attention is diverted Mr. B turns slowly

As he turns the with his head down not looking at the lamb

As he turns with his head down not looking at the lamb

Then he looks at the lamb walking right past him as close as a humans arms length

Then he looks at the lamb walking right past him as close as a humans arms length

This is why when ever the lambs approach Bodacious they come to him from behind to say hello.

The lamb approaches from behind full of curiosity

The lamb approaches from behind full of curiosity

A greeting between lamb & Bodacious

A greeting between lamb & Bodacious

Except for Smudge who was a kitchen lamb so knows and approaches the cat shepherd head on for a warm greeting.

Aggee & Smudge approach Bodacious

Aggee & Smudge approach Bodacious

Smudge walks forwards to greet Mr. B

Smudge walks forwards to Mr. B

Smudge & Bodacious Greet each other warmly

Smudge & Bodacious greet each other warmly

3 Responses to How a Shepherd Approaches Sheep

  1. Lorna says:

    Such skill in your cat shepherd 🙂

  2. Anna says:

    Your shepherd cat looks like the (almost) identical twin of our Maine Coon cat Viggo. Viggo is a gentle giant with a heart of gold, very talkative and he treats our dogs in the same way as Mr B treats the sheep.

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