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.
Approach sheep with your eyes averted & with your body at an angle not directly towards them.
If they look worried or about to get up look away & pause on your 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.
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
Moving slowly Mr. B makes the most relaxing move possible for a cat
Having a bath shows he has no interest in trying to pursue the lamb
When lamb relaxes he approaches a few more steps
Looking away again from where he is going to relax the lamb
Then looks the other way just to show he has no interest in getting closer
Then Bodacious sits down to calm the lamb down
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
When the lambs attention is diverted Mr. B turns slowly
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
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
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.
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