Thousands of years ago humans began to select and breed dogs for the sole purpose of controlling and moving sheep, goats and bovine. By selective breeding we have been able to modify the canine’s predatory drive and hypertrophy particular behaviours to suit our needs. We not only altered their physical appearance but also their neurological make up. The dogs no longer needed for hunting now became useful as shepherds, heading and driving dogs used to locate, gather and move stock to new grazing land. Sometimes mustering huge mobs of cattle or sheep over tens of thousands of acres. They not only needed to be smart they also needed to be independent thinkers to enable them to accomplish the work they do away from their handler.
The modern working dog, including kelpies, border collies and koolies, to name a few, are bred for gathering, moving, drafting, filling shearing sheds, loading trucks, trialing and more. They need to be ready to work at any time and be able have the energy and stamina to work all day if required. Today’s herding dog is “hard wired” for high prey drive with a low arousal threshold, making them "switch" on at the sight of movement, the sound of a whistle or the wave of a hand. They are genetically programmed to be in herding mode at any time day or night.