By Helen Le Caplain
Six brave border collie pups showed their ‘shear talent’ when they were caught on camera herding sheep FOUR TIMES their size – despite never laying eyes on the mammals before.
The adorable pint-sized puppies can be seen enthusiastically racing after the sheep, rounding them up and guiding them to the other side of the field.
Proud owner Pat Byrne claims their instincts as sixth-generation border collies kicked in as soon as they clapped eyes on them.
The footage shows the five males and one female fearlessly approaching a defiant sheep 25 TIMES their weight, rounding him up to join the others before driving the quartet to the end of the field.
The plucky pooches then tackle another rebellious sheep who races away from his pals – with one puppy hilariously trying to stop him by leaping up and unsuccessfully clinging on as he sped off.
Undeterred the pack then race after him, round up the others and successfully herd them back towards Pat.
Sheep and cattle farmer Pat from Roscommon, Ireland, said: “I took the puppies out for some exercise on the paddock to see what their reaction to seeing the sheep would be – to see if they have the keenness.
“The minute I took them out they just took off to gather the sheep. Their legs were going like the clappers, it was lovely to see.
“The puppies are only very small but wanted to bring the one that got away back to the others and then to me, their instinct was kicking in.
“I’m very happy with them. Their dad Moss was bred by a supreme champion and it’s clearly come through in the puppies.”
Border Collies tend to herd animals by getting in front of livestock and using ‘strong eye’ to stare them down to keep them in a group and control their motion.
Pat, 55, said the pups, which weigh just two kilos each, weren’t intimidated by the huge sheep and were keen to go back for more.
The pups will all go to new homes at 12 weeks and will mostly be used for trialling, agility and farm work.
Dad-of-three Pat said: “All the puppies are ok. The little one that rolled off was just doing his best but wasn’t quite big enough to stop him.
“The pups are tough and hardy and are doing exactly what they’re bred to do.
“You don’t want any put off by a little rough and tumble, you’re looking for ruggedness and determination so when the pressure is on you know they’ll be by your side.
“When I called to them to come back they all did.
“They’ve all got exceptional talent, I’m really pleased with them.”