Of Sheepdogs, Shepherds & Metaphors

kinnon —  May 16, 2013 — 1 Comment

There's a dog, and it's chasing sheep.

Somewhere in the past few months, while whiling away unavailable time on the interwebs, I read about how sheep farmers in the English-speaking world tend to use sheepdogs to control sheep, rather than the middle-eastern method of almost exclusively employing human shepherds.


Of course.

I saw a metaphor in this.

Reading the quote below brought the metaphor into sharp relief ( at least for me ),

All herding behavior is modified predatory behavior. Through selective breeding, humans have been able to minimize the dog’s natural inclination to treat cattle and sheep as prey while simultaneously maintaining the dog’s hunting skills, thereby creating an effective herding dog. (emphasis added)

Sheepdogs bark and nip at the heels of the sheep to force them go where their masters want them to go. And it’s amazing to see the kind of sheep shows ( shown below ) you can create under the control of the sheepdogs.

To steal boldly from the Phoenix Preacher, Michael Newnhammake your own application. ( And buy Michaels’ book here. )


Here’s the video referenced above:

This post first appeared at kinnon.tv on May16th, 2013.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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