Sheepdogs use simple rules to herd sheep

use just two to round up large herds of , scientists have discovered.

The findings could lead to the development of robots that can gather and livestock, crowd control techniques, or new methods to clean up the environment.

For the first time scientists used GPS technology to understand how do their jobs so well. Until now, they had no idea how the manage to get so many unwilling sheep to move in the same direction.

NERC fellow, Dr of , fitted a flock of sheep and a sheepdog with backpacks containing extremely accurate GPS devices designed by colleagues at the , London.

Daniel Strömbom of and colleagues then used data from these devices, together with computer simulations, to develop a mathematical shepherding model.

The team found that likely use just two rulesl: to collect the sheep when they’re dispersed and drive them forward when they’re aggregated. In the model, a single shepherd could herd a flock of more than 100 individuals using these two simple .

The research is published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

‘If you watch rounding up sheep, the weaves back and forth behind the flock in exactly the way that we see in the model,’ says King.

‘We had to think about what the dog could see to develop our model. It basically sees white, fluffy things in front of it. If the dog sees gaps between the sheep, or the gaps are getting bigger, the dog needs to bring them together,’ he explains.

‘At every time step in the model, the dog decides if the herd is cohesive enough or not. If not cohesive, it will make it cohesive, but if it’s already cohesive the dog will push the herd towards the target,’ says Strömbom.

‘Other models don’t appear to be able to herd really big groups — as soon as the number of individuals gets above 50 you start needing multiple shepherds or sheepdogs,’ he says.

‘There are numerous applications for this knowledge, such as crowd control, cleaning up the environment, herding of livestock, keeping animals away from sensitive areas, and collecting or guiding groups of exploring robots,’ says King.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Natural Environment Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Original story here.
Dogs News — Sciencedaily

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    • Sooner Girl
    • September 2, 2014
    89 of 99 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great Product!, April 1, 2011
    By 
    Sooner Girl (Oklahoma City, OK USA) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Composure for Medium and Large Dogs, 60 Soft Chews (Misc.)
    My 75-lb German Shepherd is terrified of storms. If I’m not home with her, she becomes very destructive. If I am home, she pants constantly and follows each step I take. I tried crating her, but she mangled the crate and became so stressed that she got sick. She can’t take a prescription, because a side effect is seizures, and she already gets those. Composure was the answer for us. She takes 2 a day, but I double her dose when I know a storm is coming. There are a few other things I do as well, like keeping all the lights on so the lightning isn’t as noticeable, and turning on the tv on to help block the sound of rain. These things help, but they wouldn’t if she wasn’t already on Composure. We’ve been using this product for almost a year, and it hasn’t lost any effectiveness.

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    • Sara
    • September 2, 2014
    75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
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    Composure, June 14, 2010
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    Sara

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Composure for Medium and Large Dogs, 60 Soft Chews (Misc.)
    I had received a sample of this product (different flavor) but before I used it I had given it to a friend whose dog had been injured, had surgery and was “freaking out”. Later she told me that it had worked really really well, it calmed her dog without spacing her out and causing her to become befuddled and changing her personality.

    I purchased this product to help calm our dog while in the car. It has helped a lot. She does ride more comfortably in the car and now will spend some time looking out the window rather than burying her head under the seat. Also I found that, as my friend had remarked, it does not change her personality and cause any apparent side effects. She still walks on a leash, barks, and in general is herself, just without the frantic behavior.

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    • Laura Gail
    • September 2, 2014
    149 of 153 people found the following review helpful
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    Works really well for all but total freak-out, May 8, 2010
    By 
    Laura Gail (Greenfield, Ma United States) –

    This review is from: Composure for Medium and Large Dogs, 60 Soft Chews (Misc.)
    I have two dogs, one who becomes completely hysterical with thunderstorms, and mildly hysterical with heavy rain. My other dog takes on any stress of the people and animals around him, and it got to the point where that was making him really sick.

    These chews have been fabulous in helping with the dog who takes on the stress and anxiety of others–it’s made a stunning difference for him. With the thunderstorm/rain dog, this product works really well for her with anything but absolute terror-induced anxiety in big storms. But to put this in perspective–even sedation doesn’t help her in big storms.

    I really like that this product does not sedate or drug the dogs. They both happily take it, and when upset the stress-sponge dog actually will go to the kitchen and look at the bag.

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    • Bean Bandit
    • September 2, 2014

    Audio out of sync again.

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    • September 2, 2014

    SOO cute ^~^

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    I just love the song at finish, what kinda music is that? 

    • CharlieDaDog
    • September 2, 2014

    I love when baby’s are laughing. Thank you for a video:)

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