Border collie owner shows off ball game they play with dog
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The clever canine is more than capable of keeping owner Lisa Alekna’s ‘sassy’ sheep in line, but adores his job so much, he’ll herd whatever he can get his paws on. Lisa shared a video of the working sheepdog stalking a ball in his back garden, while patiently awaiting for instructions from the shepherdess.
The mum of two from Ham Green, Redditch said: “Just thought I’d treat you to a little of Marshall’s dictation of the ball game.”
“Walk up, Marsh,” she calls out, to which the border collie inches closer to the ball in the middle of the grass.
Lisa added: “So he only does a couple of steps because he likes his game to last as long as possible, obviously if it was a sheep I’d normally have to slow him down at the back.”
She instructed him to ‘walk up’ and ‘stand’ as Marshall continued creeping towards the target.
The farmer explained to Marshall’s TikTok viewers that the clever dog would ignore commands he didn’t want to do, until Lisa offered him a better instruction.
She said: “If I say ‘OK’ now and he doesn’t want to go, he’ll refuse to go and if he wants me to give him a flank – go left of right – he will turn to the left or right a bit to hint.”
The clip sees Lisa call ‘walk up’ before saying ‘oh, he doesn’t want to do that, he wants to flank’.
Calling out ‘come by’, Marshall ran to the left, eyes completely fixed on the ball.
When Lisa shouted ‘away’, he quickly turned on his tail and ran right.
Finally, he decided the game was up when Lisa called ‘ok’ and he grabbed his ball victoriously.
Viewers loved watching Marshall take direction from his owner, with one writing: “This is the cutest video because it shows he loves his job.”
Another added: “Mum, I can do this all day, you, on the other hand, can’t.”
In the video, Marshall’s hip momentarily lapsed, with Lisa explaining that the sheepdog was undergoing a hip replacement at the end of November.
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Commenters rushed to wish the border collie all the best with his operation, which proved successful after Lisa updated her Instagram followers on Sunday evening.
She said: “HE’S HOME. Traumatic, but complete. Got everything crossed for a good recovery and frantically reminding myself this is for the best.
“Using a harness and a sling to stop his back end wobbling, he’ll be taken out for 5-10 minute lead walks on flat garden area 4x a day.
“Crated for the rest of the time, drugged up to the max and classic fm playing for him. Times like this I really wish you could explain to them.”
Marshall was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and needed a titanium and chromium prosthetic to help him continue the job he so clearly loves.
He lives with Lisa’s family, as well as ‘sheepcat’ Oreo, chickens, and some sassy sheep – including Twig, a tiny lockdown lamb who inspired Lisa’s first children’s book: Little Twig’s Big Adventures.
Their TikTok account, laughingstockoflivestock, has more than 51,000 followers, who have been entertained by their little farmyard.
Lisa said that Marshall can’t wait to get back to work, but needs two very strict months of rest.
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