The sheepish sheepdog

It reads almost like the plot line of a Woody Allen movie: There's a new workplace hazard for Ci, a Border Collie, who was born and bred to herd sheep. This would-be "top dog's" crippling fear of the woolly creatures sends him running whenever he is forced to face his fearsome flock.

Owner Jane Lippington says that even as a puppy, Ci has been afraid of sheep, often turning tale and running when left alone with the flock.

"I have tried to use Ci to herd the sheep lots of times, but they are just too scary for him. He is terrified of them," Lippington says to the Mirror. "If they run away from him he will act like a proper sheepdog. But the moment they turn and face him he runs away."

And now, the tables have turned on poor Ci. The sheep have bucked the traditional role of chasees, and have become the chasers, running towards the intimidated pup for fun.

"Sheep can be quite aggressive if they think they have the upper hand," explains Lippington. "They stamp their feet, gang up and act like an army."

Lippington and her husband Donald have given up using Ci to herd their 100-sheep flock. But they intend to keep Ci on their 200-acre Manor Farm at near Bath, England.

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