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Book: The Sheep People

Chapter: A Closer Look at Sheep, Sheepdogs and the Dynamics of Herding

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.26515


In chapter 5, the theoretical insight of chapters 2 and 3 are brought into a discussion of the relationship between humans, sheep and sheepdogs. Following Human-Animal Studies, the sheep and the dogs as themselves are seen as contributing to the dynamics of a particular set of practice: herding. The species and their requirements, as is known from ethology, are discussed within this kind of dynamics. The chapter goes in-depth into the ontological fringe position of sheepdogs, as beings inbetween human shepherds and the flock of sheep. The insight that human-animal relationships are not necessarily one-to-one is explored, as herding requires three different species to cooperate.

Chapter Contributors

  • Kristin Armstrong Oma ( - kaoma) 'University of Stavanger'