Apparently I need to have a chat with my silkie terror. She nips at my calves... Leaves bruises.
The first is having trained a dog to heard sheep and watched some spectacular border collies heard cattle, the dogs seldom if ever nip at the heals to move the heard. In any competition this would cause the dog to be disqualified and for good reason. The shepherd will position the dog through his commands and have the dog walk in closer to apply pressure on the animal being herded. I have never ever seen a heard animal just stand there. It will either move away from the dog OR turn all the way around and confront the dog head on. I have seen a border collie nip at but not actually bite a large steers nose and actually heard him backwards this way. They will dart between there legs like little lighting bolts. If you have never seen a good heard dog work on a stubborn animal, especially like a little border collie, you should seek out something like a state fair trial. It is absolutely breathtaking. Even Caias mentions they would stop there horses to watch the dogs work when they heard a shepherds whistle. (whistles were often used as the shrill sounds travel farther and save the shepherds voice) The other bit of reservation I have about her article in regards to herding is that herding dogs come in two forms; gathering and driving. Hard to think you could train a dog for herding without knowing this critical piece of information which she does not bother to mention.
Indeed, and there are some interesting and subtle problems with Cheri Ruzich'es article http://www.donnerbergrottweilers.com/rottweiler-history.html ( Seems all the info she mentions is in the other article too.)
Several times she talks about the dogs being used for drafting. This could be true but I have been looking for primary information on dogs as draft animals in Europe for 10 years. I have one drawing that is period showing such. I have a French book with an extensive collection of photos of dogs drafting. All are late 1800's, and all of the pictures in the article look very similar to those in that book. I am not saying that Rotys didn't draft, just there is no primary proof in the article. That's "the bite" as it were. There are dozens, perhaps hundreds or thousands of books out there with this same level of information-more hearsay than fact.
Caias mentions butchers dogs, but in close proximity to herding dogs leaving a lot of supposition where pulling carts are concerned. The tinkers curr carried big budgets containing his tools and metal but could a budget be a type of cart or wagon? I think they would be more like saddle bags which I can document elsewhere. Am I wrong?