|Scientists have now used GPS to uncover the rules that describe how sheepdogs are able to herd sheep.|
Strömbom et al  have shown that there are surprisingly few rules here; in fact they suggest just two rules.
- The sheepdog learns how to make the sheep come together in a flock.
- Whenever the sheep are in a tightly knit group, the dog pushes them forwards.
The sheepdogs make the most of what is know as “selfish herd theory”, that is the tendency of a given sheep to want to be near the centre of the flock when under threat.
There is a Welsh connection here. One of the authors, Dr. A. King is based at Swansea University, which is where I studied for my undergraduate degree.
Now, anyone know any good jokes about Welsh people and sheep? Can’t say that I have herd many…
 Strömbom et al, Solving the shepherding problem: heuristics for herding autonomous, interacting agents, J. R. Soc. Interface 11(100) (2014).