Lt. Col. David Grossman, of “On Killing” and “On Combat” has become quite renowned for his use of the sheepdog metaphor for those who “protect the public”…law-enforcement, military, martialists, security, men, etc. I’ve always thought this an immensely derogatory term as it assumes that the general public is filled with stupid, unthinking, incapable sheep and puppets, yet we see these same regular untrained people surviving violence with just the “technology” that evolution gave them…daily. It also puts us, the supposed “sheepdogs” on some self-important pedestal of superiority. Regardless, let’s actually break down the real qualities of the actual sheepdog breed to see if we can understand further his correlation:
“The Old English Sheepdog (or “Sheepie”)….can be quite the clown, and is demanding of attention. If left without companionship…he will become unhappy, destructive, and noisy.”
“They make sensible watchdogs with a deep, ringing bark, but they’re not guard dogs. In fact, there is timidity and skittishness in some lines, sharpness in others.”
“….since the vast majority of them are bred to be show dogs or pets, rather than working sheepdogs, their herding instincts are typically-diminished or absent.”
“…we’ve seen too many with neurotic behaviors, including hyperactivity, fearfulness, and aggression.”
So, in conclusion, I’d actually say Dave was entirely on to something from the people I’ve interacted with in-person and on the Interweb that are in-love with labeling themselves this term. From the above definitions, I’m actually starting to see his point, from talking to so many “sheepdogs” over the years. I’m just not sure he realized that he was ironically-correct, not actually-correct.