Sheepdog attitude...pros vs. cons


Providence Ranch

New member
I'm new here, so please forgive me if this topic has been talked to death already...

I've seen a few comments since I've been on board here that seem to put down the sheepdog mentality as somehow over-zealous, over-tough, or dangerous. I'm not sure I understand where this come from. I have 16 years of LEO experience, and have carried off duty for quite a while now. To me, the sheepdog mentality equates to "condition yellow," aware, alert, looking for trouble so you and your family might AVOID it, not plunge headlong into it. Stay ahead of the criminal mentality, and you stand your best chance of not becoming a victim. But nonetheless, there seem to be some here who equate the sheepdog with the would-be John Wayne, supercop without a badge. So my question, though maybe poorly explained, is this:

What is the real definition of the sheepdog mentality here? And once we decide that, is it better to have that attitude than to remain armed sheep?
 

localgirl

New member
Unfortunately I can't get into details on a public forum, but let me say this: there was a time I would have agreed with you. And I still think there are people who are mature and responsible enough to assume this role. But at one point in my life I saw someone who took "sheepdog" very seriously who was nowhere near competent enough to take on this role, but was unfortunately in a position of great influence. The problem isn't the reasonable, common-sense guys, it's the wanna be's and mall ninjas who are looking for opportunities to jump into a fire fight. The worst part is, they readily and enthusiastically preach this doctrine to anyone who will listen. And it really makes me wish someone had never, ever mentioned the word "sheepdog" to these people in the sum of their lives.
 

Firefighterchen

OC for Tactical Advantage
I believe the usacarry definition of sheepdog would have to be someone who is out there to protect (offensively) the sheep. The mentality here, for the most post, is mind your own business. If it doesn't affect you stay out of it, if it does affect you get down to business.

Does this equate to situations that only involve guns?

I have the mentality of a sheepdog when it comes to situations that do not involve guns (risk/benefit, BSI, scene safety, etc etc risk a lot to save a lot, risk a little to save a little), and the mentality of usacarry that do involve guns.
 

Firefighterchen

OC for Tactical Advantage
http://www.usacarry.com/forums/concealed-carry-discussion/17273-my-first-day-concealed-carrying.html (more of a joke)

http://www.usacarry.com/forums/general-firearm-discussion/18773-can-we-pa-leez-put-sheep-dog-myth-rest.html ( more serious)
 

G50AE

Well-known member
But nonetheless, there seem to be some here who equate the sheepdog with the would-be John Wayne, supercop without a badge. So my question, though maybe poorly explained, is this:

What is the real definition of the sheepdog mentality here? And once we decide that, is it better to have that attitude than to remain armed sheep?

Actually no, you can tell a sheepdog by the CCW Badges they wear.
 

Black Dragon

New member
When I think of a sheepdog I think of being herded into a group, sometimes by force.
I can understand this role when it comes to LEOs or military in certain situations. But if a "regular citizen" tries to herd me he will likely get bit by a sheep that has teeth and claws.
 

Providence Ranch

New member
Ok, here's a good example of my point. Some obviously view sheepdogs as marking fenceposts that are not their own, establishing themselves as the self-proclaimed volunteer protectors of society. Mall ninja...I totally get that phrase now. In which case I would agree, you protect your family, and ill protect mine. But now we have drawn a clear distinction between a "mindset" and a "responsibility." Unless you're an off duty cop, your responsibility extends to yourself and your loved ones. Your mindset however should always be one big giant step above the average, oblivious person (e.g., "sheep"). Some may call themselves sheep with claws, but let's just call them what they really are: nothing more than armed victims.
 

jg1967

New member
Oh boy, did you open the proverbial can of worms or what? You will get some very very lifely responses. I will also predict that before long the badge bashers will start their usual diatribe about CCW badges, capes and underpants.
 

Treo

Bullet Proof
To be perfectly honest “sheep dogs” scare me, they strike me as the type of person that is carrying a gun just waiting for a chance to be “a hero”. It’s been my experience that people that want to be heroes tend to blow a situation out of proportion in their quest to fulfill the “sheep dog” role.

Any time I carry a gun (which is all the time) I am incurring the risk of liability and I am accepting full responsibility for my actions. Why would I want to add to that risk by deliberately interjecting myself into a situation that has nothing to do with me? Also how am I fulfilling my responsibility to protect my family by adding to their risk (of losing their primary provider) by so doing?

IMO anyone who grabs onto that title is looking for something outside themselves to add meaning to their life and (also IMO) they are looking in a very dangerous place

Grossman’s “Sheep, Sheepdogs and Wolves” was mainly directed at professional soldiers and police officers it was never intended to be a Raison d'être for concealed carry permit holders. It’s an analogy and like all analogies its flawed and you don’t have to take it too far to find the flaws.

Sheep are herd animals that are kept not out of the benevolent goodness of their owner’s heart but because they produce goods that benefit the owner and only the owner. Where do you think the term getting “fleeced” came from? Unproductive sheep are killed.

Sheepdogs are not part of the flock they are employed to impose the owner’s will on the sheep, by force if necessary. They guard the flock because it is of benefit to the owner and they have no qualms about herding the flock to a slaughterhouse if that is what the owner commands. Sheep dog is not an appellation I would care to have applied to me.

It has been my experience that those, in the permit holder community, who seek the title of sheepdog, tend to be authoritarians who use it as a means of self aggrandizement. They tend to derive their feelings of self worth from the position of quasi authority they assume their permit gives them. This is, of course, my opinion but I have also seen posters on gun boards state that our status as permit holders makes us defacto auxiliary police officers. As such I believe the sheepdog mythology is very, very dangerous to the gun owning community and I speak against it at every opportunity.
 

festus

God Bless Our Troops!!!
This is what I had to say about the subject earlier and I stand by it.

sheep dogs...
anyone who ever put on a uniform for the military, law enforcement, fire or EMS. Those are the true sheep dogs. Anything else is just so much keyboard commando rhetoric and possibly stolen valor.
I served in the USAF for over 20 years...I am a sheep dog (retired).
My oldest son is a Marine...he is a sheepdog in ways you will never know.
My middle son is a fireman...more of a sheepdog than you can imagine.
My youngest wants to join the Army and fly helicopters as soon as he graduates...(future sheepdog but has not earned the title yet).
If you ever put on a uniform in service of your fellow man you are a sheepdog. If you have not you are only an armed individual...it is not up for discussion.

I agree that there are some real wannabe's and total mall ninjas out there. The problem is that it has only taken one or two turds in the punchbowl to really bring out the stink of the matter. Sheep dogs are not attractive animals, often they appear cute and cuddly but understand this...many different breeds of dog have been used as sheep dogs...from Border Collies to Rottweiler's (bread originally by the Roman Legions to both corral sheep and act as dogs of war) to the classic English sheepdog. The sheep dog does not give up on it's flock. The sheep dog sounds the alarm to bring the Shepard/farmer running in the event of trouble. The sheep dog more often than not will place itself in harm's way in carrying out it's duties. The sheep dog is often not well like by the flock but tolerated as needed.

These are all attributes I want in my United States Military and in the Police, Fire and EMS first responders who have written a blank check to the citizens they serve payable for...up to and including their life. Yes I am defending the sheepdog mentality but only for those that are serving or have served. You see I come from a long line of sheepdogs. There are seven people with my last name on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. One is a Medal of Honor winner (1st LT Loren Hagen) and one is a POW/MIA (SSgt. Craig Hagen). All of my uncles served in either WWII or Korea. Some one with the last name of Hagen has been on active duty for every major and minor military skirmish since the Spanish American war. I have an older cousin who is a state trooper in Illinois. I have both uncles and older cousins who answer the call any time they are toned out and the trucks roll from their respective stations. This is the example I had set for me at an early age.
You see in my family it is almost a right of passage to serve your fellow man in uniform in some manner. My uncles and cousins do not boast about what they do or what they have done. My son downplays his role but show up for duty every day rain or shine. My other son answers calls all hours of the day or night and has dealt with structure fires and vehicle accidents in ways most of you will ever know.

If you want to be a sheep dog that is fine but be prepared to take some flack from the flock and for God sakes get the required training and put on a uniform and EARN IT!!! That's right EARN IT!!!

Any claim that can't be backed up with a an active duty ID card, a form DD214, Department issued credentials or bunker gear is stolen valor in my opinion.
 
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Iam2Taz

New member
And for his 35th post.... He opens THE can of worms! LOL

There are too many good posts above to continue.. Gotta have some love for Festus. 100% Milspec! Localgirl always has a good comment on this topic too. There are others!
 

G50AE

Well-known member
Ok, here's a good example of my point. Some obviously view sheepdogs as marking fenceposts that are not their own, establishing themselves as the self-proclaimed volunteer protectors of society.

Just make sure to scoop up after your sheepdog if they decide to do number two as well.
 

G50AE

Well-known member
I will also predict that before long the badge bashers will start their usual diatribe about CCW badges, capes and underpants.

CCW Headbands,
CCW Sashes,
CCW Masks (Because concealed means concealed),
CCW Boots, similar to wraslin boots with the letters CCW on the side
 

FN1910

New member
As I see the sheepdog role - three men are walking down the street side-by-side. One is carrying his gun openly, one has his gun concealed and one does not have a gun. What are the differences in their rights and responsibilities under the laws. There is no difference between the three but the sheepdog mentality of some people makes them think that if they have a gun then they are magically transformed into some super hero that is the protector of the public. A gun gives you no more rights or responsibilities than a baseball bat pocket knife or fingernail file. Some way a the wearing of a gun has equated the transformation of them into a sheepdog.

Then for too many when they strap on a gun they start looking for an excuse to use their gun rather than a need to use it. I see too many posts about if someone is doing something can I shoot them, not should I shoot them or what should I do. Their first thought is can I legally shoot them and what reasoning can I use without thought to any alternative such as are they really trying to harm me or my family. They transform everything into, I am a sheepdog, I have a gun and finally, I get an exuse to use my gun.
 

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