My Shiba mix herds small dogs, do Shibas herd?


Bounce and- Pounce-Holly- girl
Barked: Wed Sep 16, '09 2:14am PST 
Holly is a sweet, 29-lb Shiba mix who loves to go to Pt Isabel, we take her about 4 times a week. She absolutely loves the park, and does well with other dogs although (like most Shibas) she is shy with human strangers. We've noticed a sort of sheepdog behavior lately which has been annoying--she gets up on a hilly spot, drops down, and focuses on any small dogs going by. After a minute she rushes down to them coming around the rear or the side, sometimes growling. Once she does this she simply sniffs butt and hangs out, sometimes playing with the other dog.
She never nips or bites, and I tend to think that this is herding behavior not aggression, but Shibas (as far as I know) are not herders. This behavior is sometimes alarming to small dogs and their owners, who see her rushing towards them and get freaked out. I'd like to stop her from doing this.

Any ideas? I asked about this in the general socialization section, but the feedback I got was that I shouldn't force my dog to go to the park. We don't force her, she loves it! She whines to go, and bounces around like a puppy when she's there.

Many of the dog owners recognize this herding behavior and simply laugh at it, but I don't want her to be a nuisance to small dogs.

Is it possible to curb a herding instinct?shrug

I follow my- nose!
Barked: Sun Apr 25, '10 8:50pm PST 
Kira herds our two cats when they let her! She used to try to guard/herd me, but I turned my back and ignored her and she got the message after a time or two. Good luck, maybe you can use a training lead at the dog park for a bit way to go