But this shepherd may have tightened his purse strings a little too much in the face of the recession.
Farmer Du Hebing couldn't afford another sheepdog after his old one died, so he learned how to control his flock using just a poster of a wolf after seeing one in a local wildlife park.
Du told Huashang Daily that he shot the picture by chance.
"After visiting Qinling Wild Animal Park, on the way home I saw a group of sheep walking along the road with a man holding a picture following behind them.
"The man was using the wolf picture to scare the sheep and drive them ahead - it was a really funny scene.
"But I noticed that the sheep never went near it.
"People laugh and point but it works - and the poster eats a lot less than any sheepdog."
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