Cattle Dogs

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by vtfarma, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so I am not sure if I am posting in the right place for this info but we have a small herd of beef cows and have 2 ACD's that were given to us - had been abused etc. They bred and the female gave us 2 beautiful male pups that are almost 2 weeks old. We had wanted to keep 2 female pups because they don't lift all over everything. Our questions is are male dogs as easily worked/trained as females. Our male has been working the cows longer than our female and he is definitely better than she is. Is there a chance if we fix these little balls of fur soon enough that they won't spray all over the hay and perennials.
     
  2. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    We've always had better luck with males and most folks in my area prefer dogs to bitches. Our vet told me that you want the agression from the males so it's best to neuter when they're approx 2. I've never had any problems with our male's manners, inside or out. I will tell you that we've tried training two pups at a time and found it to be hell. They need to be separated for training or the just distract each other but I find that one dog at a time gets far more training time that two. A guy only has so much time in a day. Good luck with them.
     

  3. First thing I'd recommend is immediately, tomorrow, get both the adult dogs fixed, or else all the neighbors are going to be knocking on your door with 1/2 ACD puppies to give away and your female is going to constantly be presenting you with litters of mysterious origin and lineage.
    I agree with wr, training two puppies is a massive headache. You certainly don't need more than two dogs for a small herd of cattle, anyway.
    How about finding good homes for all of the puppies except one male. Since your adult male works fairly well already, you should be able to work the two of them together with ongoing training into a good team. The adult dog will help train the pup. That's the traditional way.
    The female could play backup and be a pet, if she doesn't show much herding ability.
    Unless you have somebody who wants a male pup for cattle work, I'd say neuter them all except the one you plan to keep- and plan to neuter him when he reaches 2yrs old, as wr said. Plain ol' training makes a big diff when it comes to leg lifting, and between that and eventual neutering you shouldn't have much of a spraying problem with him.
     
  4. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 male blue heelers (or HELLers) as they are the hardest to train dogs I have ever had or worked with.

    Many people suggested I would have to get rid of one as mine are brothers and they fight, (real fights) we neutered one at about age 1, (his back legs are ever so sightly shorter than they should be) he is on many days, the better working dog. And the fights are at a minimum.

    I have had some 30 years experience with dogs, and training 2 of these at a time is not something I ever want to go through again. Our future pups will be housed apart from the time they are weaned, And I expect they (and their mother who is now just 5 months old) will likely spend 80 percent or more of their 1st year on a tether. So they will learn to care about what we want them to do more then their own ideas.

    And as far as I know neutering doesn't stop the, pee-on-everything/hump anything that smells like it, behaviors, our Shadow was done (at 1yr.) and he still humps the females, even the puppy that isn't old enough yet.
     
  5. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Thumper, I think that fighting is just a heeler thing. They always seem to think they're 10' tall and they'd take on the devil himself if they figured he was in their territory. I love my heeler and nobody could ever get him away from me but he sizes people up as they come through the door and he likes or hates according to some system he's figured out. He's great for me, works well no matter what I ask and when my husband is away, he never has to worry about my personal safety. They sure aren't for everybody and you do have to be a special person to train them but if you can, they're certainly loyal and hardworking. I'd take a heeler over a collie any day.
     
  6. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    I do agree, as much trouble as they have been (esp, Jacob the alfa one) we have come to an understanding now and he does a great job on keeping the coyotes away. Some nights he will literally run from one end of the place to the other for hours at a time almost nonstop, as the coy's try to come in from behind him.

    Living with Jacob is alot like living with a wild animal, he can't be controlled like other kinds of dogs, there are times when he works perfectly, and every bit of training he has been taught shows beautifully. Then there are the other times.....and the shock collar goes on for a few days.

    Many people have called him vicious and mishandled he could have been, but he shows concern about weither I am happy with him or not. He accepts correction and confinement when told to do so. All the while making it very clear that it is under protest. (without the collar)

    In another 6 months we should have puppies, it will be a great challenge to raise and train a litter, there are times, I think I must be daft in the head to want more.
     
  7. ForMyACDs

    ForMyACDs Well-Known Member

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    ACD's can be pretty hard-headed buggers. They are well known for being suspicious of strangers and require a great deal of socializing as pups in order to balance this trait. They are also very protective of anything they consider theirs (home, family etc).

    Neutered male ACD's tend to be less likely to fight than intact males or any type of female. Female ACDs (whether intact or spayed) tend to like to fight and when they do fight they fight for blood whereas males tend to do a lot of slobbering and body slamming. This isn't always the case, but I hear more about people with females that have to keep them seperate than males and the only vicious fight we ever had (with major injuries) was between to spayed bitches (the other fights always sounded nasty, but didn't result in injuries).

    If you already have a male and a female, but want to add another dog I would suggest that you keep only one male pup and have it neutered. Like some of the others said, it is REALLY hard to raise two pups (particularly ACDs).

    Good luck
     
  8. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

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    We have been training the male quite a bit and the female to a lesser degree (she is a bit attached to me and me only ... can't listen to commands from any one else). We are not professional trainers but "Snapper" is doing a good job. My question to those who replied is what can we do to make training the dog easier, commands that are standard, circling behind the cows is still a bit too exciting at times ... not always just when he is soooo excited. I would like to train the pup correctly. Any good books as a guide? or does logic prevail??!!