Herding Dogs

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by noname, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. noname

    noname Well-Known Member

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    I had posted a question awhile back about herding dogs and got lots of great replies, so I thought I'd try again. I'm stuck on the idea of getting one just because it looks like so much fun.

    How do I go about learning how to train and work with a herding dog? I don't know of anyone in my area that does it, and I don't have a clue. I've owned dogs all my life and know how to train basic obedience, but that's as far as it goes. I've never trained a dog to work, and I'm afraid the dogs I have now would be quite offended at the suggestion!

    I'd like to at least learn the basics before I actually get the dog, so I can give him something to do right away and he won't drive me crazy. Besides, that'll give me time to work on the dh who thinks 3 dogs is enough. I don't know what's wrong with him . . . :)

    Any ideas?
     
  2. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    Are you interested in training a dog in "Herding Dog Trails" or for 'Agility'?

    These dogs are dogs that need a job. High energy and need more then a ball thrown around...though your arm gets a great work out...the dog hardly breaks a sweat! <smile>


    places to start...

    Local Kennel Cub
    Dog Show seeking out your dog breed ask them
    Dog Trainers in your area

    here are a couple of discussion lists



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  3. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Join your local herding club.Get in touch with breeders of your chosen breed and the local chapter of the club for that breed in your state/area. They will point you to the agilty and herding clubs in your area.

    The AKC' s home page has a listing for every club secretary of every AKC breed in the USA. If you are thinking of a herding breed not recognised by the AKC(such as the Australian Koolie etc)then Google your request.

    I have Australian Cattle Dogs and herding dogs are great. But as mentioned they require dedication and work. Of course, some work is really fun! LOL

    LQ
     
  4. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For herding, check with AHBA (American Herding Breeds Assoc) and maybe go to one of their meetings...they often work dogs at meetings. Also, the different herding breed clubs will hold herding lessons, events, seminars, etc...just for their breed, so check on your breed of choice.

    Mon
     
  5. timberweed

    timberweed Active Member

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    Check out the book The Farmer's Dog by John Holmes. I bought a used copy on Amazon for $6.
     
  6. Orville

    Orville Well-Known Member

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    We didn't have to train our Border Collie to herd anything. She adopted the chickens, and spends all her day keeping them togther and watching over them. The rooster wasn't too sure about having her around at first, but they all get along just fine, and actually seem to want to keep company together. The guinea fowl kept her especially busy, because they didn't want to stay together, and she ran herself ragged till we got rid of the guineas. I'm sure there's a lot more to herding than this, but I was just amazed at the herding instinct in this dog.
     
  7. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    *******************

    Yeah, there is a LOT more to herding than that! Many herding dogs if not given guidence and training will run stock and poultry to death if they don't kill them outright. They will keep them in a barn and not let them out until the stock die of thirst and things like that.

    Herding focus is nothing more than a highly develped Prey Drive that has been intensified by breeding over a long time. Once that little bundle of "Focus" and "prey drive" has been born, then it is up to us to guide it the way we want it to go and put some structure and obedience in there.

    Some breeds are true "herders"(border collies, kelpies etc.) some are "Drovers"(Aust. cattle dogs, Koolies, Rottweilers etc.).

    A trained herding dog will use those skills when and where you tell them to and the rest of the time leave the stock and the birds strictly alone! I have a new one coming quite soon and am really excited about having the chance to see how he learns.


    LQ
     
  8. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When you do your research you will discover that the dog should not be exposed to livestock until he's ready to begin training. The best time to introduce him to stock is when you bring him to the trainer's house. Up to that time, you need to work on good house manners and obedience. He should know stay, wait, sit, down, come, and heel to start with. A dog that does not respect you at home isn't going to listen to you when there is something to chase. He should be worked on these lessons at home, in the yard, in the park, in the fields. Dogs don't generalize, so everytime you go to a new place you have to have another training session with him. I would consider sheep to be a major distraction.
     
  9. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oh, and just because a dog is a herding breed, doesn't mean it will, or can, herd. Have someone *experienced* help you find your herding dog, but FIRST find out all you can about the different personalities and temperments the different breeds have. Also find out the health problems that are particular to a breed.

    Mon
     
  10. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We've had Miss Lilly 1 week 1 day, she is 11 week border collie AKC.

    She is very smart...very high energy....very loving....and doing okay with house training....she loves to be outside and stays near the house...granted we live well off the road....

    At chore time I am taking her to the barn to feed goats...however she has to wait in the upper section where hay is stored (she can see the goats and me) I tell her to "Wait Lilly"

    Then we come back to the house..she jumps a few times and gets in front (herding instinct) but she is staying with me without a tether.

    I am feeding her outside and putting her in a crate and saying "House" to go in.
    When she is out to play I stop her and have her sit to be petted...she usually goes down to have her tummy rubbed at which point "settle" is command.

    The cat on the other hand is being treed every time we are in proximity. The cat who was reared by our old dog is petrified of the pup. Hopefully a good dose of claws will give Lilly a lesson in respect soon.

    My son just came running in to tell me that the cat scratched Lilly...now we'll have to see how smart she is :p