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I've always had family pets. Never a working dog. I had to put down my best friend two weeks ago: a lovely rescued aussie german shephard mix that trusted me with her life. My good friend had an 8 month old collie pup from working lines that I ended up purchasing to help me move my livestock.

hes 8 months old and very calm for a pup. unaltered, registered working lines. I was talking with a friend last ngith who basically told me to never let the dog touch me, only rarely touch the dog. Don't show him affection because that will effect his working attitude and as an unaltered male he needs that.

I might let him come up and cuddle with me. :ashamed:

So with a working dog what level of affection is acceptable? I'm standing my ground, he has rules he has to follow, i usually don't let him come up and beg for attention. I allow him to get it once i give permission. We play a little twice a day while i do chores. I give him hella cuddles at night before bed and scratches when i get home. But...I also am afraid if I don't give him some affection the folks who are home more than me (roomie, neighbors) will end up winning him over.

So far hes as great boy whos still very submissive, though recall is still a work in process. tips for enjoying an unaltered dog while still keeping it working?
 

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I don't see any reason that he can't have affection from you, esp. if your roommates, etc. are loving him up. Will you be using him for herding?

I find my collie is a brilliant dog. She is from working/show lines and has a very high energy and work drive. We don't have anything for her to herd and don't plan to do that, so we keep her busy retrieving and learning tricks. She isn't very affectionate, if she sees attention coming, what makes her happy is to bring me her favorite ball. I don't think that all the luvvies in the world would take her mind off of work or herding (if she were being trained for it). She loves to "work" in whatever form we have for her.

As long as you have structure and pay attention that you don't train him things you didn't mean to (our collie is the smartest dog we've owned in 40 years of dogs, including breeding and showing many many dogs during that time), give him the attention he needs.

It could be that the previous owner was concerned that he would not want to leave you enough to do his job, but would just hang at your side. As he is a softer dog, that might be a concern. You may want to work in a fenced area teaching him to "go out" and to respond to hand signals you'd use in his work. I haven't trained a herding dog though, so do your research, but the English Setters I had, no matter how affectionate, were happy to get out and hunt when they had the opportunity, even the show dogs had that bred into them. The instinct I see in our young dog couldn't be stopped with a two by four, much less a few pets. :)

Anyway, get him started working with you as soon as you can and you'll find he loves that if he's any good for his job, whether or not you love on him. It's the instinct built into them that makes them good and the desire to please you that makes them even better.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The breeder i got him from is pretty friendly with her girls, but it was a friend who had told me not to be affectionate. He was really good with my truamatized rescue.

The breeder said he didn't like to jump up on the porch or jump into the car and you had to lift him in. Yeah, well, a few days here and hes jumping like a cannon ball into my bed and splatting on top of me and hoping into the car. Work drive, though...well, we have to work on an attention span longer than a few seconds. *SIGH* puppies...

breeder will give me lessons in herding/training but he still is a bit young according to her.
 

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We're still working on getting our Kangal/Boerboel cross from stealing all the covers :D - but her job is to guard us!

For a dedicated LGD, though, they probably should sleep with their keep. Loving on your LGD is not going to interfere with their guarding ability IMHO as long as you're not letting them hang out in the house.
 

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I wouldn't know but . . . we have a great Pyrenees who is supposed to be a guard dog for our livestock . . . she kept digging out though so we're going to use hot wire. Anyway, she is intent on keeping predators away but we love on her a lot. She's just a love bug, but that doesn't stop her from barking at predators, LOL. None have been brave enough to try yet.
 

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If he were talking about a LGD, he would have a point. Excessive attention could cause a dog to prefer to seek out human company rather than stay with his charges.

However, we are talking about a dog that is expected to work closely with you and listen for direction. You need to have a good relationship and the adoration of your dog helps.

I don't have a herding dog but I do have a lab that functions as family pet, Search and Rescue, and hunting dog.

There's also a big difference between giving affection and coddling.
 

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My border collies live in the house with me. A few sleep on my bed. They get treat time, some work on basic obedience in the house for treats, and all important manners. I think working with the dogs and giving them that extra proper attention forms a tighter working bond. Most border collies pick work over affection, so I can see where somebody might think it's better not to give them as much fussing. I have seen a few that would leave work to go get pets, generally those aren't all that keen to work anyway. I've also seen dogs that were strictly kennel dogs and/or with little human interaction have difficulty partnering up, and would rather work for themselves.
I like to get a pup used to handling all over, like nails, brushing, bathing, cleaning ears, etc. I also teach them sit, down, here, their name, and get them used to being hauled around early on.

Here are a couple videos of one of my pups in training at 10 months old.

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7m744P4AW8[/ame]

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5zhWgWFDGQ[/ame]
 

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Wendle I really did enjoy those videos. Thanks for sharing. There are few things better than seeing someone working with their animals like you were.
 

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I've always given my dogs plenty of affection and they know the difference between work and play.

I have never been a big fan of others influencing my dogs because I want them to work for me so I would suggest time with your roommates is minimal.
 

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I've never trained a herding dog, but I think that maybe the theory behind this is a dog would be less likely to run out and fetch livestock at far distances? I have seen this with plenty of gun dogs that are so attached to their owner they will not range far out or make long retrieves.
 

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The herding dog unwilling to go fetch livestock at long distances generally goes back to lack of intensity more than bond to the human. That type of dog can however have issues with working if overly bonded to the person. The same type of dog will likely have other issues from lack of intensity anyway though even if not bonded well to the person. This is what I would call a dog with a very good off switch, but a faulty on switch.
There are some breeds of herding dogs that can't do the long outrun simply because it's not bred into them though.
 

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I am a K-9 handler, my dog is extremely bonded with me, I play with her and pet her all the time, she lives in the house with me. She is a crazy worker, it has not affected her at all, if you haven't been around them they are incredible animals, I can tell her to bite you and she will try to eat you, I can then tell her you are ok and she will let you pet her. If you are going to work a dog, you have to develop a bond with them, they have to learn to trust you completely because you are going to ask them to do things that their "doggie brain" says is a really bad idea and you are going to ask them to not do things that every instinct they have says that it is exactly what they need to do.
 

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I've never trained a herding dog, but I think that maybe the theory behind this is a dog would be less likely to run out and fetch livestock at far distances? I have seen this with plenty of gun dogs that are so attached to their owner they will not range far out or make long retrieves.
If you are referring to my comment, no it's not because they're reluctant to travel any distance. I need my dogs to respond quickly and efficiently to commands, occasionally for my safety and in my opinion, that requires a strong bond with me, not my roommate or my friends.
 

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That makes sense for LGDs, since they will bond more with you than the livestock.
But for a herding dog, it doesn't make sense. Whether or not he is willing and able to learn and work stock is up to him. If he's really bonded to you and wanting to please you, he should be able to be very willing to move those animals when you tell him.
I'm trying to teach my doberman to move my sheep, since the ewes fear him, he wants to spook them around a little, but he listens to what I tell him. Though, I rarely need help, just wave my hands and tell the sheep to move and there they go. But when they run off back to pasture, would be nice to tell the dog to get them so I'm not chasing them like the dog would, lol.
 

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My sheep herding dog is a border collie and house pet. Poppycock. Give him as much affection as the two of you want. This is not the same as spoiling.

Before training him for herding he needs to be very solid on obedience. You need to take him out to your pasture and walk all over, asking for sit, down, stay, recall. Another time work on heel, recall, leave it, wait. This is because dogs don’t generalize the way we do and a dog doesn’t know that ‘sit’ near the gate is the same as ‘sit’ in the back forty, especially a young dog. A dog that has been in training for a while, for anything, will respond to new training quickly.
 

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If you are referring to my comment, no it's not because they're reluctant to travel any distance. I need my dogs to respond quickly and efficiently to commands, occasionally for my safety and in my opinion, that requires a strong bond with me, not my roommate or my friends.
I wasn't referring to your comment.
 
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