what kind of herding dogs do you guys have?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by kirsten, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. kirsten

    kirsten Well-Known Member

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    My herding dog was hit by a car about a month ago. Guess she died instantly.
    Now I need another puppy. A lot of people seem to be hot on the BC X aussie shepherd and that cross sounds awesome to me. I think that is what i would really like this time around if not a straight aussie shepherd... My last dog was aussie crossed blue heeler/cattle dog. I really like that the aussies are a bit fiercer than the BC's- easier for them to work cattle, don't become frightened as easily and quit working altogether. Plus, the obscenely expensive health problems of all the Bc's I know makes me leery of going that route. And I am not fond of black and white either. I also imagine that any other color BC is so inbred at this point in order to get the rarer color that they scare me. Although, I am open becuase I want a really smart dog. My last dog was so intelligent, I couldn't believe it and if my next dog is not as smart, if it doesn't learn a trick a day in puppyhood, I will be sorely disappointed. My dog could shake with both paws, circle me in two directions and every other dog trick before she was even house trained. But I would like to know what all of you are doing dog wise and why you like your type and maybe if anybody has any for sale? near me, in SD. Or can make me an aussie X BC with working parents. The longer I live, the more I appreciate mutts. Seems to me that even for LGD's people are making and keeping nice crosses, preferring them to purebreds becuase you have a chance to balance out traits. What do you guys think or see is going on?
     
  2. wendle

    wendle Well-Known Member

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    Perfect place to look for cross breeds is the shelter or a rescue service. It might be more in your budget, and you would be helping an otherwise homeless dog find a home. For less than the cost of a purebred your dog will be spayed or neutered and probably had all it's shots.
    You might also tri petfinder.com
     

  3. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    I do not have a herding dog yet-- but I do have a couple pyr x labs slated for arrival as LGDs-- they are working dogs, and respect a fence better than the pure Pyr...
    now, for herding, I am thinking a smooth Collie (multiple purposes for all my dogs)--I know abreeder whose full sized collies have the herding traites needed, yet are also awesome Service Animals...

    My Basenji ( a 20 pound sighthound) actually helps me with my two sheep boys-- they have 'taken' to her, and wiillingly follow her anywhere--I think they want to nibble her curly tail...
     
  4. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a border collie. He is a wonderful farm dog. He appears to be in excellent health at age six. I haven't had his hips xrayed because he's not a stud, but given his athletic ability, I'm sure they're fine. I got him from a breeder who breeds working ability, not looks.

    What kind of herder do you need? A driver or collecter? This will determine which kind of breed you need. I think you should get a dog whose looks you like. If you don't like black and white, look for something other than a BC. Although, I was never fond of b/w either until I got Hamish. I never liked sloppy hound faces until I got an Irish Setter. I hated poodles until I had one. Maybe I'm too judgemental.

    Anyway, your choices would seem to be English Sheperd, Border Collie, Bouvier, Corgi, Australian Cattle, Australian Kelpie, Australian Heeler, German Sheperd, Rough Coated Collie, Shetland Sheepdog. I'd be concerned about hips in any of these breeds.
     
  5. Starlighthill

    Starlighthill Northern Michigan

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    I like English Shepherds for their all purpose nature. Mine help me move the sheep, ducks and geese in and out of pastures and also alert me and even come and get me if there is a problem. Yesterday they saved a baby duck from drowning in the geese's water bucket. It clearly could not get out and was rapidly tiring itself out with it's struggles. The other day it was a goat with it's head stuck in the fence. One of them independently returns escaped animals if possible and comes and gets me if he can't. They run off other animals that don't belong here and are excellent watch dogs. As family pets they can't be beat and are content to lay around the house when we are all relaxing, but can jump into action at a moments notice. I always bring one with me when I enter the ram pen.
    Starlighthill
     
  6. kirsten

    kirsten Well-Known Member

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    I can't rescue a dog becuase it probably then doesn't have working parents. I just rescued two kittens though. I had wanted them to be farm cats so that they were really good hunters but I couldn't know for sure. They turned out to be pretty good hunters except they kill more birds than rats or mice unfortunately. I suppose in the winter, they will kill more rodents.

    This will be the first dog I have ever paid for but I will becuase I want a really good one. maybe I will look up english shepherds.
    And I will be surprised if a hunting dog cross makes a good guard dog.

    I need a good fetcher.
     
  7. wendle

    wendle Well-Known Member

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    Border Collies don't need to be inbred to come in other colors. I have two tri-color border collies, one with lots of white, one is almost a sable, she has alot of brown and is a smooth coat. My other border collie is almost all black short haired and looks like a lab mix. They all work cattle , sheep, or ducks. They will drive or fetch stock far away or close up, shed, push through pens, and a few tricks besides, all are on whistle command as well as voice. They are great with my kids friendly with strangers and good around the house.
    I bought them each as pups and paid for them as registered border collies. I think part of this cost is due to the breeding behind them, sort of you get what you pay for. When you go to look at a pup, make sure the parents can do the job you want your pup to do, and ask if the hips and eyes have been checked in the parents, is the pup guaranteed for health problems? Some breeders will go so far as to stand behind their dogs working ability as well as health.
    You might check out United States Border Collie Handlers Association, look at the cattle dog section. There would be handlers and upcoming trials in your area. Many people use their border collies for cattle as well as sheep so you will probably need to ask about cattle work. Working Border Collie Magazine is also a good source of information for cattle and sheep dogs, upcoming trials, results, and breeders.

    A good working dog is never ugly but a beauty to behold
     
  8. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Kirsten, I (obviously) live in a suburb, so I haven't had farm-cats per se, but my house-cats have gone through phases where they seemed either to prefer certain kinds of prey, or that is the prey that was available. They tended not to go 'rat, bird mouse, lizard', but 'lizard lizard lizard mouse lizard rat rat rat rat rat', if that makes any sense.

    I think your kitties will broaden their spectrum of prey eventually. Wild cats diets are supposed to be dominated by rodents, so that is where they should eventually wind up in their hunting.
     
  9. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    Czech imported German Shepherd
     
  10. kirsten

    kirsten Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you are right, a good working dog can never be ugly. And I do prefer the quietness of the BC and the nonagressive attitude. When I drive up to a strangers place, I would prefer to see a bunch of BC's running to greet me rather than any other dog out there, to tell the truth. It is just everyone I know who has one has had terrible hip problems to the tune of thousands of dollars per hip. I would love a blue one. I really like blue animals and blue eyes. Although I have a lamb with the prettiest faded green eyes.

    maybe cats do prey in cycles. I did find a huge dead rat out there from under the coop 2 days ago but my dog is pretty much a rat terrier so I can never be quite sure who is killing what.

    One last question: what kind of ducks do you guys use with your dogs because I have pekins here but the slightest bit of exercise makes them lame. Obviously they are not the right duck to herd with at all. I hate ducks. My husband loves them so I think I will eat these pekins and buy my husband herding appropraite ducks but what are they?
     
  11. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    The ducks most Commonly used are Indian Runners-- or geese--- My kennel club did an education event at a local mall one day, and the Indian Runners flew over the netting-- and went inside the jewelry store-- The dog was really flabbergasted-- as well as the handler-- a professional herding dog breeder, trainer, and trial judge!!! MAde for a fun afternoon-- and the store manager was related to one of the club managers, so no "fowl" was called....
     
  12. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Kirsten, a friend of mine has three BCs and a BC cross, none of whom have hip issues.

    As Wendle suggests, ask for hip certification of parents. BTW, hips aren't OFA certified until the animal is at least 2 years old. They can be checked prior to that to see how they're developing, but no certification is issued. There used to be a place that would offer a 'guarantee' on their pups for the first six months on hips and eyes. Of course, there were many people who believed that was a great offer...and then later found themselves with hip and eye issues. I always gave people until their pups were 30 months to check for hip/eye issues, but a friend of mine gave them seven years! The point is, a good breeder will give you an opportunity to verify that your adult dog is sound.
     
  13. Auric

    Auric Registered Doofus

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    My sheepdog is a Bichon Frise / King Charles Cavalier mix. Or at least he thinks he's a sheepdog! Can't say I'd reccommend him to others...
     
  14. prairiecomforts

    prairiecomforts Well-Known Member

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    We have pembroke welsh corgis and we love them! Mine have all had a lot of natural herding ability and are just a great all around dog. Not to mention they are wonderful kid dogs and faithful companions. I will be breeding my female, Ginger sometime in Aug., Kirsten so if you would be interested in a puppy - let me know!
     
  15. kirsten

    kirsten Well-Known Member

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    I have seen the welsh corgis and I am afraid they couldn't reach a cow's nose or kick a cow's butt.
    But those blue merle BCs are so beautiful! I saw a Bc dog museum on line and holy smokes, BCs can come in so many colors and they are all just beautiful! I bet they cost a fortune though. I probably am, despite myself leaning toward a BC but hate to lose the aussie qualities in fierceness and stubborn toughness. PLus they bark too and cows get confused by that and listen better. I'll have two herding dogs from now on though so maybe BC first and then an aussie again?
     
  16. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

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    My GSD male is a tough herding, he can move the nastiest bull around. One day one refused to move even after being nipped. Barron jumped on his back and rode better than some bull riders ! That bull moved just fine after that !!!!!
     
  17. Vere My Sone

    Vere My Sone Well-Known Member

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    My father-in-law always used Catahoula Leopards for cows
    they wouldn't work for sheep though
    but they were pretty
     
  18. littlebitfarm

    littlebitfarm Scotties rule! Supporter

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  19. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Corgis are used on cattle. Look them up.
     
  20. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    We love our rough Collies. They don't have a need to herd 24 hrs a day but are there when you need them and are great family pets!