HERDING-help

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by mrose_s, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    ok. another idea for trainging buster. he is a cattledog/kelpie. he is fast, nimble and clever. he learns very quickly. i was wondering about teaching hi mto herd. only one problem.. nothing for him to herd. lol.
    and i heard that a herding dog can become over obsessed with it. i don't wanna lose my couch potato.

    tell me all you know. how to train, what to teach him etc.

    keep in mind, i canot seek a profesional trainer. all training for him i have and will continue to do myself
     
  2. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    does he like tennis balls? when I was growing up my dad would keep his sheltie, Nikki (rest in peace), exercise with a ball in the back of a remote control car :lol-sign: she would chase and nip it like she was herding it
     
  3. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    Well, trying to teach him to herd with no stock will drive both of you mad. What do you want him to herd? Cattle, sheep, ducks?

    Honestly if you've never done herding before I would try to find a trainer in your area. Most herding instructors have their own livestock to work on. If you can't find one, do you have the space and time for a few sheep, cattle or ducks? (Runner ducks are really easy to keep, I'm buying some as soon as I get an enclosure set up for them.)

    If you hope to TRAIN Buster to herd, then you're probably not going to get very far on your own. I desperately need the help of a herding instructor with Dakota (who has potential, just no idea what I want him to do besides circle the animals) but I can't find anyone that's within a few hours' drive.

    If you just want to let him loose on some sheep in a pen and see what he does, that's another story. But, you'll be hard pressed to find ANYONE who will allow you to let your untrained dog loose on their stock. Not to mention, if he isn't "kind" to them and spends all his time chasing and pulling wool, it is very stressful for the sheep.
     
  4. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    yeah. well i know we'll have cattle eventually. like next year. and i would never put him to ducks. he'd kill them. i'de put him to cattle i think. but i've seen his instinct before. with no trainign chris used to take him out to help move them onto trucks. he would get them moving. but apparently he nipped at them. i am confident i could stop him from doing that tho. only thing is. i reckon he would get kicked. and thats worry.

    i'm just looking for a focus job for him. soemthing for him to focus on.
     
  5. Red_ACD_for_me

    Red_ACD_for_me Ruled by a RED boy!

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    Your dog needs a job! ;) My ACD is TENNIS BALL obsessed and everyday I take him to a big open field next to the place we walk first and throw him his tennis ball about 50 times and then we go for a 3 - 4 mile walk around the pond through all the wooded trails. Cai's job is to carry his tennis ball and he takes pride in it. If I carry his ball and he knows I have it in my pocket or my hand he will walk right beside me and look at me the whole way like he is possesed :yikes: This way if I let him carry it he totally focuses on the task at hand and is perfectly content :) .
     
  6. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    So... he needs a job... Have you thought about getting one of those doggy backpacks?

    Or how about you train him a bunch of things to assist you as if you were disabled. Open / Shut doors, pick up things you've dropped, find your keys, ect ect
     
  7. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    tahst a good idea. he loves tennis balls but it might take a bit to switch him onto them outside the yard. he used to not play at all outside. now if i am carrying my leash he'll soemtimes just grab it and want to play. thast a good idea. i'll work on that i think.
     
  8. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    Red_ACD's idea is GREAT! Carrying something also really helps to curb aggression. I have a friend with a dog-aggressive Aussie who has him hold a rubber dumbell on walks. He's so busy with his dumbell that he doesn't care much about other dogs.

    He should do okay on cattle, they'll be able to stick up for themselves. He may get kicked, it's a risk with any working dog. Shiner got kicked once while she was working the cattle, because she bit one unnecessarily. She never did that again and she learned to stay behind or in front of the cattle - never pressed against the side of their rear legs.

    If you want him to herd your cattle, I'd start teaching him some whistle commands. It is SO much easier than shouting commands while he's in work mode. I don't know the "official" way to teach whistle commands, but I taught them by whistling a certain tone for each command (I'm bad at whistling so I use a whistle. Shepherds' whistles are neat but i still haven't figured mine out) and following the tone immediately with the hand signal for that command. So, I'd whistle, do the hand signal for lie down, and reward him for it. I did this 10-15 times so he began anticipating the down command immediately after hearing the whistle. My dog tries to stay one step ahead of me, no matter what, so the second he heard the whistle without the hand signal, he hit the floor. He got a huge reward for it and we moved on from there. I gradually started adding distraction, distance, etc.

    Right now all Dakota has are stop, slow down, lie down, NO and a recall, but that made working the geese much easier. I have no idea if I'm doing things right and I may have to completely retrain commands once I get him working sheep, but it works for now.
     
  9. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    If you want him to have a job, there is lots that you could do! Flyball & Agility are very popular in Aus, as is Frizbee. Dogs become easily obsessed with any of these dog sports, and it becomes their "job", especially herding dogs.
     

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