Adding a new pup to your small hobby farm and want him to learn how to herd? Maybe this is the first time you have a large herd on your farm and you could use a little extra help? No matter what the reason, teaching your dog to herd can be a great way to give yourself a little extra time, save you from running around the fields after a rogue critter, or to simply stay out of the rain, while he brings in the herd. These are all very good reasons to train your dog to herd.
Of course, there is the other side of the picture. Herding has become a national and international competitive sport. One that can be just as much fun for you as it is for your dog. While some breeds such as Border Collies are more naturally inclined to herd, you can train most breeds to do so. It may take a little longer but is well worth the effort.
The act of herding is when a well-trained dog can be commanded using either hand or whistle signals to move a herd or flock of animals from one place to another on your farm or in competition. No matter whether it is a group of animals, or even people, your dog is quite capable of being trained to herd them around. Bear in mind, that this is a difficult series of commands for your pup to master and that some dogs are better suited to this than others.
Your dog will need to have mastered basic commands before he is ready to move on to complex training such as this. You should also be aware that there is a significant risk of injury in this activity, your dog needs to be a young adult, puppies are not suited to this activity. Also, be sure to have your vet give your pup a complete exam to make sure he is healthy enough for this activity.
In order to get started training your dog to herd, he must first readily respond to the most basic commands, including 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'lie down'. You will also need to teach him the basic herding commands including 'come bye', which means turn the herd to the right and 'away', which means he should turn the herd to the left. The other command he needs to learn is 'walk up' which indicates he should be behind the herd driving the herd towards you. You are also going to need access to a herd or flock you can practice with, plenty of time, and patience.
Sometimes when on a leash my dog has been barking at other dogs, how do I stop this?
Hello Shyann, How to stop her from barking partially depends on why she is barking. Is she aggressive toward other dogs, fearful of them, or simply excited? If simply excited or even fearful, first, work on teaching the Quiet command. Check out the Quiet method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, work on desensitizing her to other dogs to teach her to be calm around them. Do this by correcting her when she gets worked up to interrupt her, but focus the most on rewarding her when she is calm and quiet or obeys your Quiet command. If she sees another dog and does not bark, calmly praise her and reward her before she has the chance to bark. If she barks before you can reward her quietness, then tell her Quiet. If she does not get quiet, correct to interrupt her barking, then praise and reward when she focuses back on you and is quiet. Pay attention to when she is calm and focused on you - remember to reward that behavior since ultimately that is your goal all the time. When you praise her, keep your tone happy and calm - soft, calm praise tends to be good. It's also important to act calm and confident during walks in general. Practicing heeling in general can help with your own attitude before you run into another dog. Work on her heel, so that she is focused on you and following beside or behind you, with her head no further than your leg. When she walks behind you she is in a following mode and less likely to react to begin with - this can make other training easier to accomplish and help her listen better when you do give her commands or interruptions. Check out the Turns method and the video linked below for Heel; Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Additional Heel video with a more intense dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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