Border Collies are one of the many dog breeds who are bred specifically for their natural herding instincts. There are records showing Border Collies being used as herding dogs as far back as the 16th Century. These dogs are highly intelligent, have highly developed instincts, and a passion for doing their jobs. It can take several months for you to fully train a Border Collie to herd livestock, but your pup can learn the basics in just a few weeks.
Border Collies have more energy than most breeds and need something to do to burn it off or they can become hard to handle. One of the best ways to do this is to train them to do something that they like doing: herding. The big thing with this training is that you need to be consistent as your pup must learn several new commands to do his job.
Herding is a unique task in that it requires your dog to learn more than a single command. For example, if you want your dog to come to you, you simply call his name and say come. But with herding, you are teaching your dog to move a flock of sheep, a herd of cows, or a group of many other birds and animals in direct accordance with the instructions he is given via verbal command, hand-signal, or whistle tones.
You should wait until your dog is at least one year old so that his bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments have had a chance to mature. You may want to have your vet give your pup a thorough examination to make sure he is healthy enough for the task you have in mind. Once he has been given a clean bill of health, it's time to get started on the training program.
Before you can start training your pup to herd, he must first have mastered the four basic commands, 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down'. You will need to make use of these commands along with the basic herding commands. These are:
This is only a small part of the many commands a good herding dog must learn to follow. However, for basic training purposes, you will only be teaching your pup the first three. The rest can be taught to him after he has mastered the basics.