For as long as history records and probably further back, the one job that makes a dog the happiest has been working as man's best friend. However, if you have a dog who is looking for a career rather than just a job, herding is the way to go. This traditional career puts the dog to work controlling the movement of a herd of animals out to pasture or back to the barn at night. While you can train many different breeds to herd, some, like the Welsh Corgi are better suited to this task as they have a very strong natural instinct to herd.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the dog you choose for your next herding class needs to have the required intelligence, agility, and drive in order to become a successful herding dog. The training takes advantage of your Corgi's natural herding instinct, enhances it, and then allows you to direct it to move your herd around.
A herding dog can be of immense value for any ranch, yet there is a chasm as wide as the Grand Canyon between a dog that is a well-trained herding animal and one that is likely to cause you much frustration and heartache. One thing that will make training your Corgi more successful, is to make sure he has mastered all four of the basic commands, including 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down'. This establishes your role as the leader in your pup's pack and ensures that he takes his direction from you.
You will be training your pup to work with your stock and move them around your ranch or farm. There is nothing quite like watching your dog make the change from a bundle of puppy energy into a mature dog standing at attention quivering with anticipation as he awaits your command. At all times during the training process and afterward, be sure to keep an eye on your pup to keep him out of situations where he could be hurt.
A herding dog's best years tend to be between the ages of 4 and 8, but the sooner you start training your pup to work with livestock the better. It will also help him to develop his skills in interacting with the animals in your herd or flock. You do need to wait until your pup is old enough to be able to have the physical strength, the stamina, and the cognitive ability to handle the rigors of the training and the job. Typically, this happens around the 10 to 12-month point. If you seem to be having difficulty training your pup, you may need to wait a few months until he is more amenable to the training.