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Herding help?

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  • Herding help?

    I've got a 9 month old ACD with a strong herding instinct (both parents were working farm dogs). He's not a trouble maker (I won't allow that) but I would like to teach him some proper herding with my goats.

    Does anyone know of some online resources or books that can help get me started?
    Crayola Posse - Pine Green
    Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
    Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
    Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)

  • #2
    I am not expert my any means but what I found helpful was to give him a code word for things he was allowed to attempt to "herd" and things he wasn't. Make sure the recall is 100% dependable too. I can call my dog off in hot pursuit and he stops like a rock. We don't really have any animal that tolerate herding so I taught him to do geese removal. We play a lot with a big exercise ball. I roll it and he runs up and gets in front of it and rolls it back to me.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Murphy's Mom View Post
      I've got a 9 month old ACD with a strong herding instinct (both parents were working farm dogs). He's not a trouble maker (I won't allow that) but I would like to teach him some proper herding with my goats.

      Does anyone know of some online resources or books that can help get me started?
      ACDs are cattle, not sheep or goat dogs, for a good reason, because they tend to be less biddable and considerably more aggressive to the stock than other herding breeds.
      They were bred for that, on purpose.

      If yours is really nice and accommodating, you can train it to mind you very, very well and herd like those other breeds.
      You do have an uphill battle there, just as if it had the wrong kind of herding instinct for what you want, say a boundary or drover herder compared with a border collie type herder.
      Don't confuse drover dog with driving part in standard herding, which is one more skill part of general herding, or the mindless chasing most dogs do, that looks like herding to those that don't know any better.

      True herding of any kind is the ability to hook on to stock and use the right force to do what is needed, not just chasing stock all over the place having fun.

      I would first find a herding trainer and evaluate your dog and see what kind of instinct your dog has inherited.
      Then get recommendations about how to train for what you want with what you have.

      We used to work with someone that bred border collies for cattle work and we trained with him for that.
      Half of our border collies would not have been suitable for sheep or goat work, although a well trained dog will work anything.
      The trick is in getting them to being "a well trained dog".

      I have seen the rare ACD working ducks right, that is some kind of good training there, as even border collies trained on ducks have to be started with the ducks protected at first.

      Whatever training animals you use, get them dog broke, or get someone that has trained herding dogs to come break them for you, so you and your dog can train right from the start.

      Go get your dog evaluated and then go have fun.

      Comment


      • #4
        check out janwesen.com !!!!!!
        I really enjoy working with her, and she's in your state

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by tucktaway View Post
          check out janwesen.com !!!!!!
          I really enjoy working with her, and she's in your state
          That lady would be perfect for you and your dog.
          Even if you have to drive several hours to get there.

          Comment


          • #6

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
              I am not expert my any means but what I found helpful was to give him a code word for things he was allowed to attempt to "herd" and things he wasn't. Make sure the recall is 100% dependable too. I can call my dog off in hot pursuit and he stops like a rock. We don't really have any animal that tolerate herding so I taught him to do geese removal. We play a lot with a big exercise ball. I roll it and he runs up and gets in front of it and rolls it back to me.
              I'm not having any problems with him (I do a lot of obedience training and showing). I would just like to learn proper herding techniques since he seems to have an instinct for it and it might be fun.

              Jan Wesen is over 200 miles from me so not very feasible. There is no one to watch the farm so I'm limited to day trips. Haven't had a vacation in over 12 years!

              This is Dexter at 13 weeks old when the goats got loose. Sorry about linking the entire album (it's small). The "new and improved" FB now only let's you share albums with non-FBers instead of individual photos and Webshots went belly up.
              Crayola Posse - Pine Green
              Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
              Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
              Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)

              Comment


              • #8
                One thing to keep in mind, and Bluey already touched on it some. ACDs tend to be more aggressive in their tactics. He is young now, so may be less assertive in his herding with your goats. As he grows older, he will become more independant. This is when the "herding" can get out of hand quickly with these guys. My ACD was super responsive and somewhat unsure up until 12 months, so it made for a less aggressive adn more responsive helper. As he became aware of his "job" he started becoming more certain of himself, and less responsive to me. He just wanted to chase, it was no longer work, it was fun.

                Here are some pics of my red heeler Rusty:



                This one was when he was seven months old:

                We take riding in the truck very serious around here:


                After a day of work in the muddy cow pasture:


                He was THE cutest pup EVER!
                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Murphy's Mom View Post

                  Jan Wesen is over 200 miles from me so not very feasible. There is no one to watch the farm so I'm limited to day trips. Haven't had a vacation in over 12 years!
                  I'd still contact her. She may be able to suggest someone closer and she does alot of clinics.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tucktaway View Post
                    I'd still contact her. She may be able to suggest someone closer and she does alot of clinics.
                    She may also tell you what you ought to be working on now, just from hearing what you have to say.
                    Would not hurt to try that lead, never know where you may end up.

                    I like ACDs better than most any dog, but when it comes to living with them, I am not the right owner for them, too easy going, not into working that hard at life.
                    The same herding, my aussie and BCs were just right for me, the BCs like ferraris to train and handle.
                    ACDs are a bit like driving an 18 wheeler when doing things that require finesse with them, like herding.
                    Expect them to be perfect listeners out of their own good will is not so easy, they tend to have a mind of their own, that is what they are bred for.
                    That is not to say that they can't do a very good job of it.

                    Anyone remember that one blue ACD on some kind of TV program that was such a hoot, it made the news several times?

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                      One thing to keep in mind, and Bluey already touched on it some. ACDs tend to be more aggressive in their tactics. He is young now, so may be less assertive in his herding with your goats. As he grows older, he will become more independant. This is when the "herding" can get out of hand quickly with these guys. My ACD was super responsive and somewhat unsure up until 12 months, so it made for a less aggressive adn more responsive helper. As he became aware of his "job" he started becoming more certain of himself, and less responsive to me. He just wanted to chase, it was no longer work, it was fun.
                      Good to know. I currently have four ACDs but this is the only one that shows herding instinct (he is also the most mellow ACD I have).

                      SFH - Rusty is a mighty fine looking dog!

                      Bluey - I love ACDs. Absolutely do NOT like BCs or Aussies though.
                      Crayola Posse - Pine Green
                      Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
                      Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
                      Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                        One thing to keep in mind, and Bluey already touched on it some. ACDs tend to be more aggressive in their tactics. He is young now, so may be less assertive in his herding with your goats. As he grows older, he will become more independant. This is when the "herding" can get out of hand quickly with these guys. My ACD was super responsive and somewhat unsure up until 12 months, so it made for a less aggressive adn more responsive helper. As he became aware of his "job" he started becoming more certain of himself, and less responsive to me. He just wanted to chase, it was no longer work, it was fun.

                        Here are some pics of my red heeler Rusty:



                        This one was when he was seven months old:

                        We take riding in the truck very serious around here:


                        After a day of work in the muddy cow pasture:


                        He was THE cutest pup EVER!
                        Red is my favorite.

                        I even owned one for one day, but was so allergic to it I almost ended up in the hospital with a severe asthma attack.
                        The breeder, a neighbor, took him back.
                        Some things in life are just not supposed to be.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have known several ACDs who work sheep. You have to have control of them off leash. You HAVE to have an OFF switch. A good 100% down is excellent for that. Work him on a long line if you really want to work. ACDs do tend to be quick to bit because it's so necessary working cattle. He has to always know your in the picture and will always listen to you. I have known some soft ACDs working but most often they have been bred to work cattle and can be tough. The soft ones came from show ring lines.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Murphy's Mom View Post

                            This is Dexter at 13 weeks old when the goats got loose. Sorry about linking the entire album (it's small). The "new and improved" FB now only let's you share albums with non-FBers instead of individual photos and Webshots went belly up.
                            Not much to add about herding training, but had to say he is adorable! Love his color. Looks so much like my girl. I have an ACD/Border Collie mix. I don't do any herding with her, but she definitely has the instinct. She's a crazy mix, but really fun.

                            Here she is:
                            https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=c97c5305d2

                            Good luck with Dexter! He looks like a lot of fun to have around!
                            <3 Vinnie <3
                            1992-2010
                            Jackie's Punt ("Bailey") My Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by BoysNightOut View Post
                              Not much to add about herding training, but had to say he is adorable! Love his color. Looks so much like my girl. I have an ACD/Border Collie mix. I don't do any herding with her, but she definitely has the instinct. She's a crazy mix, but really fun.

                              Here she is:
                              https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=c97c5305d2

                              Good luck with Dexter! He looks like a lot of fun to have around!
                              She's adorable!!!
                              Crayola Posse - Pine Green
                              Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
                              Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
                              Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                Anyone remember that one blue ACD on some kind of TV program that was such a hoot, it made the news several times?
                                Skidboot!! I'm in love with Skidboot... Dixie aspires to be like him.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Thanks! I actually really wanted a blue, but only reds could be found locally! His dad was blue & his mom was red. Now that I have a red, I like it better

                                  Rusty has a VERY strong work ethic...I just don't know how to do the training for herding either. I wish we had someone near me as well. And he's not from a working line...just grew up around livestock & knew what to do. Gotta watch him around the horses though...he is quick to use teeth, and my mare was the recipient last summer.

                                  We are lucky with his energy level...he is not the typical "gotta work" type of cattle dog. He is happy being out some & then sleeping in his chair. Great in the house, although he will clean the cat litter box if he finds that its dirty...yuck! But doesn't chew or destroy, and is well potty trained. That took a while but once he got it, he got it.
                                  "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Superminion View Post
                                    Skidboot!! I'm in love with Skidboot... Dixie aspires to be like him.
                                    That it, Skidboot, he was a star and the way his owner trained and handled him was awesome.

                                    Comment

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