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Does Anyone Herd With A Corgi?

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  • Does Anyone Herd With A Corgi?

    So while at the pound, I was looking over their rack of informational brochures and picked up the AKC's Purebred Alternative Listing info. Tucker would qualify, as she's clearly a Pembroke and obviously spayed, and I was thinking hey, Obedience class and such, and in the brochure is a picture of a Pembroke at a herding trial. Tucker definitely would need obedience school first, but she does have the "animals in barnyard, must herd" instinct (she once put my parents' barn cats in the barn--ran one under the door, went back up the hill, got the next one, repeat until cats were inside where they belong, and she has attempted, unsuccessfully, to herd the neighbor's poultry. The ducks flew away, the guinea fowl turned the tables and chased her.) Does anyone actually DO herding trials with Pembroke Corgis? I would think they are not suited to "Go out into the giant field and bring back the herd of sheep." How do you find someone to teach a dog to herd properly? I know where to find obedience classes, but I've never looked into how to teach a dog to herd.
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  • #2
    I haven't yet with mine, but I do know folks who have titled corgis in herding. I would suggest contacting your closest corgi breed club, someone there should be able to point you in the right direction.


    • #3
      Just Royals.
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      • #4
        Corgis ARE herding dogs. That's why they exist. I've seen plenty of videos of corgis herding sheep. Why do you say they wouldn't go out in a field?

        I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


        • Original Poster

          Are you going to send a Corgi three miles over hill country to get the sheep? You can do that with some like the border collies. I have always heard Pems especially referred to as 'barnyard' herders--they'll move the cow into the barn, not gallop miles over pastureland. (Frankly I can't see a Pembroke making it that far, let alone at a run.) Tiny legs are for ducking cow kicks, but they don't appear built for long-distance work. But I've only ever seen herding trials with Border collies and Aussie types--really fast, staring-down-the-sheep dogs. Even my elderly mixed breed has the Aussie "stare" (though zero instinct for herding.) The Corgi is a short-track sprinter at the very best and seems to nag, not turn the group.
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          • #6
            My horse trainer friend takes his corgis when he moves cows and she does really well. He treats her like a big (spoiled) dog and as far as she knows, that's exactly what she is! She probably keeps up on 7-10 mile trips just fine.
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            • #7
              Having been a Pembrooke owner for many years I can say they are not "herders", but "drivers". (and spectacular at nipping the heels of anyone who does move fast enough for them, be it human or animal) If you read about the breed history you will read that they drive the cattle, not round them up. Not saying that they couldn't compete in a herding competition, but I personally never saw one compete. And I do love this breed of short legged big dog!


              • #8
                Not to hijack, but I have to ask the OP if her corgi is named for Rita Mae Brown's canine detective? They're my favorite books ever and inspired me to bring home mown Snaffles and Andy.
                "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." –Bradley Trevor Greive


                • #9
                  My Corgis will occasionally bark at the horses from a safe distance, but don't attempt to herd them. They will, however, gently nip heels of DH or I when we're not moving fast enough for them!


                  • #10
                    I'm not herding with my Cardi girls (yet), but I know a BUNCH of Cardis who herd, including one with his AKC Herding Championship!

                    Two of my girls are bred to herd, and one has her HSas (Herding Started A course on sheep) title - put on by her former owner.

                    You won't typically see corgis doing the big herding trials in the UK, but they are very capable of moving stock. They definitely do have a different style than a border collie, though, and are better suited for closer work.

                    Quick link to the AKC's Herding Rule book, which spells out what is required for each of their levels: http://images.akc.org/pdf/rulebooks/RG9001.pdf (and these are NOT specific to any breed, so long as it's a herding eligble breed as recognized by the AKC, so you can do it with a Rottie or a Sami if you were so inclined!)
                    AKC's general herding page: http://classic.akc.org/events/herding/ for good basic info as well as photos of a variety of breeds herding a variety of stock
                    And the Pemmy club's herding info page: http://www.pembrokecorgi.org/pherding.html

                    Finding a herding instructor can be tougher than finding an obedience or agility instructor, but they're out there. I don't personally know anything about this particular person, but our Cardi Nat'l Specialty was in Ohio last year, and this is the place that hosted the Herding trials: http://hadobarfarm.com/ (I think you're in OH, right?) It might be worth getting in touch, even if they're not super convenient, as they can probably refer you to someone closer to you.

                    One thing I can tell you that you WILL need for success in herding is a VERY solid recall, so if you can't currently call Tucker "off the stock" that's something that you'll definitely need to work on installing. Obedience, rally or agility classes would be a great place to work on building the kind of relationship that will serve you well in herding.

                    Oh, you might also be interested in Treibball - it's herding, but with balls instead of sheep: http://www.americantreibballassociation.org/
                    Pat Miller at Peaceable Paws in Fairplay, MD http://www.peaceablepaws.com/index.php (that's way out in Western MD, so maybe not too from you?) does treibball clinics sometimes - a friend of mine took one of her Cardis and they had a great time!

                    ETA: Ooops, OP, I just noticed you were in Michigan, not Ohio... so Hadobar and Pat Miller probably aren't that close - but still might be worth an email or phone call to find out if they know of anyone closer to you!


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by chestnutmarebeware View Post
                      Not to hijack, but I have to ask the OP if her corgi is named for Rita Mae Brown's canine detective? They're my favorite books ever and inspired me to bring home mown Snaffles and Andy.
                      ROFL, yep! Her full name at the county shelter is "Tee Tucker" because when I was taking her home they asked for a name on the form and I had to think fast. (She's a BHT, though, so she doesn't look like book!Tucker.)

                      And I had to laugh, I discovered yesterday my next-door neighbor has gotten his granddaughter (who adores Tucker and along with her little cousin who has a boxer which he tells me every time I see him wanted to buy Tucker from me!) a BHT Pem puppy! REALLY wearing my resolve about I AM BUYING A REGISTERED PUREBRED because the puppy has a fawn sister who is still for sale and it is very hard to say no to a puppy THAT FREAKIN CUTE. They ARE Pems, both parents belong to neighbor's friends and are available to see, but they're not registered, and I do not need a ten-week-old puppy no matter how cute with the cute little one ear up and chubby baby corgi face. (Are they not the CUTEST puppies?) Weirdly, though Tucker is less puppy-tolerant than Puff, normally, but she put up with the Corgi puppies using her as a stepladder...

                      I discovered this, btw, after Tucker decided she'd HAD IT with the guinea fowl and chased them up a tree, then decided she was over there anyway, might as well go visiting...she and Puff are both lucky that Chico is the world's most tolerant horse as his paddock's between my yard and theirs. Of course, he didn't even punt the pot-bellied pig when it would charge him, and even Lucky would have run out of patience there.

                      The one animal, ironically enough, she hasn't really shown an interest in moving is cows! She stands well back and barks. Puff doesn't, but then Puff doesn't bark, plus with the cataracts I don't think he can see them....
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