Blue Sky

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I worked my tricolored sofa hound with a small group of ewes. He definitely could move them then back off. He also successfully stopped them three times. We’re not dog trial material but if he can push and hold them it’s a huge help.
 

Beekissed

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View attachment 76450 I worked my tricolored sofa hound with a small group of ewes. He definitely could move them then back off. He also successfully stopped them three times. We’re not dog trial material but if he can push and hold them it’s a huge help.
He's pretty! What breed mix is he? I don't think we'll ever be dog trial material here but if he can make the sheep go where they don't want to go I'm going to call Dooley a winner in my book. He's already proving useful in keeping the chickens out of the carport and from stealing the cat's food....and he's just tiny!
 

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Cow dogs are harder on sheep sometimes than traditional sheep dogs. Reading about the HTC dogs and their testing on biting heels and noses in cattle seems to show a strong herding reaction which would be really good with cattle that are pretty hard headed. Be careful that Dooly isn't too hard on your sheep, particularly the pregnant ewes and lambs.

Mike and Theresa have herding dogs, and High Desert Cowboy also has a couple herding dogs that he raised and trained from pups.
 

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Cow dogs are harder on sheep sometimes than traditional sheep dogs. Reading about the HTC dogs and their testing on biting heels and noses in cattle seems to show a strong herding reaction which would be really good with cattle that are pretty hard headed. Be careful that Dooly isn't too hard on your sheep, particularly the pregnant ewes and lambs.

Mike and Theresa have herding dogs, and High Desert Cowboy also has a couple herding dogs that he raised and trained from pups.
Yeah...I saw that and didn't really like the vids they posted of such behavior towards sheep on their FB site. But, they seem to encourage such rough behavior, calling it "gritty". I call it abuse. I'd never let Dooley behave in that manner and thus far he seems very mild and laid back, easy to correct on any rough play or misbehavior.

I just don't find it necessary to move sheep with that much force. Since he has BC in his parentage, I'm guessing he'll have more of that kind of style and I'll encourage that also. I like calm stock and I'll be expecting my dog to keep them that way when he moves them.

I like this lady's style and how calm those sheep are as the dog moves them here and yon...that's what I'll be shooting for. Easy, quiet moves. I think it takes much more skill overall to move stock by intimidation and speed than it does by physical force.

 

Mike CHS

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That is a good video and she works pretty close to the way we use our dogs. I never allow teeth on the sheep but it's in their training on cows. I don't let our dogs do what their abilities would let them do since I would rather the sheep will go with me as the dog is lightly pushing them. We only drive so we never do an out run which is really where these dogs excel.

edit to ad that they are more than capable of an out run since trials are what they were originally trained for but they work now more for their confidence than our need. :)
 
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That is a good video and she works pretty close to the way we use our dogs. I never allow teeth on the sheep but it's in their training on cows. I don't let our dogs do what their abilities would let them do since I would rather the sheep will go with me as the dog is lightly pushing them. We only drive so we never do an out run which is really where these dogs excel.

edit to ad that they are more than capable of an out run since trials are what they were originally trained for but they work now more for their confidence than our need. :)
Mike, what kind of dogs do you have? Got a pic or vid of them working? Did you train them yourself? If so, got any good tips on how to start a pup on basic herding moves with a long line? I'd like to try a few moves with Dooley on chickens, just to get him started and give him confidence, as well as direction, on moving stock.
 

Mike CHS

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We have an Aussie and a Border Collie but no videos. We got the dogs long before we even thought about getting sheep with the idea that we wanted to do trials. We trained at a farm in upstate South Carolina originally (Bright Lake Farm). I'll look and see if they have any videos up but they are good friends now also. We were started just as you are now with a long line and working on basic commands, working in a fairly small rectangular pen then graduating to a larger round pen. There is no way to offer a lot of advice in this format but if you work on controlling your dog, that is half of the battle. You have to be able to get it to stop when you command or it's a waste of time. The "lie down" command needs to be responded to no matter what else the dog is doing. The guiding commands will follow fairly easy once you can always get the dog to stop.
 

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That is a good video and she works pretty close to the way we use our dogs. I never allow teeth on the sheep but it's in their training on cows. I don't let our dogs do what their abilities would let them do since I would rather the sheep will go with me as the dog is lightly pushing them. We only drive so we never do an out run which is really where these dogs excel.
Sheep dogs and cattle dogs have to work a little differently. For cattle the dogs do need ""grit" since the cows are larger, tougher, and will charge the dogs on occasion. Cattlemen move their cattle faster and need dogs that are tougher on the cattle.

Herding dog breeds originated to bring sheep down from the steep hill country of their native lands as well as assist in driving them to other locations. Guardian dogs protect the sheep when on the move to new pastures and while grazing, the herding dogs keep the strays moving when taking the sheep to new grazing or driving them back home. Gradually shepherds found that they could direct their dogs to do more and more tasks. Instead of 10 or 12 men with a flock, 2 men or boys and several good dogs were all that were needed. Using dogs for both protection and herding provided more profitability to shepherds. No matter how far back you go in history, it is all about profit.

Shepherds move their sheep more quietly and want their dogs to be more gentle on the sheep. If you watch well trained dogs, they never nip pregnant ewes or lambs, but with unruly wethers they might use more force. A good sheep dog differentiates the type of force needed.

While cattlemen were slower to acknowledge the benefit of a good herding dog, the loss of the itinerant cowboy around the turn of the century brought a greater appreciation of the cattle dog herder. However, because cattle don't react to dogs like sheep these cattle dogs had to be tougher and more inclined to bite the cattle when moving them. Charging cattle have been stopped by dogs charging and grabbing the steer or cow by the nose and bowling them over. Cattle dogs are tough and have to be.

Different behaviors for different jobs. Different dogs for different species. All good.
 

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We have an Aussie and a Border Collie but no videos. We got the dogs long before we even thought about getting sheep with the idea that we wanted to do trials. We trained at a farm in upstate South Carolina originally (Bright Lake Farm). I'll look and see if they have any videos up but they are good friends now also. We were started just as you are now with a long line and working on basic commands, working in a fairly small rectangular pen then graduating to a larger round pen. There is no way to offer a lot of advice in this format but if you work on controlling your dog, that is half of the battle. You have to be able to get it to stop when you command or it's a waste of time. The "lie down" command needs to be responded to no matter what else the dog is doing. The guiding commands will follow fairly easy once you can always get the dog to stop.
That's a toughy....how do you get them to do "lie down" when they are that far away from you? I can get a lie down when there is food to be waited upon and maybe a brief lie down if they are annoying me, but to get a solid lie down and then get them to do it from a distance? Haven't figured out how they do that one and no one is showing it on vids, either.

Took 3 days to teach this pup to sit down at a distance when I sit his food bowl down and stay there until I release him to eat, with just minimal instruction, so I have high hopes for him on learning new concepts....it's just ME that needs the training. :D =D

Mike, what age did you start training your pups in the round pen and on the long line?
 
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