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Old 01-28-2013, 03:41 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I talked to a herder again and he convinced me to not waste my time and money on trying herding with a GSD because he says he doesn't know of 1 GSD in the country that herds for real like a border collie or other breeds will - instinctually. He said they are just made to look like they are herding but it's not real. Either the sheep is taught to do it or follow the handler or the handler is telling the dog what to do all the time, which is not true herding because a real herding dog can read the sheep better than a person and the dog should be able to respond instinctually. Thoughts?
My thoughts are that I have seen many dogs that run along-side of trained sheep that follow the human shepherd. Lots of people just looking to get titles and really not herding.
HOWEVER.... to say that German Shepherds as a breed cannot herd and/or do not have the natural instinct is just not true. Unfortunately the person with whom you spoke has had limited exposure to the breed.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:24 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I know you posted this in the herding section- and you've gotten some great advice- but just wanted to mention that if herding falls through for you, agility is another way to really build confidence in a dog. I've seen it first hand... If you equate "confidence (lack of)" with "weak nerves" then I've definitely seen such dogs gain lots of confidence with life experiences due to training in agility.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:41 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I know you posted this in the herding section- and you've gotten some great advice- but just wanted to mention that if herding falls through for you, agility is another way to really build confidence in a dog. I've seen it first hand... If you equate "confidence (lack of)" with "weak nerves" then I've definitely seen such dogs gain lots of confidence with life experiences due to training in agility.
Thanks Wildo. I've started agility with her and think she loves it too! She loves all the running and treats and tugs and my undivided attention.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:34 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear L View Post
I talked to a herder again and he convinced me to not waste my time and money on trying herding with a GSD because he says he doesn't know of 1 GSD in the country that herds for real like a border collie or other breeds will - instinctually. He said they are just made to look like they are herding but it's not real. Either the sheep is taught to do it or follow the handler or the handler is telling the dog what to do all the time, which is not true herding because a real herding dog can read the sheep better than a person and the dog should be able to respond instinctually. Thoughts?
I'd say his exposure is very limited.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:51 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I'm also skeptical about that guy's claims. I've seen videos of GSDs herding that sure didn't seem to just be following their owners.

I also wonder how much it matters even if he is right. I mean, you're just looking to do it for fun, right? If you and your dog wind up enjoying it, does it really matter that much if it comes naturally to him or if he's just following your directions?
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:34 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I'm also skeptical about that guy's claims. I've seen videos of GSDs herding that sure didn't seem to just be following their owners.

I also wonder how much it matters even if he is right. I mean, you're just looking to do it for fun, right? If you and your dog wind up enjoying it, does it really matter that much if it comes naturally to him or if he's just following your directions?
You're right, it doesn't matter. It is purely for fun and to see if it will help her with confidence.
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