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Old 01-26-2013, 09:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Herding for weak nerve dogs?

Hi, wonder if the herding experts or enthusiasts think it's a good idea to let a weak nerve dog learn how to herd just for fun or as a sport? Do you think it can help build confidence, like nosework or agility? Or it's more like protection sport where it's not good for weak nerve dogs?

My dog has good prey drive, loves to scent (but I don't want to do tracking). She is nervy but manageable. She's been curious about the cows on our hikes but I don't let her walk to them so she's learned to not go towards them but will look for a bit then get on scenting for stuff on the ground.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Pointer that I learned when just starting herding.... Don't ever tell the stock owner you are interested in herding "just for fun." apparently that conjures up images of idiotic crazed dogs chasing sheep while the owner looks on and smiles .
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pointer that I learned when just starting herding.... Don't ever tell the stock owner you are interested in herding "just for fun." apparently that conjures up images of idiotic crazed dogs chasing sheep while the owner looks on and smiles .
Thanks for the tip! That is what I planned on doing... plus filming the chase with my camera.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Onyx would be a great herder...very instinctive. But sadly she isn't real strong nerved so I can't do it with her. She needs to carry a ball constantly or she bites while she herds. Treibball is an option for those that can't be around livestock. Can't hurt a ball, lol!
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Onyx would be a great herder...very instinctive. But sadly she isn't real strong nerved so I can't do it with her. She needs to carry a ball constantly or she bites while she herds. Treibball is an option for those that can't be around livestock. Can't hurt a ball, lol!
That is interesting! My dog prefers things that move so not sure how this will translate. Is this how they teach herding?
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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treibball is a good way to use the natural herding instincts when livestock isn't an option. American Treibball Association google for more information
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Tanner has fairly weak nerves. He is fear aggressive with other dogs, and can be anxious at times. A schutzhund trainer I have a ton of respect for commented once that Tanner is absolutely NOT the dog you want doing protection work. An assessment I very much agree with.

But he has been a rock star on sheep. He doesn't back down and isn't intimidated. Herding with him has been a wonderful experience.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My aussie is a "marshmellow", I wouldn't say she has weak nerves, butI would say she is a soft dog.

PUt her on sheep and all bets are off, she turns into a hard core working dog that doesn't back down from anything.

So yes, I think some dogs can benefit/gain confidence from herding.

And yep, don't tell the instructor you want to do it for fun
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks guys! That encourages me to try it. A nearby herding instructor said he won't test GSDs anymore because few are qualified these days and the ones that are need a big flock which he isn't equipped with. Not sure why GSDs only do big flocks not little flocks?

I'll try one that's 2 hrs away and see how my dog picks it up.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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3-4 sheep can be a huge enticement to a GSD to run in and be dirty. A flock of 30+ can make the dog show a bit of respect.
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