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Old 02-22-2013, 06:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Getting into Herding questions

So I am totally clueless about this and I do not have a practical use for herding since I live in the burbs BUT I would so love to get involved in something with my pup and honestly I think he would enjoy herding the most!

He has some herding dogs in his pedigree and I can tell that he has a very strong drive to chase. He is very fixated on my cats and small dogs but not in an aggressive manner, he will chase but once he gets to them he will stop(of course they are not enjoying this and I'm trying to break him of it but its been very difficult).

There is a herding training facility not terriblly far from me, I was planning on emailing them about the instinct test. But I guess my basic questions are is this something you can just do for fun, are there competitions for this sort of thing, average cost and anything else you want to add...

Also possibly a silly question but if I want to get into this is it ok to let him play tug and play/bite his flirt pole? He LOVES the flirt pole and is extremely focused on trying to catch the toy but could letting him bite be considered bad for this sort of thing?

And sorry if any of this sounds silly, I am a complete and total noobie here.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Go out and do the instinct test, see what the trainers tell you, and go from there. I know when we did it we were quite interested in continuing but it was about an hour drive from where I live. To be competitive (there are events/competitions) you really should be doing it at minimum 2 times a week, and I believe the cost out here was $25 a lesson which isn't terrible but also comes out to $200 a month + gas to get out to the farm.

From what I've seen...most dogs have it. Most GSDs can chase sheep around pretty well. I wouldn't trust my boy around small animals, but given time and training he'd probably do alright. For the time being, tug and flirt pole wouldn't hurt anything, like I said, you'll learn on sheep which aren't really "prey" objects in the true sense of the word.

Hopefully people that have done herding will chime in, but depending on your dog's prey drive it shouldn't be difficult to get started. I would love to do herding with my boy, its just wonderful to watch them out there, but sadly I live a bit too far to allow me to be even somewhat competitive.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We're going to do the instinct test on Sunday. The training place is about 44 minutes from me not counting wonderful SoCal traffic.

He's only 6 months old and she said they usually start training between 8-12 months but that will give me some more time to beef up his obedience(we're starting classes at an obedience club on Monday).

I'm really excited, I was thinkng about getting involved in schutzhund with him but I really think we'd both enjoy this more plus it's a lot closer, the schutzhund club is over an hour and a half away.

We'll just have to see how he does, she did say though that if he doesn't pass this go and they just think he needs to get a little bit older then we can do a second test for free!
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just found out too that one of the dogs in his line was the first GSD in the US to win an all breed herding trial in 78'... He's definitely got it in his blood and it really shows! I hope he does well on Sunday! *nervous*
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Never heard of that, looks fun!
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Congrats! I hope all goes well. It's exciting to start to explore things to do with them!
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Getting into Herding questions

Where is the herding training done, Carriesue?


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Old 02-23-2013, 01:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheyanna View Post
Where is the herding training done, Carriesue?


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It is in Poway, it's a 45 min drive for me and I'm in north San Diego county. There 'could' be others but I was only looking for one in the San diego area.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
Go out and do the instinct test, see what the trainers tell you, and go from there. I know when we did it we were quite interested in continuing but it was about an hour drive from where I live. To be competitive (there are events/competitions) you really should be doing it at minimum 2 times a week, and I believe the cost out here was $25 a lesson which isn't terrible but also comes out to $200 a month + gas to get out to the farm.

From what I've seen...most dogs have it. Most GSDs can chase sheep around pretty well. I wouldn't trust my boy around small animals, but given time and training he'd probably do alright. For the time being, tug and flirt pole wouldn't hurt anything, like I said, you'll learn on sheep which aren't really "prey" objects in the true sense of the word.

Hopefully people that have done herding will chime in, but depending on your dog's prey drive it shouldn't be difficult to get started. I would love to do herding with my boy, its just wonderful to watch them out there, but sadly I live a bit too far to allow me to be even somewhat competitive.
And of course being Southern California the price is almost double what you quoted, it's $40 a lesson though they do package deals... We might just start with doing it once a week before I think about dropping $80 a week on it.
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