Re: what are the most subtle herding charactaristi
I have only taken my two to herding lessons twice so far but this is what I have observed:
Prior to going, Nadia used to circle the cats as if she is herding them. Zisso has never done this. I did get Nadi to leave the cats alone eventually, or to at least not 'herd' them. Chasing them when they are outside the fence is a different story that we are still working on.
Since going to the lessons, there is still no sign of 'herding' the cats at home. Lesson one, each dog was happy to run around the sheep in circles, but unsure of themselves in what they were supposed to do. Lesson two, they clearly remembered the place and had a more intense interest in the sheep. Once in the pen they did a great job; Zisso focused on the sheep more and not the fence of the pen and Nadi gave the sheep more room and would have stayed in there much longer than their 10 minutes. She truly enjoys this form of excercise and I think she will excel.
So in answer to your question, I don't think that it really teaches the dog to herd people, children, other pets as they know pretty much right away what the sheep are and that this is their job. At home I have seen no difference at all in their behavior! Nadi has NOT gone back to running circles around the cats. As a matter of fact, I have seen her interact with each cat in a loving and peaceful manner!
Persoanlly, I think herding is fun, interesting and educational.
Nadia - GSD -DOB 12-29-07
Zisso - GSD- DOB 9-16-07
Pepe & Kiki`my sweet kitties
Zisso is my heart~Nadia is my Love~My kitties bring me everything in between~Together they bring me Joy!