What type of livestock could a GSD be good at herding? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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What type of livestock could a GSD be good at herding?

I realize that GSDs have a different herding style than say, a border collie.. are they generally a breed that you just stick to sheep with? Is it safe or possible to have a GSD that herds cattle? Just something that has had me curious for a while now.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 09:14 AM
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Did the cows get out again??? Just kidding.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Haha, actually I guess I missed quite a show the other day.. they had to separate out some of the calves because they were being sold, so they had to corral a group of the moms and babies into a pen so they could sort through them. Not all the horses are cutting horses which I guess can make more work for the people involved, and with the weather it was difficult to say the least. I was told after the fact that had I been around it would have been my butt on a horse chasing after cows.

Of course it probably didn't help that I joked about there being an Australian Cattle Dog on the property that should be doing his job. So I guess that got me thinking a bit if such a thing would even be possible given the different herding styles.

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Bianka "Shade" v. Littlehaus (2/2/11)
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 09:55 AM
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Good cutting horses are worth their weight in gold. Certainly trainable for a GSD. Would probably do better getting them in a pen then through a chute.

I am guessing that is why I was hearing the cows mooing this morning, missing their babies. It echos from the farm.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 09:56 AM
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Angus and Freyja are great with the cows. Granted that we didn't train them to do so, but they have learned where we want them and will keep them out of certain areas.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 10:17 AM
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My pup is learning to herd chickens. At first she just chased them, until she learned that I didn't like that. Now, if I get an errant chicken, she actually helps me catch them, without catching them herself. She seems to have an instinct for just how much pressure to put on them, and she's proven to be very helpful.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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I guess it's something I should look into then, I had contacted someone a few months ago for instinct testing and lessons so i'll have to check in with them again. It would be neat to have a practical use for herding as well as doing it for fun.

Odin comes down to the barn with me on occasion and so far his only close encounter with cows has been a young bull who we've bottle raised after his mother died. His initial reaction was to loop behind him and follow, and "Nelson" was definitely not thrilled about being stalked (the dogs that live on the property routinely try to chase him and the horses). The cow ran and Odin looked like he was interested and making an attempt until I called him back.


Thankfully i've also learned that Odin will take direction well even with horses and cows distracting him, as i've been practicing down stays while walking horses in and out in front of him. I suppose I have some more research to do.

Kelli Black &
Bianka "Shade" v. Littlehaus (2/2/11)
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 11:48 AM
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Just now, the goats got out of their pen and were in the backyard--6 month old Vinca helped me put them back without trying to catch or bite them. Of course my herd queen butted her, but she didn't take offense and kept herding. All this without any training at all. We need a herding class, but there are none in my area.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 02:09 PM
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my last GSD herded our chickens. sometimes they would
come in the house and our dog would herd them back to the yard.
whenever they would escape the back yard our dog would herd
them back to the back yard.

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Originally Posted by Freestep View Post
My pup is learning to herd chickens. At first she just chased them, until she learned that I didn't like that. Now, if I get an errant chicken, she actually helps me catch them, without catching them herself. She seems to have an instinct for just how much pressure to put on them, and she's proven to be very helpful.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-26-2011, 02:42 PM
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My dogs have herded sheep and ducks in lessons, but dogs that I have bred and sold have herded chickens, cows, and even cats!
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