Herding Instinct versus prey drive-*long*
Thought I would post here as there are more herding people here...
I brought my 10 month old DDR Bred pup to a Course A trainer to test for instinct a month ago. My pup showed extreme focus on sheep but still downed on command. The trainer was able to hold short leash and have her circle sheep around her in both directions. We have had 3 lessons since then and she seemed like she was progressing. She was starting to figure out "get around" on leash; walk up; and out. But, she would also try to get to the sheep when she thought nobody was looking (like if I had my attention on trainer telling me something and forgot to give a stay).
Now, I have a real HIGH DRIVE dog. Not the kind people think is high drive!! She has an extreme play drive and an extreme prey drive (chases anything that moves, cat toy with red light, butterflies, moths, chipmunks, my son (never bites just chases him down and than abruptly stops in front of him with tail wagging). So, I keep her busy with tons of exercise and many activities.
Today, we gave her a long leash after doing the prelim stuff and it wasn't pretty. She is great if sheep walk but trot or canter and it's off to races! Trainer let her be to see what she would do and she would regularly separate sheep out and chase but definitely did NOT bite down. She also still had her down and stay and would release during chase and down on command.
But, I am starting to think that she is just high in prey drive and not instinct? Or, am I overreacting.
Trainer says she can be trained and she does move off pressure of plastic fork hit on ground or once lightly on head when she got to focused (in the bad sense). Thinks she'll pass her HIC no problem. But, today she says she will not be an "easy" dog to train with her prey drive. It was new information for me.
There is just this little voice inside me that wonders if her high prey drive will be a serious problem. She doesn't really want to circle them and round them up but chase them. Is this normal or no? But, it's weird because she does have very good control (meaning she will freeze in tracks and down in middle of chasing) which is an odd mix.
She is a very confident girl but no where near alpha material. Would score mostly 3 and 4's with no 1s or 2s on test. A very sweet dog. Never had food aggression or any aggression. Very,very, very biddable and eager to please dog.
Any thoughts? Thank you in advance...