Piper meets sheep for the 1st time. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Piper meets sheep for the 1st time.

When we got this pup I decided we'd start her in herding before she had any formal obedience training except the basics. Today was her first day, I thought she did real well, I was totally confused trying to follow the instructors directions.
Instructor mentioned that there are a few trainers in our area doing tending, I'm wondering if that might be a better option. Thoughts?

Oh, she's 17 weeks old.

http://youtu.be/i3Fqg2FCN6A

Last edited by Whiteshepherds; 04-07-2013 at 03:12 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 03:58 PM
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herding breeds are divided into 3 groups, Gathering, Tending
and Driving. the only reason i know that is i had to look up Tending.
all of the groups sound like fun.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
herding breeds are divided into 3 groups, Gathering, Tending
and Driving. the only reason i know that is i had to look up Tending.
all of the groups sound like fun.
I did not know this! THanks for something new


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 04:05 PM
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Very cute! There is some interest there, that is for sure. Don't feel bad about your confusion regarding her instructions. It takes a while to get your sheep legs, so to speak. The first time I went in with my dog I got so dizzy that I thought I was going to fall down. And you would have sworn that I couldn't tell my left from my right!

Is this instructor not comfortable training a boundary style herder? If someone is more familiar with Border Collies and their style of herding, working with other breeds can be difficult. So if this instructor doesn't have experience with boundary styles dogs, she would not be a good choice for training a GSD. It is wonderful that you are in an area where you some options!

Check out the American Herding Breeds Association (ABHA). Here is a link: AHBA

I did all my herding through this association. It was what was available in my area. You might want to check them out, if you haven't already.

Isn't herding fun? I always had a blast and my dog was awesome on sheep. I had one judge tell me that Tanner renewed his faith in the breed! Of course, the next day we DQ'ed when Tanner lost his mind and started rolling sheep and getting way too grippy in his work. But even still, what a day that was!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
herding breeds are divided into 3 groups, Gathering, Tending
and Driving. the only reason i know that is i had to look up Tending.
all of the groups sound like fun.
Although these terms are still used to identify type to a certain extent, herding dogs are asked to do all three of these behaviors: gathering, tending and driving. So you don't see these terms used much any more to identify style of herding. Loose-eyed, upright herders like the GSD gather, tend and drive their stock just like any other herding dog.

So you see terms like boundary herder or loose-eyed, upright herder to differentiate from the dogs like Border Collies who work with a very hard eye and who tend to crouch down and work low to the ground. I asked a trainer once what other dogs work like that she said basically only the Border Collies (although a couple of other breeds can have a pretty strong eye, too).

There is so much more to herding than just a dog running stock around. It is really fascinating and so much fun.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Is this instructor not comfortable training a boundary style herder? If someone is more familiar with Border Collies and their style of herding, working with other breeds can be difficult.
She said she doesn't know much about it except that's what a lot of GSD's do. She said Piper looked like she'd do fine with herding but wanted me to know there were other options just in case I wasn't aware of them. She has 4 Aussies, told me she doesn't usually like GSD's but she liked Pi. In a few weeks I'm going to bring Annie and Harley up too.

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Isn't herding fun? I always had a blast and my dog was awesome on sheep. I had one judge tell me that Tanner renewed his faith in the breed!
Go Tanner!
It was great, just confusing, lol. I told the instructor by the time I figured out where she had told me to go she was telling me to go somewhere else. I think I need to think faster!
Annie has been doing for a few years but never took any formal classes. (My neighbor has sheep and goats.) I want to see if I can title Piper in it so figured I better go work with people who really know what we're supposed to do.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 11:06 PM
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Believe it or not, Aussie are also considered loose eyed, upright herders. I would really work with the person who I felt most comfortable with and who was best able to work with my dog.

You might want to check out the other folks in your area and just see how they work with your dog, or dogs like yours. You never know, you might decide that this woman is the best fit, or you might find someone more familiar with GSDs herding.

Check out the AHBA site. It has a lot of good information in general. The were a lot more accessible than AKC herding, but that might be due to my location. Idaho isn't a hot bed of activity in much of anything.

I hope you continue to have fun with it. Just wait until you get knocked over the first time! Those sheep seem to know just where to hit you!
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