Can shy/timid dogs do ok in herding? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Can shy/timid dogs do ok in herding?

Brenna is a very nervous dog, though it is mainly a fear of strangers, but I'd love to see how she does with herding...How likely is it that she'd be able to go with her instincts over her fears? My main concern is if I were to take her to some sort of event with lots of people, I can see her being too nervous to do anything.

She's a weirdo, she seems to have prey drive, goes nuts over squirrels, feral cats, etc. running by, but so far has shown no drive whatsoever in a training situation, though that's a long-ish story and the next post I plan to make in the training/behavior section! lol

Brenna: GSD Born 7/16/06
Mollie: Beagle
Fezzik: GSD/Husky/Golden?
Chewy: Shih tzu/Yorkie
Crunchy: Pug/Schnauzer?
Monty: GSD born 5/24/14
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 08:19 PM
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Re: Can shy/timid dogs do ok in herding?

I guess it would really depend on Brenna. If her main fear are strange people, it doesn't necessarily mean that she'll be scared of sheep or herding them.

What I would probably do would be to find a place where you can do the herding instinct test - where it would be just a trainer, the sheep, and you. When we lived in northern Virginia, we went to Keepstone Farm in Berryville, Virginia to have Abby tested. It's quite a drive (well, it was for us - we were as far East as you can get in northern Virginia), but it was worth it.

You can email or call the trainer to discuss Brenna's nervousness around strangers, to let them know that this may be a problem, that she may be scared. And then go from there.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 08:51 PM
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Re: Can shy/timid dogs do ok in herding?

from my personal experience, i believe she'll be fine with the sheep. what worried me more with my boy Tilden, was even after explaining that he was a (sometimes situationally timid) rescue and had a very soft/mild temperament, the trainer (per her experience, policy, and for the sheeps sake) used a whip to crack in between the dog and the sheep if the dog at any point seems too aggressive with the sheep. i was a little uncomfortable but she said i'd be surprised at how his behavior could change in the pen. i was surprised, not that he was aggressive with the sheep, but that he completely ignored the first few cracks, did not shy away or startle, and just wanted to herd. she ended up putting the whip down and agree'd that he wouldnt need it.

we had our first herding event a couple weeks ago, and Tilden did get stressed then and got all crazy responding to the heightened anxiety of the almost 30 dogs.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 08:56 PM
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Re: Can shy/timid dogs do ok in herding?

i THINK SHE WILL SUPRISE YOU. iF NOT YOU ARE ONLY OUT THE SESSION MONEY. wHERE i GO IT IS $30.00

Also there are not tons of people typically unless something special is going on.

I worried about Quincy because he is not shy but shuts down if someone besides myself works him.

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Mia (4 yr old Brussels Griffon)
Quincy (GSD 10/03/07)
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Can shy/timid dogs do ok in herding?

I actually already e-mailed them at keepstone farms for a quote, no response yet.

What worries me is Brenna seems to focus really intently on people she's afraid of. When it's just me, she knows sit, down, stay, come, and sometimes heel, when a stranger is around she occasionally knows sit.

I'd love to see how she does though. If it isn't too much I think I'll at least get an instinct test and see how she reacts.

Brenna: GSD Born 7/16/06
Mollie: Beagle
Fezzik: GSD/Husky/Golden?
Chewy: Shih tzu/Yorkie
Crunchy: Pug/Schnauzer?
Monty: GSD born 5/24/14
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 01:18 AM
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Re: Can shy/timid dogs do ok in herding?

If I remember correctly, we paid $35. This was for the test and a half-hour beginner's lesson thrown in at the end!

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

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