...Stop herding the horses??? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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...Stop herding the horses???

Please please please I need to get my boy to stop herding the horses. He is getting better,but not good enough and there was a really close call the other day. I don't want to put him on a remote collar (but I will if I have to)
This is a recent problem. He just turned 18 months and his herding drive seems to have just kicked in the past two or three months - and BOY HAS IT KICKED IN.
If I can call him before he starts and tell him to leave it he is pretty good for a while, but as soon as the horses start moving in one direction or another as a unit he will herd them all over the pasture. Our dominant mare missed his head by about 4 inches a couple of days ago.
ANY AND ALL INPUT WOULD BE HUGELY HELPFUL! THANK YOU

Taylor

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 01:26 PM
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Re: ...Stop herding the horses???

I'd recommend trying an e-collar, especially if you intend to use your guy for SAR work, as he'll have to learn to ignore wildlife at all times, often when you are out of sight/hearing. Of course, I'd recommend finding a trainer familiar with GSDs, e-collars, and using them for this purpose.

If you really don't want to go that route, I think you should take a step back in training, put a long line on him, and start reinforcing the Leave It command with increasing distraction around the horses. That probably will take a while and may not fully put an end to the behavior, but it's something you can try before getting the e-collar.

I have e-collars for my dogs as insurance for when they're out playing together in the yard (we rent and have a huge unfenced yard that's on a road) and we took them with us when we visited the in-laws' farm over the holidays. They have loose chickens, horses, and a cow so we put the collars on in case their Leave It went out the window with all the sensory overload. Nico really wanted to herd the cow which was being feisty trying to butt me but both dogs ignored the horses which didn't try to run from them. They learned to leave the chickens alone with just one small zap on the collar, so I'm sure the collar would also have worked great had they started bothering the horses.

I'm sure more knowledgeable people will have more to add.

Anyways, good luck

Jessica

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ...Stop herding the horses???

When he's working or training there is no problem. We have been training through horses, donkeys, cattle, sheep, goats and he's fine. He is totally concentrated on searching. Even when we go out to other places there doesn't seem to be a problem. He greets other horses nicely with a lick on the nose and then goes off to do something else.
Only our horses. Only at home.

I have an e-collar I just haven't put it on him. If I don't get any other options I will use it. I will try the long- line while we are at home and see if that helps. I don't have a problem with using an e collar. I just don't want to take an easy way out if there are other options. I don't mind investing the time. I just need to know where to start.

Thank you for your help and input. I will definitely try anything

Taylor

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 02:29 PM
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Re: ...Stop herding the horses???

That's great that he's good when working. I bet it won't be very long no matter what method you use before he'll learn to play nice with "his" horses. I will say that sometimes taking the "easier" method is also just taking the method that simply works the best for certain things. I think from what I've read, e-collars are supposed to be the most reliable tool for teaching things like this, but I may be mistaken.

I'm glad you aren't someone who excludes certain training methods/tools because of personal bias. I'm sure the long line work will help a lot if he's already reliable with animals in working situations. Just need to get that focus to carry over to when he's at home.

Jessica

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ...Stop herding the horses???

I appreciate your confidence
I do think it's funny though, to an extent. For SAR we have been training all kinds of very technical behaviors. And I am totally lost when my dog uses this particular drive.
All of his other drives I have been able to use to benefit our training. Whether as a reward or to build focus or whatever and I can't figure out how to use this drive. I have been driving myself crazy the past couple of months trying to do this on my own and come up with creative methods of distraction but if I miss the cue- I'm SOL

Taylor

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