Herding question - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
vat
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Herding question

I know of a woman who teaches herding not to far from me. Max is now 15 months old and he has never been introduced to herding. Is it to late to take him for a try out? I just do not want to contact this woman and waste her time if Max should have had some prior training at a younger age.

I really need to find him a job, this winter has been hard on all of us!

Valerie

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Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or play with it, pee on it and walk away.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 03:18 PM
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I don't know a lot about herding, but I think Stosh had some posts about it. I know some of the obedience is different as far as what you need for a herding dog. I know for sure you need a reliable "down" from a distance.
I don't think it would hurt to call the trainer and ask them what you need for foundation. IMO, better to find out on the phone and not waste a trip/session only to find out that you need some basic stuff beforehand.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 03:18 PM
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I have no herding knowledge but IMO it seems that 15 months is a good time to start.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 03:35 PM
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it's never to late to try herding) I would explain to the woman exactly what you've said, (altho I'm sure she will ask!) and have her evaluate him for you.

Believe me, you will know after one session if he's interested or not

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 03:52 PM
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What JakodaCd just said... the trainer will know the first time out if Max shows any herding instinct or interest. And 15 mos is probably a good time to start, we started a little young at 10 mos. There are different ways to evaluate, some trainers just put the dog in with the sheep and see what happens- it can get a little hairy that way but the trainer will be able to keep the dog off the sheep. My trainer likes to have a little more control so nobody gets hurt- she had me keep Stosh on a lead, she was in the pen with us. She was looking to see if he even noticed the sheep, how interested he was in them, did he keep his eyes on them, things like that and if he was afraid of them or just wanted to chase them around. We moved them around the pen while she watched and gave me cues when to 'down' the dog so the sheep didn't freak out and scatter. It's such a blast! I recommend you give it a try. Believe me, all the hours of obedience work went out the window when Stosh got in there with the sheep and I saw an entirely other dog in him. It was so cool to see the natural ability and instinct coming out. It's taking a few lessons to transition from the obedience training since that required him to come to me and look at me, to the herding training where he has to be at a distance from me and obey without taking his eye off the sheep. Sorry for the long post but it's so much fun and we're both really enjoying it- can you tell?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Stosh thanks for the post. I will contact her but I think we need to work on that down a bit more, lol. I do not think Max will be afraid, heck he herds the birds around here.

Valerie

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Shewana's Hot-Spice (aka Callan)

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Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or play with it, pee on it and walk away.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 04:00 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it now, it'll take a couple of sessions before any of it is going to make sense to you or to Max. We go 2-3 times a week and it wasn't until our 3rd week that I got a good 'down'. There's so much going on that the first few times are really just getting used to being in the pen with the sheep- for both of us.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 04:01 PM
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Definitely keep working on the down and recall, or even a stand stay. But don't wait too long to get him started. The stronger the instinct, the stronger the dog, the more you need to get some learning in while the dog is young and malleable.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 04:11 PM
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I say contact the place with the herder and start up as soon as you can. Alot of us work things as we go along, and a good instructor will be able to help and make everything progress even faster with hints and tips specific to our dog and our needs.

GO, have fun, and take lot's of pictures!




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