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Does a dog have to be started as a puppy to herd??

Or can they start later as a older dog just as long as they have the instinct and have the drive to want to do it so you can train them to?

I'd love to get my 2 year old into herding I think she would love it


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I recently contacted a woman for herding, and she actually recommends waiting until the pup is a bit older to start. So I say go for it!!!


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Look into Herding Instinct tests in your area, I'd say 2 years is a good age and not to late to start :)
 

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The person we go to locally will test an 8 week old. In order to really start training the dog needs to have certain obedience skills mastered. She will instinct test any age but if you are interested in joining training you have to demonstrate obedience.
 

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I think Lies goes to the same place I do. She was going to instinct test my border collie around 12 weeks, but we didn't have time to get to her place. Frag instinct tested at 3.5 years last month and did great, so we're going back for training... I can't say it's every too late to try!
 

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I am taking my puppy at 13 weeks for an instinct test next week. But, I started my older dog and her littermate (who recently passed away) at around 2-3 years old and they had no problems picking it up and doing well.
 

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My trainer (Nancy Obermark) prefers ZERO obedience training before starting herding. Herding dogs need to be able to think, and obedience requires no thought. I started my first herding dog at 6 months, my second at almost 2 years and have just started my new pup at 3 1/2 months. Wish I had started the first one sooner. She is the best behaved young dog I have now with ZERO obedience training still. Only my almost 9 year old is better behaved.

She starts her BCs at 8 weeks, and I can attest that they are AMAZING.
 

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At our club we see all ages starting. For the really strong dogs, I think the earlier the better. We are careful though... one ewe in particular can be quite ugly so she does not go in with puppies. We also have access to ducks.
The goats I have seen worked by pups were always young kids, and have never seen a puppy on cattle.
Some of the dogs certainly needed to wait until they were older and more secure.

Very few have enough obedience to make any difference whatever. The only problem would be those dogs taught with heavy compulsion, or very soft dogs.

2 years old should not be a problem if the drives are there. As with any sport/job started later, you may just have some different issues to work through.
 

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Although due to health issues I haven't trained in herding in a while, I used to train with Nancy. And I have started dogs at different ages with different amounts of obedience training before starting. But I use a more positive method of OB training than others in her area do.
 

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I contacted Susan Sullivan here in the northeast about starting Piper with lessons . She said she requires the dogs to be 18 months old so we have to wait until next June to start her.
 

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We'll instinct test at about a year - but most dogs are not ready to start that young. But we've had a couple that age that were okay as long as you don't rush anything or put too much pressure on them.

Kira started her training at about 6-8 months old and just got her HGH at 23 months but she's a very unusual case!
 

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Whiteshepherds, while she wants you to wait, you could always try the Instinct Testing , sometimes you can find them listed on The Australian Shepherd Club of America site..

I have tested some of my dogs when they were a tad younger than a year..
 
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