German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know the basic differences between the two, such as a border collie being a dog designed to move sheep using "eye", and is a driving and gathering dog, and has a quick turn of speed and acceleration, while a German Shepherd is a tending dog designed to patrol to create a living fence around the sheep, requiring a lot of stamina.

However, when it comes to moving the sheep, I can't put my finger on the differences...

German shepherd
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iT-St_vsEg

border collie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBI58FEE7rA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgadL5zJRxI

There obviously are some, I can see them, but I was wondering if anyone could explain them to me? :confused:

Sorry to compare the two, they are both very different breeds! But I'm trying to get a better understanding of the German shepherd
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,694 Posts
the best explanation that I've heard is that, like you said, BCs move sheep mostly through the eye and intimidation. That is why they have light colored eyes - predator eyes.

GSDs do what I like to call "full contact herding" They are perfectly willing to body slam, shove, and physically move the sheep if necessary. A herding trainer who is only used to dealing witih BCs can be quite intimidated by the GSD style.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,254 Posts
Full contact? My herding trainer would not be pleased if my dog were to pull those kinds of stunts like body slamming and shoving. Unless there was a problem sheep, she doesn't even attempt to touch them. If a sheep is kind of straying from the group, she uses her presence and body to get them back.

As for differences - I would say my dog probably wares more behind the sheep than a typical border collie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,842 Posts
Different breeds were designed for different purposes when used for real work. The GSD was used for tending...they kept the sheep on land intended for grazing and away from farmers crops, moving around the flock, bringing them to the graze, to market, back home, hence the term living fence.

In real life (as opposed to competition) different breeds were/are often used in tandem. GSD tends, BC gathers, livestock guardian breeds live with the flocks and protect them from predators.

In competition the GSD isn't restricted to tending that's why you'll see the BC and GSD doing the same course. The A course is herding, the C course is tending. In the US you don't find a lot of tending trials...maybe because tending was more common in Europe not the US. (US farmers have fences)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,694 Posts
Full contact? My herding trainer would not be pleased if my dog were to pull those kinds of stunts like body slamming and shoving. Unless there was a problem sheep, she doesn't even attempt to touch them. If a sheep is kind of straying from the group, she uses her presence and body to get them back.

As for differences - I would say my dog probably wares more behind the sheep than a typical border collie.
I'm talking more "real" work. Where you can find rams that are perfectly willing to stand off with a dog and may need to actually be moved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,254 Posts
I certainly understand the need to correct/move a sheep/goat/etc that wants to challenge the dog. Any dog would have to do whatever it takes to make that happen, no matter what breed. But even in those situations, full body contact isn't necessarily the first option. Paisley has been challenged before and the "worst" she had to do was snap/pounce toward the goat, but did not touch the goat.

I guess I took from your post that the body contact was more normal in terms of what a GSD, like it is a frequent occurrence. When the Main difference for me is how you see them move the sheep. And my experience is being around herding facilities so that is where my posts are coming from.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,503 Posts
My herding instructor doesn't allow dogs to beat up the stock either. But I have watched video footage of other dogs, with other sheep, and other instructors that are theatrical. Dogs slamming sheep all over the place, tackling/pinning them to the ground, chewing on them, and so on. Maybe these instructors are indulgent (perhaps because the student is paying, and they view the sheep simply as a widget?) or they just don't care. You tend to take a more personal view of the animal's welfare when you own and value them....

Some of the people I train with trial their dogs. Others are livestock owners/farmers training for specific important tasks. Me, I'm somewhere in the middle.

A correction (grip/snap/other force) should be used when necessary, and then end when the animal complies. Period.

To the OP, try and find an all-breed (maybe AKC or AHBA) trial, and go watch multiple breeds run on the same course, and you may see some differences. You could also go and watch an all-breed instinct test to see the raw tendencies of different, untrained dogs. It's very interesting, if the tester is genuinely interested in educating the spectators and explains what's happening.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top