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Herding Behavior?

2363 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  towtrip
Are some GSD's more prone to herding behavior than others, or are they all just that way?

I have 8 horses. Shadow thinks she is their keeper. The first time I noticed this was when one of the horses and a foal (not her foal) got out one day, and went for a run. Shadow chased them until they were back into the barn. I thought it was cute, but never really thought anything of it.

Now that its getting warmer, we spend more time outside. Shadow will lie down close to the turnout, and watch the horses all day.

Yesterday, I took one of the horses for a little ride down my street and back (3 minutes). My friend and co-owner held Shadow because she was right at the horses heels. she got really upset, and whined the whole time I was gone. Then she got on and went for a short trail ride on the property. Shadow followed her, but in a strange way. Instead of following along side of her, she kind of stayed back a bit. She'd follow so far, then lie down and watch.

Am I right in assuming this is herding?
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That's neat.

Chloe tries to herd my girls.

She would the cats too if they wouldn't hide from her.
Off topic, but my wife's GSD herds me when I chase my dog. She honestly nips my ankle. ha!

Ok, carry on
my 10 month old boy herds. we it's time to go out he nips at the heel of our Grey Hound. when we're out walking he'll take the Grey Hounds leash in his mouth and walk her. they're in the Herding Group. i have heard of Sheps that don't herd. i've thought about getting involved in herding.
I think it's normal. We've been spending more time at the park and with all 3 boys in the yard. Reich goes nuts trying to keep up with all of them, and will run around them in patterns as if she's trying to keep them together lol
I keep a close eye for signs of nipping just in case.
Onyx is definitely a herder. I have to let her out last as she will herd the others back in and when it is time to come in same thing, she herds them back out...Her mom is a working dog on a horse/cattle farm and it must really be Onyx' instinct, but she is so annoying!

Some dogs have more herding instinct than others. It sounds like Shadow is one of them that does. It would be really cool to foster that and develop a great herding dog. You don't say where you're located, but some areas have groups that train for herding and have trials, etc.

The "lay down and watch until something goes awry" is a great skill and differentiates this girl's instinct from simply chasing the livestock.
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