Discussion in 'Dog Sports' started by fly30, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. fly30 Experienced Member

    Some of us have herding breed dogs and most people ignore that they could practice herding with their dog almost anywhere. Some professionals as well as herding lovers can offer trainings for herding as a sport or leisure. And that's what I do with Fly, my border collie. I have discovered my dog, really. She's so different when she's at work. She used to be shy and was affraid of people. Herding helped her develop her personality. She even accept being led by someone else when working with sheep, I never thought she would.

    If you have the opportunity, please try. Especially with border collies whose instinct is so powerful that they tend to run after anything in movement. Herding helps them to control their instinct and build a strong relationship with us.

    We're only beginers and Fly is just over one year old.


  2. fly30 Experienced Member

    We went herding again yesterday. Bad luck, I twisted my ankle badly. However, I wanted Fly to make the most of it so our trainer took care of her herding progress. I noticed how good my dog was and how bad a leader I could be. I need to work, work, work... Fly is learning quicker than me !
  3. mewzard Experienced Member

    Wow Fly is excellent, I love watching collies work...it looks like a dance between the dog, the sheep and the human.
    What do the dogs need to know before they start?
  4. fly30 Experienced Member

    Nothing really. It's best if they come back when you call them, though the first times, they tend to forget what they know lol ! If they know "lie down" it's great too. But most of what is done at herding is learnt on the spot. It's quite amazing. You will not regonize your dog once he's at work. It's different from agility or other sports where we are playing with the dog. This is really working with him. It helps Fly growing up. I really enjoy it and I'm going there next sunday again.
    Lexy88 likes this.
  5. fly30 Experienced Member

    Another herding day, very different this time. We worked with 3 dogs at a time, very instructive as I noticed my dog was completely out of control when others are working and she should remain down at the side. Apart from that, I'm still amazed to see how fast she learns. Seeing my baby dog at work (she's only 13 months old) is very cute. Sorry, the comments in the video are in French.
    Lexy88 likes this.
  6. Labradork New Member

    If you have a herding dog but DON'T have sheep, give your puppy a chance to be himself with this new dog sport-


    Yoga ball herding, essentially. It's mostly in Germany for now, but I'm hoping to help it immigrate to the United States. We are going to try it with a lab mix in about a month.

    (You have a GORGEOUS Border Collie! Fly!)
  7. fly30 Experienced Member

    Thanks for Fly, I'll tell her you found her gorgeous ;)

    I had seen a video about treibball. Here is my impression :
    - it looks funny
    - it's got nothing to do with herding. Herding is work and treibball looks like a game. Actually, if you look at a dog at work, he keeps his tail down (especially border collies, it's typical), as when he's playing, he keeps it up. On the video, the dog is playing, it's obvious.
    - the balls don't behave like sheep so the work cannot be the same. When herding, the dog has to control the pressure he has on sheep and therefore will walk at a certain distance and pace. It's very different.

    So I won't say this game can replace herding at all. However, it must be quite funny and I would like to give it a try if I have the opportunity. I'm sure everybody finds it funny : human and dog.
    running_dog and Dodge like this.
  8. Dodge Well-Known Member

    I find it utterly fascinating(sp?) to watch(y)Fly is amazing!!!
  9. fly30 Experienced Member

    Thank you for her Dodge. Fly has a lot of instinct. She got into work very quickly. Now we are working on more difficult things and last Sunday, I noticed she could not understand what I expected from her. I wanted her to run around a bunch of trees before coming back to me and the sheep but Fly is a very sticky dog (who loves her mum lol) and she cannot understand I want her to take distance. So I took a newspaper to chase her away but she was so affraid that she ran away for good ! We're working on that. The only problem is that it is difficult to work without sheep and I don't have any, and the next session is in June.
    Lexy88 and Dodge like this.
  10. Dodge Well-Known Member

    Aww,bless her,she lurves her mum to much :love:
    Have you got somebody that could lead her away from you as you give her the command? Or for somebody to sit in a good distance away to rattle a treat box or something like that to lure her as you are telling her to "go",so she can have a treat as soon as she s doing what is expexcted from her? Hope she didnt run away to far :)
    Have you got a farmer round your way,with sheep, you could ask?
    Lexy88 likes this.
  11. fly30 Experienced Member

    Well Dodge, there are not treats at work. Herding and tricks are different worlds and Fly knows that. She does not behave the same way at all. Herding helps her growing up and she generally does not discuss any order. No she did not run far, I just had to tell her to come back with a funny voice and she went back to work. She'll understand what I want, sooner or later, and if she never does, it's not the end of the world :)
    I just had an email of someone offering us the opportunity to herd on geese. Great, we'll give it a try !!!
    Lexy88 and Dodge like this.
  12. Dodge Well-Known Member

    Oh right,was just a thought,I didnt realize that,what a clever girl and how brill that dogs obviously know the difference:)
    Good luck with the geese,looking forward to a video ;) (please:D)
    Lexy88 likes this.
  13. fly30 Experienced Member

    Oh yes, I'll film that ! I'm excited at the idea but in a way... I'm afraid of geese ! lol
    Lexy88 and abby_someone like this.
  14. Dodge Well-Known Member

    Giggle,I think you ll be safe with Fly by your side :p (unless they are proper hard core geese,LOL)
    Best of luck!
  15. abby_someone Well-Known Member

    Geese?? I AM afraid of geese! I was attacked by poultry often when I was a kid. I was terrified of those darn birds:eek:. I am a little better now, but I have not heard of anybody else that would post it.:) People usually make fun of me for it. Although, they are afraid of tiny spiders.....
  16. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    Fly - could you tell me the basic exercises you have taught Fly to begin herding? I know Blade still has his old 'shepherding' instincts, he will 'stalk' and chase and you mentioned in your first post that teaching them herding helps them learn to control their instincts? I think Blade would benefit from turning it into work. He loves having work to do and always needs new challenges. Plus, we live rurally and having him learn better stock skills would be fantastic [he is great with horses, cattle and chickens so far :)].
  17. fly30 Experienced Member

    Lexy88, there is nothing special a dog should know before he starts herding appart from coming back to you when you call him. If he can lie down when you ask him to, that's bonus. The rest, he will learn it at work. It is important to have a good teacher. If you give it a go, please let us know how it goes.
  18. fly30 Experienced Member

    We went herding again with Sylvaine and her dog Esmé. Both are so quite and clean when they work (but Sylvaine has more experience than me, please let me find excuses lol !). Fly and I are juste what we are : beginners and messy, looks like a draft compared with Sylvaine and Esmé. It was the first time we led that many sheep (about 15) and the first time we managed on our own to get out and in the circle. We'll get there Fly, I do as much as I can :D

    Lexy88 and Ina like this.
  19. karleee Well-Known Member

    I have started herding with my 15 week old bordercollie/kelpie.....we started at about 8 weeks and she is now getting hand signals/gesters and is now helping me with getting the cows in ect.She also knows to only herd our cows and NOT the horses....she is a smart little girl.Even though i'm only 12,i have had experience with training herding kelpies :)

    This photo is from our early training:

    Lexy88 and abby_someone like this.
  20. fly30 Experienced Member

    Really nice photo :love: She's lovely ! Need good mental to work on cows !

    Yes, it's important that dogs know what they may or may not herd. Once they do, then you can consider he can control his instinct.

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