Should I Let Him Watch Them??

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by Dlilly, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Dlilly Honored Member

    Rory wants to watch the ducks, turkeys, chickens, and goats through the fence. Should I let him? I haven't been letting him watch them, but he has seen them in the yard, I can't prevent him from seeing them. I'll be taking him to herding lessons sometime in the future, so I don't want to do anything that will make things harder for him.
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  2. MaryK Honored Member

    Is Rory just 'watching' or he is showing signs of 'wanting to herd them'?

    If he's just watching, then I doubt he'll have any problems when he goes to learn herding.

    One of my boys has 'herding' instincts (somewhere in his mixed 'pedigree' there's a herding breed) but when he sees ducks etc. on walks, he just watches them and that's about it.

    I'm not an expert on herding so I am sure there will be many others here who know all about it who will help you.
  3. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Can you clarify what it is that you're worried about? What does he do when he sees them?
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  4. Anneke Honored Member

    It all depends on how he watches them. Does he stare at them intensly?
    If you would let him in with them, do you think he would chase them?
    If he is relaxed while he watches, I don't see a problem. But if his bodylanguage is tense, you know he is thinking of chasing them.
    Selfcontrole exercises and recall in front of these distractions might help a little;)

    My two do the same thing, but I know they have the chase in mind when they do.
    Especially Jinx... She once got away from me and went into a meadow full speed, to round up a flock of about 20-25 sheep. Being deaf to my recall:rolleyes: Very neatly she rounded them up and then stood there, not knowing what to do next. And then she came back to me.
    So now I know she knows how to herd:D She's not getting off lead when there is lifestock around:whistle:
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  5. Evie Experienced Member

    Evie spends half her day staring at/stalking our rabbit... It certainly won't make teaching him to herd any harder, and it would give you the opportunity to practise recall around REAL high level distractions. I guess it depends really on what you're worried about. But if he's anything like Evie, letting him watch them won't decrease his desire to round them up....
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  6. Dlilly Honored Member

    He will sit there and stare intensely. He wants to herd them. And he'll zone me out. If he got off leash he would deffinitly chase them, he's already chased our rooster.

    Would letting him watch them be good so he gets used to them? I dont know if letting him watch just makes him frustrated he can't chase them or if it is good for him....

    He will NOT be herding our goats, they don't like dogs, but he will be herding the ducks when he's ready.
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  7. Dlilly Honored Member

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  8. Evie Experienced Member

    Just letting him watch them won't make him 'used to them' if he's anything like Evie. She STILL spends half her day staring at our rabbit which we've had for longer than her. However we can call her away from her rabbit. I think your best bet is to use them as a training tool. Only take Rory as close to them(the ducks etc) as you can get while still being able to hold at least some of his attention. Don't feel bad if you only get half seconds of attention.... he'll get better with practise. I'd be asking him to give you eye contact, and then heavily rewarding even a half second of it with a VERY high value reward. There's not many things that are better in this world for a herding dog than things like ducks and chickens.....

    With practise he should learn that giving you attention, even around these awesome moving creatures which he is SURE were made for him to chase, IS a good thing.

    In my opinion, this is actually a great start to teaching him to herd, because there's no point having a dog which will herd if it won't listen to you when it's supposed to stop :rolleyes:

    But that's all just my opinion from my experience with Evie - other people may have better ideas/suggestions :)
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  9. Dlilly Honored Member

    Thanks for the advice!! I'll deffinitly try it!
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