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Sheepdog training

(8 Posts)
OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 06-Jan-11 00:01:58

I know traditional shepherds carry a crook. Would such a thing still feature in sheepdog training these days/within the past decade?

My border collie is a failed sheepdog, and I've recently found out that if I pick up a walking stick, she hurries to my left hand side and awaits orders. I've not taught her that...

silentcatastrophe Thu 06-Jan-11 08:54:56

Was she brought up on a farm? We have 3 failed sheepdogs and only one of them has any herding instinct and is obsessive about the chickens and the ducks. I hope you can use your dog's behaviour as an asset!

Vallhala Thu 06-Jan-11 10:13:48

I'd imagine so as I've seen them used within the past 5 years.

Hmmmm... wonder if I could teach the two of mine which are a herding breed to behave so well...

I suspect not!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 06-Jan-11 15:12:43

Yes, born and bred on a farm, but failed training so was kept separate from the working dogs and given away to us, aged three. She likes to herd small children, diesel-engine vehicles and motorcycles. Fortunately we live in a farmhouse so vehicle-chasing isn't much of an issue. grin

She's a bit deaf, and her sight and sense of smell don't seem to be up to the usual canine standards, though she's plenty smart enough. I just thoght the stick thing was interesting.

fruitshootsandheaves Thu 06-Jan-11 20:25:17

We use whistles but still do use sticks, crooks and bottles full of stones as shakers to push the dogs out so they don't run around the sheep too tightly.
So much the same as they always have really, although you can do it without a stick.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 06-Jan-11 20:34:34

Thanks, fruitshootsandheaves, so my guess may be right?

(She completely ignores whistles, they have no meaning for her. )

fruitshootsandheaves Thu 06-Jan-11 20:46:03

I can't use the whistle. I get a noise but not the right one yet, I still have to shout "come by" and "away"!

You could be right but then my collie instinctively swiveled to line up on my left hand side at quite a young age with no training, must be a collie thing!

I imagine the deafness was the reason she failed the training I don't think a deaf sheepdog would be easy to direct as they can't always see you!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 06-Jan-11 20:58:59

I do try always to stay within her line of site when we're out and about, because if she loses sight of me she tends to wander off and eat cow shit distracted, and obviously attracting her attention is a challenge, though she's not entirely deaf. I'm working with hand signals, she picks up quickly.

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