I started herding with my Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Darby, a little over 8 years ago and have been teaching lessons off and on for almost 5 years. My son has been watching for almost that long. He started watching from his stroller while eating Cheerios and now he enjoys taking lessons of his own.
Kate is very willing to be his lesson dog!
These boys are the ‘herding’ sheep. They have been trained to work nicely for the beginning dogs.
My son loves that they follow him around 🙂
I didn’t realize how much he has learned by watching for so many years until he was working Kate last week. He was flawless with the directional commands. The directional commands are ‘come by’ (clockwise) and ‘away’ (counter clockwise). They are the most challenging thing to learn when you start herding. He is hooked and has already asked if Kate can be ‘his’ dog 🙂
This is Apache and she has been coming for lessons for a couple months.
I love how she works…
she is mindful in her work and very respectful to her sheep.
She is beautiful to watch!
One of my pet peeves when it comes to herding is when people see the sheep as a tool or piece of equipment. My goal when I go out to move our sheep is to do it with the least amount of pressure. I don’t want them to be run around and I certainly don’t want to cause them stress.
I like this definition from Wikipedia – Herding is the act of bringing individual animals together into a group, maintaining the group and moving the group from place to place—or any combination of those.
It really rubs me the wrong way when someone calls and asks if they can come chase my sheep with their dog. Chasing is NOT herding and is NOT allowed here.
My search for chasing came up with hounds chasing animals for the hunter and dogs chasing small prey animals.
Herding dogs must exhibit the stalking and chasing aspects of prey drive, but should have a strong inhibiton to prevent them from wounding stock.
So, let’s have fun and go HERDING 🙂