Herding Dog Training
The world of 'all breed' herding, is not a new concept; however, quite often farmers do not utilize their 'non-eye breed'* dogs to their full potential because training is limited.
There tends to be many trainers, clinics, videos and resources available in North America that relate to open field stock dog work, which is what the border collie is bred for. However, for various other stock work, like:
- working in feed lots;
- arena work;
- moving stock through small areas and chutes; and
- every day stock control
there is no formal training, or resources readily available. Many farmers/ranchers have not trained their dogs, but worked them just from their instinct. This hinders farmers' ability to utilize the many talents/skills that their dogs have.
Lynn Leach & 'Pepsi', giving a lesson to Darlene Fritz & her Australian Shepherd 'Skye', from Grande Prairie, Alberta.
In order to achieve quiet, confident control of livestock, which is the ideal for livestock management, the handler needs to acquire a solid foundation consisting of knowledge, abilities and training or handling skills. An example of a good foundation includes how to:
- move livestock;
- interpret flight zones of stock and dogs;
- make use of tools and equipment;
- use and understand herding terminology;
- apply consistent training techniques;
- identify stock dog trial programs and their expectations.
Training for your dog, and for yourself will continue until you both retire from herding. There are always new techniques, challenges and opportunities.
This is what makes the sport of herding so unique, fun and very addictive. When I began herding I was a successful, top 10 real estate agent. It didn't take long before stock dogging became a passion and changed my life!
To learn more about how to train your dog to herd, please browse our training videos and DVDs. Downriver offers the only All Breed Herding Training videos and DVDs that teach you how to develop a solid foundation of knowledge and techniques. If you have any questions regarding these herding training videos and DVDs, please contact me today!
* A term used for herding dogs that don't normally use their eyes to control stock - usually refers to all breeds other than Border Collies and Australian Kelpies.