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Old 03-26-2010, 02:19 PM
 
420 posts, read 624,309 times
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Default Want to let my dog try herding

I am looking for a place (a small farm or ranch preferably) to take our dog to let him meet sheep, goats, or other livestock and see if he is interested in trying to herd them. I am hoping to be able to do this in the next couple of weeks and really hope the cost is not too prohibitive.

Any information or help would be great.

I have checked old threads and it there is not info on it.
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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Try this link. It is for the Texas Hill country Stock Dog Assn.

Texas Hill Country Stock Dog Association: Instinct Evaluation
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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I was hoping for something a little less formal and costly the first time.

25 dollars for the evaluation seems a bit much.

I will contact them and find out how long he gets to try it. because if its only a 15 minute thing then I really cannot afford that. it is not maximizing my entertainment dollar as it were.

I need to find a ranch owner that says "sure your dog can meet the sheep as long as he doesn't try to hurt them"
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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I guess the problem you may have with what you would like to do is what happens if your dog tries to hurt the livestock, or if the livestock hurt your dog. I'd rather take my dogs to a place where the animals are already used to dogs and you have people that know how to let your dog approach them. A dog could get spooked by livestock if not properly introduced, and then you would never know the dog's abilitiy. That's just my guess, though.

What kid of dog do you have? If it is a herding dog, you may have a pleasant surprise. I had friend with Nubian goats years ago, and when I took my old Australian shepherds to 'try them out' on the goats, we put each of them separately in the pen with the goats. The older one ran around in front of them barking, until she had them driven into the corner of the pen and kept them there. The younger one ran behind them, not barking as much, but nipping at their feet to get them to move until she had them in the corner. The difference was in how they herded -- the older one was a 'header' and the younger one was a 'heeler'. A "header" is one that gets in front of the livestock and keep them in a group. The 'heeler' is the one that drives the livestock from behind. When we noticed this, we put them both in the pen together and they did a fantastic job of working together.
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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I completely agree with the controlled situation and would like to find a situation like what you described. I just cannot afford a lot of fees right now and hoped to find an inexpensive way to give my dog an enriching experience.

And my dog is an Australian shepherd too. That's why someone suggested this to me.
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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RoamingWolves, are you going to be farming goats or sheep?
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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No, we are not going to be raising any livestock. My apartment complex has policies against it.

It was suggested as a way to let our dog do what his breed is genetically inclined to do.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:05 AM
 
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Try calling some of the local dog training facilities. Do some obedience training with him, if you haven't already. Or, contact your breeder or someone that shows Aussies -- many of their shows also have herding clinics or herding trials. You can also google breeders or Aussie clubs in Texas and contact one of them to see if they can point you in the direction you're interested in.

Oh, and other fun things to do with your Aussie are flyball and agility. LOL a tired Aussie is a good Aussie! Although one of ours is very obedient and now is content to just be a velcro dog these days, the other one had to be kept busy or else she found ways to entertain herself that were not so endearing!
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