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Old 07-26-2010, 06:08 PM   #1
Gremlyn
 
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This past weekend we took out 7 month old Border/Lab mix out for instinct testing. When we were initially looking for a dog i wanted a purebred Border Collie because I specifically wanted to train it in herding (not sure why, just seems like a lot of fun) but the rescue we went to had a litter of 6 pups that were found stray with their BC mother (whose herding instinct was ridiculously strong). So we picked out a little pup that appeared to be a lab mix from the litter and I held on to the hope that she would want to herd too.

Well after seeing her 'play with' (read: mercilessly herd) other dogs at the park, we figured it was time to take her for instinct testing and start the process.

Well she surely has the BC personality in here. She was very respectful of the boundaries the handler set - for the most part - and she was intent on chasing those sheep until she reached the point of exhaustion. I'm definitely a proud papa!

We have a few things to work on before we start actually training her to herd, as she is still in the puppy ADHD phase where she doesn't like to listen to commands when there is something FAR more interesting to do, such as eat fresh lamb chops. So we're going to work on that stuff for another 2-3 months and take her back out. She is only 7 months old, so she has plenty of time to get things right and there is no reason to rush it...other than I'm super impatient :P

Any other herders out there?

EDIT: Here are some pics from the herding adventure! Having some trouble with the video encoding, so that's taking some time.




Cooling off:


Me and the pup:
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:13 PM   #2
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Our lab shepherd mix has the instinct in him in a serious way, but we aren't going to get him into herding. He already herds the cat, us, other dogs, kids at the park. If he's at a family gathering and we're too spread out, he'll start going around and nudging people with his nose, trying to get them to move where he thinks they should be. It's hilarious to watch, but it really does drive him nuts when he doesn't have all his people in one place.

When we first got him, it used to really bother him when SWMBO and I would be downstairs watching TV and the kid was up in her room upstairs. He finally found a spot at the base of the stairs where he could keep an eye on everyone at once and he could settle down then.

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Old 07-26-2010, 06:18 PM   #3
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My previous dog had a bit of it. She was ok most of the time, but if you were playing and running, she'd nip at your heels and try to trip you. She was always trying to run in front of me and make me turn aside.

I now have a mix breed which appears to be part Aussie, but so far he doesn't seem to have any herding instinct other than he's interested in the cows across the road, but no more then he's interested in the birds in the yard or anything else that moves and might want to run and play.

You should see the cows try to herd HIM when he goes over there though! They are not fond of dogs in the pasture!

 
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:27 PM   #4
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Our lab shepherd mix has the instinct in him in a serious way, but we aren't going to get him into herding. He already herds the cat, us, other dogs, kids at the park...
Best way to train a dog how NOT to do something is to train them to do it That's one of the reasons I want to do this. She hasn't tried to herd people much yet, but we haven't really had a situation where it's been applicable, but at the dog park it would be great to be able to call her off and redirect effectively when she gets too intent on chasing other dogs.

Cute too, very similar looking to our girl
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:34 PM   #5
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You should see the cows try to herd HIM when he goes over there though! They are not fond of dogs in the pasture!
One of my first interactions with a border collie was in a field of scary looking long horned cattle in the Midlands in England. My wife and I were taking a stroll along the foot paths that wind through various farms and came to a field that had long horn cattle blocking the path and out of nowhere this little black streak came and moved the cattle out of our way and ran back into the farm house. Quite impressive really.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:39 PM   #6
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My GF and I brought our long haired German Shepherd to one of those instinct tests earlier this summer. She did pretty good, took her a lil bit to get the 3 sheep moving but it was a cool experience. We just did it to see what she would do, we arent going to pursue it any further. It's amazing what those Border Collies can do when trained. They did a few demonstrations, and it was unbelievable watching two dogs move around 30+ sheep.

 
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:39 PM   #7
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We used to have a collie. She always herded. If we took a walk, and the kids were on their bikes (the kids were very little- like tricycle bikes) and I was walking, she'd about run herself ragged trying to herd us. It's a very strong instinct in some breeds!
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HeavyBrew View Post
My GF and I brought our long haired German Shepherd to one of those instinct tests earlier this summer. She did pretty good, took her a lil bit to get the 3 sheep moving but it was a cool experience. We just did it to see what she would do, we arent going to pursue it any further. It's amazing what those Border Collies can do when trained. They did a few demonstrations, and it was unbelievable watching two dogs move around 30+ sheep.
They say that just because a dog doesn't quite get into the first time, they can still be good herders. Kind of like people, sometimes you're just not in the mood :P I think if you have a herding breed it's something everyone should go at least experience. Pretty fun to watch IMO
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:47 PM   #9
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Sweet post! I have a cattle dog mix and he seems to have the instinct to herd...at least he did when I got him. He has since gotten super lazy and only shows at the dog park. I wonder if they have any similar tests around me. My dog is 4 now, maybe it's too late?
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:35 PM   #10
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Never too late AFAIK. And with all the farm land in IL there has to be somewhere around you that does it.
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