How do I know if my dog has herding instincts?

What are the duties of a sheepdog?

If you own a dog with a herding background, you do not need to find out if sheep or cattle have the skill of their ancestors. Introductions are provided by herding breed societies and other organisations. You have a new experience to do together if your dog takes to it like a duck to water—or a border collie to sheep—.

For herding dogs, the American Kennel Club and other breed associations provide training and trials. The object of a herding dog is to move livestock from one position to another, acting upon the orders of the owner. Although the animals must be kept going by the dog, it does not bite or hurt them. If not provided another outlet, breeds with strong herding instinct and work ethic, such as border collies, may begin nudging individuals around. Get started by attending herding trials and having guidance for successful trainers who have access to livestock as well.

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Underlying Obedience
Make sure he’s well-schooled in fundamental obedience before exposing your dog to herding. He must listen to your orders and obey them. Your dog can sit, stay, lie down, heel and, most importantly, when called, come consistently. Keep working with your dog until, without hesitation, he comes back to you. This is invaluable preparation, even though it turns out that you and your dog are not keen on herding.

Test of Instinct
The instinct test is the initial foray of the AKC for herding and many other breeds. Prior to the test, the AKC suggests exposing the dog to the presence of livestock. Although it shouldn’t be the first time he’s ever met sheep, it may be the first time he’s ever allowed your dog to try herding or driving them. The dog may be overseen by you, the prosecutor, or an experienced handler. If your dog doesn’t seem too keen at this primary level, he probably won’t work out as a herding canine, the judge searches for the dog’s natural ability to move the animals.

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Capability Check for Herding
Similar specific assessments are provided by national organisations such as the American Herding Breeds Association to discern the herding capability of a particular dog. Trials are held nationwide, so you will possibly find an annual event in your state or area. “an initial pause, some simple controlled movement of the stock back and forth across the small arena, a stop, and a recall,”an initial pause, some simple controlled motion of the stock back and forth across the small arena, a stop, and a recall. The owner or handler as well as the dog are checked by this second part. You can consider proceeding through the training and testing ranks if your dog shows excitement and both of you pass the tests.

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