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Old 03-23-2008, 02:43 AM
Howard Gaines III's Avatar
Howard Gaines III Howard Gaines III is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Harrington, Delaware
Posts: 27
Default Herding 101

So you want to do herding with your Bouvier or other herding/working breed. Where do you start? First is to do some basic fact finding on what herding involves and how it involves you and your dog. Since this is a team thing, plan on being an ACTIVE member of that team.

The handler needs to be in good shape and able to work on and off of their feet. If you are working with ducks or geese, understand that they don't move very quickly and will not hurt you. If on the other hand you plan on working with sheep...know your limits.

Well dogged sheep work in a solid pack/bunch. If they get spooked and bolt towards you, plan a quick exit or expect to get hurt. At 250 pounds or so, it only takes about 45 pounds of pressure to break a knee, even less to twist an ankle. Being mindful of your work area is important for your safety.

What you can do and what your dog can do are other points to ponder. Not all working or herding dogs can herd livestock. Not all dogs can handle stock related issues. If the dog is young, under 10 months of age, it is a puppy. It is my position that anything under 10 and you run the risk if ruining it for life. Puppies don't have the physical or mental abilities to handle some issues. If you force it, you can screw it up for a lifetime. Is it worth it?
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