We went for a herding instincts test

Participating in what the breed was originally bred for? This is where you want to be.
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SEL
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We went for a herding instincts test

Post by SEL »

We took both dogs for a herding instincts test. They both did pretty much what I expected they would! Idna went first. I went in with her and the trainer, so I wasn't able to get any video while she was in the pen with the sheep. She did show instincts for it, but she also spent a lot of time just trying to eat sheep poop lol. Laszlo was the one I knew would be more excited about it. I didn't go in the pen with him and the trainer because he was much more exuberant about the whole thing and it was safer with just the trainer in there (and me not in the way). This trainer is great, she's an AKC herding judge and an AHBA judge and has worked with many different breeds in the herding group. She knew how to handle his energy level and keep him from going from herding drive into hunting drive. Two videos below of Laszlo at his test. In the second one the trainer is correcting him because he wants to go to the heads of the sheep instead of staying back. After the tests my daughter and I each got to go into a large arena with one of the trainer's trained border collies and walk with the sheep while the dog kept the sheep with us. It was a lot of fun! With that trained dog you just have to tell the dog "go out" and the dog will do the rest, continually making sure the sheep stay with the person walking around. I'd like to go back and continue some training with Laszlo. I think this will be a great and fun way to train some impulse control into him which he still needs. Plus he'll get to do what comes naturally to him.

Idna (9 yrs) & Laszlo (2-3 yrs) in AZ

Tim91118
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Re: We went for a herding instincts test

Post by Tim91118 »

First time I’d have to say good job !
Tim

ladyjubilee
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Re: We went for a herding instincts test

Post by ladyjubilee »

That is so awesome. I'm afraid Bramble would think "Yay. Chew toys."
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SEL
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Re: We went for a herding instincts test

Post by SEL »

Yes, for the first time doing herding I think he did well, he has the instincts for it for sure.
I was really worried he might try to bite the sheep. He doesn't have the impulse control that Idna has and I wasn't worried when she was in there. But the trainer knew exactly how to handle him and his energy. I'm looking forward to going back there.
Idna (9 yrs) & Laszlo (2-3 yrs) in AZ

ICE
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Re: We went for a herding instincts test

Post by ICE »

Wow, that looks really fun!!!
Patty and Ice

ladyjubilee
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Re: We went for a herding instincts test

Post by ladyjubilee »

It looked how he worked was different than Border Collies I seen herd. Is it a breed difference or an experience difference?
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
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SEL
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Re: We went for a herding instincts test

Post by SEL »

I was wondering about that too. I'm going to ask the trainer, I know she has worked with GSDs and probably Mals too. I assume there are differences between the herding tendencies with different breeds. I don't think breeds like GSDs, Mals and DS instinctively give "the eye" to the sheep like border collies do. I've only seen trained border collies herding though, so I don't know what all the differences are.
Idna (9 yrs) & Laszlo (2-3 yrs) in AZ

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SEL
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Tell us about yourself: I live in Arizona and have an 8 year old female DS and 2 to 3 year old male DS mix

Re: We went for a herding instincts test

Post by SEL »

This last session at herding (3rd one) was scary for me. Laszlo tried to bite a sheep and was more in a hunting mode than herding, not listening or giving space. I know this is something the trainer has dealt with before, but for me it was scary since I just saw him trying to bite a sheep and was very worried he would hurt one. He does need a muzzle if we're going to continue the herding, I have to get one and get him used to wearing one. I'm even debating if I want to continue with him. I kind of want to try the herding with Idna again, but we'll see. I did find this post on Leerburg that talks about how GSDs herd vs border collies. http://leerburg.com/hgh.htm
This is what the trainer was telling me about these dogs too. So it's not uncommon for a GSD, Mal or DS to bite sheep when herding, but they need to learn the limits of this, gripping vs biting to the point of injuring a sheep.
Idna (9 yrs) & Laszlo (2-3 yrs) in AZ

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centrop67
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Re: We went for a herding instincts test

Post by centrop67 »

I am sorry to hear this. It seemed like a good job outlet.

Has Laszlo been muzzled before? That could open up a new world of fun.
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Tim91118
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Re: We went for a herding instincts test

Post by Tim91118 »

It’s just the 3rd time out. Does the trainer want you to stop ?
Tim

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SEL
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Re: We went for a herding instincts test

Post by SEL »

No, he hasn't had a muzzle on before, so he'd have to get used to that. I could try out a basket muzzle and see how he does with that.
The trainer doesn't want him to stop. There were a couple other things, besides him trying to bite the sheep, that made the whole thing really unnerving. I feel like the corrections are sometimes too harsh. At one point Laszlo growled at the trainer because she did a hard correction and raised her voice when he was pulling too much going into the arena. The reason I'm concerned about the too harsh corrections with him isn't because I'm thinking oh poor rescue dog, rough life he's had, he needs only positive love, etc. etc. The thing with him is there's a line across which any training or corrections (too harsh, too much force) will only have negative consequences and make things worse again. The reason he ended up on "no hope lane" at the shelter that the rescue pulled him from is because he was wary of people, well men mostly, and had reactivity. The rescue is probably right that whoever had him before was probably overly forceful with him to the point of making him fearful and reactive. I've been working with a trainer and Laszlo has been making improvements, he's gained confidence and been less reactive, but still working on that. Crossing a line could undo all of that quickly. I like the trainer that I've been working with because he's patient and stresses not overcorrecting a dog, whether on an ecollar, prong collar, etc. In Laszlo's case it's important. I'm meeting with Laszlo's trainer again tomorrow so I think I'll run all of this by him and see what he thinks. The last session we had with him was a very positive step - took Laszlo to an outdoor mall and he did really well. He was not reactive to a couple of women that came up to him. The trainer asked a stranger (male) if he could walk up to us and talk to us just to see Laszlo's reaction. He did really well with that. He seemed pretty comfortable being there, not overly anxious or anything. I'll take him back there again at around the same time of day when it's not too busy. One step at a time with him. Being too forceful or yelling is not going to work with this dog. If he has negative experiences when I'm right there, I also feel like he's going to lose trust in me. Maybe I'm overthinking it, I don't know, but that's why I want to discuss this more with his trainer and see what he thinks.
Idna (9 yrs) & Laszlo (2-3 yrs) in AZ

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