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Question about herding behavior...

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Ragnar&Biffy, Dec 8, 2020.


  1. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy Biffy

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    Biffy is with a dog walker now twice a week just to give him a little more stimulation during the day etc...

    He is obviously a hard wired farm dog , he is currently on the lead for most of the walk with the dog walker untill sh feels comfortable with biff off the lead and she is only doing the off the lead in small sections of the walk. She is also very good a will select the dogs to walk with each other as a match.

    however yesterday she mentioned to me that when he is playing and running with the other dogs he will try and nip the back of the legs of some of the dogs when chasing and actually trying and herd them in the way he knows..... but she said its only with black dogs??? different breeds but really pays attention to black dogs and wont do it at all to the others??

    I honestly have no idea on this one and cant seem to find anything on the web for it.... any ideas?
     
  2. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    It's a pretty common trait in working sheepdogs. If they haven't got sheep to herd then they will find an alternative. A friend's collie used to try and herd the fish in her pond - another one used to circle round us and the other dogs continually until the owner had to put her back in her car because we were feeling nauseous. Mine 'stack' sometime when we're out walking.
     
  3. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy Biffy

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    any idea though that is only the black dogs?
     
  4. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    I wouldn't try and put logic to it. It could be the ones he's more anxious about (black dogs are sometimes not liked by other dogs because they can't read them as well as other coloured dogs), it could be because the black dogs are labradors and therefore their silly bouncy behaviour needs to be controlled, could be because they are an easy solid colour to watch for. Could just be that's who he's decided to focus on. Dogs don't always choose logic when making decisions!
    Normal collie behaviour, but you need to be able to call him off from herding otherwise a dog may take badly to being herded and nipped and have a go.
     
  5. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    I agree with Sarah H. One of mine was always fascinated by two collie/poodle crosses in class. Admittedly they did look a bit like big sheep and she would definitely have tried to herd them given the chance.
     
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  6. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    We had a rescue collie in the kennels for a while. She would try to herd the 3 little white curly coated bichon x poodles that were staying. None of the other dogs, just the 3 that looked like mini sheep!
     
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  7. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy Biffy

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    Thanks for the replys, I get it's a normal thing especially for collies and especially at his age . It was more just curiosity for me and the dog walker about the black dog thing. Thanks again as always.
     
  8. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Biffy does sound as if he is a strong working sheepdog. They are usually the type of collie that many owners have problems with and I would say you are doing a really good job of educating him.
     
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  9. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy Biffy

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    Thanks yeah he it obvious now how much of a working dog he is / should be and sometimes honestly feel bad that he's not doing what he was obviously breed to do. But he is amazing and some days it is a battle but we are getting there slowly but surely. Even managed to walk across the road today without him trying to bite a bus :)
     
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  10. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Well there are lots of dog sports to replace sheep.....!! The working sheepdogs make the best agility dogs IMO because of their forward focus.
     
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  11. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy Biffy

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    We have signed up to agility down my way but currently not running at the moment so looking forward to when then starts up
     
  12. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    I'm sure you'll both love it.
     
  13. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    One of dogs Flossie (BC X Welsh Sheepdog) has the BC style, albeit loose-eyed, and has herded my other dogs since she was old enough to run round them. Her twin sister Fly has the more Welsh style, will bump other dogs to get her way. Neither has ever herded or bumped dogs outside the family group. Anyway, I took Flossie to sheep training so she could transfer her instinct onto what she was meant to be rounding up, but she didn't want to be in the pen with sheep and kept trying to hide behind me with an occasional dash out to make them go away. Fly wouldn't go into the field that had sheep in, even when they were penned some distance from the gate. Not a success, and I didn't like the trainer who suggested I hit Flossie to stop her holding my hand which is something she's always done if unsure. None of the dogs Floss has tried to herd look remotely like sheep - they look like ginger collies and Ziggy who looked like what she was, a BC/Jack Russell cross wearing black and white. And the sheep we trained on were dark brown - Hebridians, I think.
    Now Flossie only has Fly to herd.
     
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  14. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    They are funny things. I don't think this dog had ever seen sheep, it was probably more that these 3 little dogs were excitable and needed controlling! She would check out the other dogs in the kennels, and react a bit of they ran past, but she would always head to these 3 if given the chance!
     
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  15. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    My sister used to sheepdog trial and we took Twiggy and Fidget down to the shepherd on one occasion. Twiggy was brilliant; Fidget got madly excited, barked quite a bit at the sheep but very quickly got bored and picked up a stick - so embarrassing.
     
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  16. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Kite had the potential to be quite useful, I took her to a different trainer some years previously. It was too expensive to continue, and I had no sheep to practice on.
     
  17. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy Biffy

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    was there an official place for this or was it someone you knew?
     
  18. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    No not official although he taught several handlers. My sister had a friend with her own sheep who also trialled so was able to run her dog there as well. There are quite a few trainers throughout the UK who offer lessons these days.
     
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