Sheepdog Trained to "Flock Work" on Sheep/Cattle
This dog will have all of the above and be capable with "help, patience and guidance from the handler" be able to gather flocks of sheep seen and unseen.
Drive and gather up to but not necessarily 500 metres or any direction.
Shed and turn back, work in the handling pens and load transport vehicles.
Will have some flock work experience, and be ready to go to the hill.
May have started an Open trials career.
Also in this Category are the School Masters, and Crofter's sheepdogs for Smallholdings.
Please read below:
"I don't have time to train the dog"
A sheepdog of any level of training requires individual time spent with it, if only to MAINTAIN its current level of training. TIME must also be spend to build a relationship of trust and teamwork.
"I gather my sheep with a Quad Bike (ATV) or vehicle"
Hey! that's great! works a treat going down the road where the sheep can't split up.
But! do you also feed your sheep from the Quad/vehicle? Yes?
Ever looked at it from the Sheeps point of view?
This scenario can cause such confusion and stress in your sheep that it may well be costing you Money in lost income from your lambs.
"A trained dog is too expensive"
An untrained or badly trained dog will cost you far more money in wasted time, STRESSED sheep, which will loose, condition, milk and lambs.
Time is money these days, and wether it is your time or the sheepdog trainers time which is spent on the dog.
In the end you get what you pay for.
"I don't have the work for a trained dog"
If selected carefully, an experienced fully trained dog, that has been well schooled, will not require the same amount of work as a dog, with lessor training.
A dog is not a tractor or piece of machinery that can be ignored when not needed.
You will get far better results by having the dog with you as much as possible and actually creating work for your dog by putting him , in a quiet and controlled mannor, around the stock every day whilst checking or feeding the stock.
Not only are you then keeping the dog fit and responsive but you are also ensuring your flocks are used to regular but calm activity from your dog, thereby reducing their stress levels on the days you will actually move them or work them through the handling pens.
"I gather my sheep with a feed bag"
Well that's great!
Often works a treat when there is NO GRAZING.
What do you do the rest of the time? The Family? The Neighbours? Lots of stress?
Why not keep a Border Collie as a family pet /farmers companion and it will always be willing to help you out in time s of stress.
Mind you ! you had better train it or your sheep won't be very happy creatures.
Regardless of the amount of training or experience a sheepdog has had when you purchase him, he is a thinking reasoning animal whose real wish is to fullfill his instincts and enjoy himself
There can never be any guarantees that a dog will behave or work any better or worse for its next handler.
When you purchase an adult Sheepdog you get very much what you see, a clever handler/trainer may easily hide all the faults in a dog. The sheep used to show you the dog working will usually be trained/tame/dogged or at the least well used to being worked by dogs and also by an experienced handler/trainer.
Beware when you get your new dog home - on normal big flocks or un-dogged flocks (sheep that have never been regularly worked by a good dog) your new dog may well become a running disaster area especially if you do not take the time to bond and get to know your dog AWAY from sheep first.
There can never be any guarantee that the dog will perform in the same way for you.
If the dog resorts to bad habits like:- Biting, Running off, not stopping - Please go back to basics AWAY from sheep
Work with the dog on a long line, getting him to stop, lie down, come when called, stay in one place until asked to move etc.
Then do the same in the presence of sheep (BUT still on the long line) - sometimes it can take several weeks before you start to gain the respect, trust and obedience from the average dog - sometime even longer - the more time and patience you put in the quicker the transfer period will be
If the dog continues to dis-obey you - seek help FAST.
Don't condemn the dog. Afterall, the dog was demonstrated to you being undercontrol when you purchased it - you need to learn the techniques yourself to get the same responses.
Click here to go to our Training pages.
There is a real shortage of dogs in this category. But they are the type of dog that someone without time and or knowledge should invest in. as they will be more reliable and cost effective.