Need your opinion on dog training

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rynophiliac
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Need your opinion on dog training

Postby rynophiliac » Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:40 pm

So we have decided to pick up a cow dog. Trying to decide between getting a fully trained dog ($2000+) that works cattle or a pup ($150-300) to raise and train ourselves. I've heard basically two things:
1) if you don't have any experience training cow dogs pay someone else to train for you.
2) the dogs have natural instincts and don't really require all that much training to work cattle.

We are looking into getting a border collie or BC cross. The main things we want this dog to help with is hold the cows in a herd as we drive them, be able to fetch cows at a distance and bring them back to us and to back off and walk up on command.

Is there anyone out there with some experience with this that could offer some advice either way? thanks!
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plumber_greg
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby plumber_greg » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:43 am

Knew nothing about dogs. Had a guy sell me a trained one, and train me for 2 days. Worth every penny. gs
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Howdyjabo
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby Howdyjabo » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:48 am

If you are naturally good with dogs you will struggle but eventually do fine with a pup.If you are not naturally good with dogs then you will struggle no matter what you get.

Time is the deciding factor-- do you have enough time,patience and work to immerse the young dog till it gets over the hump? If not buy a started dog.
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rynophiliac
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby rynophiliac » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:45 am

Howdyjabo wrote:Time is the deciding factor-- do you have enough time,patience and work to immerse the young dog till it gets over the hump? If not buy a started dog.


What hump are you referring to? The dog taking an interest in livestock?
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby Shanghai » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:24 pm

rynophiliac wrote:So we have decided to pick up a cow dog. Trying to decide between getting a fully trained dog ($2000+) that works cattle or a pup ($150-300) to raise and train ourselves. I've heard basically two things:
1) if you don't have any experience training cow dogs pay someone else to train for you.
2) the dogs have natural instincts and don't really require all that much training to work cattle.

We are looking into getting a border collie or BC cross. The main things we want this dog to help with is hold the cows in a herd as we drive them, be able to fetch cows at a distance and bring them back to us and to back off and walk up on command.

Is there anyone out there with some experience with this that could offer some advice either way? thanks!


IMO if you cross a bc all your doing is weakening the dog again IMO
What your describing/wanting in driving with a bc when their natural instinct is to gather requires a good dog and good training, not for a beginner
Then gathering and etc not so much a big deal if you know how to handle a dog
If you have experience handling a dog doing the job you desire then it wouldn't be a problem
But without experience I'd recommend you learn to handle a dog first then decide which route to take on a trained dog or puppy
Either way to need to know how to handle a dog
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby Tim/South » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:07 pm

Last month I got a 14 month old to start right now. Also bought a pup to start later, both Australian Shepherds.
I had never trained cattle dogs. Have had good success training retrievers. The 14 month old had some incompetent beginner training, was confused and lacked confidence. She has come a long way and is making a nice cattle dog.
If you can teach basic commands and have patience then you can train a dog.
Dogs bred to work with cattle have some natural abilities other breeds lack. That does not mean they come out of the womb understanding commands or the English language.
The 14 month I have is a natural header dog. She wants to turn everything back. She is beginning to understand the need to drive, to move cattle.
Some are natural heelers/drivers and stay away from the front.
If you are going to train then it is important to read the dog, learn what it knows and what it does not know. If the dog is not doing right it is the trainers fault. Never take out frustrations on the dog.
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby Howdyjabo » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:21 pm

The hump is always different. Its the major obstacle in the way of getting good work done.

Instincts not kicked in is one.
Over enthusiasm
Confusion/worry
Chase instinct
Fear aggression
Over or under confidence
It can even just be the wrong type of stock to start a dog on or overwhelming environment to start dogs with(ie high grass).
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby M5farm » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:40 pm

any dog any breed can be trained to do the task at hand. as it has been discussed patience and time and a knowledge of how to do it will insure the dog works out.

I have a Australian Shepard / lab cross that I am working with now we work on cows one day and retrieving the next. he will be used for herding and hunting. once you get to know the dogs personality you can start with basic commands it not easy but it can be done.
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Shanghai
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby Shanghai » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:33 pm

Best dog I've ever known was a border collie/ Australian shepherd cross
But I'm still sticking with the crossing a bc is diluting 100's of years of breeding
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby Howdyjabo » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:41 pm

M5farm wrote:any dog any breed can be trained to do the task at hand.


Have you ever worked with a dog with natural herding tendencies. If you ever see it not any dog or any breed will be good enough anymore :) Herding is in the dog, we just tweak the instintcts for our advantage. You can teach any dog to go thru the motions(behavior modification) but its not the same thing.
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby M5farm » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:37 pm

Jabo, yes I have worked with BC and AS and I agree that dogs bred for a certain job do that job better and more easily than a mutt. But I stand by the fact you can train any dog to do a job. I hunted for years with a black mouth cur as a retriever and my father has a pit bull as a retriever now. My comment is only to reassure the op that he can train the dog. I noticed your Sig and see your bias.
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby cow pollinater » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:42 pm

If you put even a minimum wage value on your time that started dog starts looking pretty cheap. I have a freakin pack of dogs and all but one I've started myself. From here on out I'm going to buy started or finished dogs only. That way I know what I have and can avoid all of the ones that aren't as good as they should be.
If you're new to dogs, then it's especially important to have a dog that knows what is going on before you get them. Let them teach you. They are so smart that as pups they will learn NOT to work just from you trying to correct them when they're trying to work.
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby Shanghai » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:22 pm

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rynophiliac
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby rynophiliac » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:28 pm

My mom had a border collie cross a few years back with no training whatsoever and she told me that one day she looked out the window and saw the dog herding the chickens. As soon as a chicken tried to make a break for it the dog would quickly move it back to the herd and then lie down. It would stay lying down until another chicken would try to make a run for it.

Maybe I should look into some of those training videos.
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Re: Need your opinion on dog training

Postby Katpau » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:25 pm

I would highly recommend buying the trained dog and taking some lessons with that dog. As a second choice, I would have both your dog and yourself trained by someone with experience. Many border collie and other cattle dogs do have a strong instinct. They will try to work on their own, but if you are not experienced with handling a stock dog, the results can me messy. I speak from experience. Buying a pup is a big gamble. Not every one has the instinct, and some that have that instinct can be very difficult to work with. Things can get out of hand quickly. You should not start the dogs training on livestock until they are approximately one year old. A young dog should be started on sheep or cattle that are already familiar with being worked by a dog. Cattle that are not dog broke can injure the dog or frighten him so that he no longer wants to work. Two months of daily training on trained sheep or cattle will give a dog a good basic start, but expect it to take another year before you have a good, trust worthy, usable animal. I assume you don't have experience training a stock dog. There may be a few people who have been successful at training in spite of little experience, but I would bet for every success story, there are 20 dogs who have been ruined by their owners. The only way I believe it can work is if you have someone that knows what they are doing help you.
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