Herding Dogs advice

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Gators Rule
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Herding Dogs advice

Postby Gators Rule » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:18 pm

Pondering the thought of buying a herding bred dog. I'm in Florida, so the heat needs to be taken into consideration. I also have never used cattle dogs, so I'm not trained myself (my wife will attest to that), but I am housebroke. Here are a few of my questions:

How hard are they to train?
How hard is it to train the trainer?
Price to expect?
Best breed for my location?

I only buy horses that have power steering when I pick them up, and would probably prefer the dog to have it also. Do they herd due to instinct, or is that a learned behavior?

Thanks in advance...

David
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TennesseeTuxedo
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby TennesseeTuxedo » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:10 pm

I hope you get some well thought out replies to this post David because I have some of the same questions.

I think I'm partial to Heelers myself but I'm interested in learning about all types of cattle dogs.
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby Stocker Steve » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:12 pm

Gators Rule wrote:Here are a few of my questions:
How hard are they to train?
How hard is it to train the trainer?
Price to expect?
Best breed for my location?
Do they herd due to instinct, or is that a learned behavior? David


1) What do you want them to do and where will they live ?
2) Very
3) Puppy for $x00s, trained dog for $x,000s
4) No idea, see #1
5) Mostly instinct

Find someone local in the biz, and either buy a puppy that they will help you train, or swallow hard and pay for a trained dog.
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heath
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby heath » Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:11 pm

how are you wanting to use the dog, this will affect most of the answers to your questions.
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby inyati13 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:16 pm

Gator,
I don't know enough on this subject to answer your questions and the paucity of experience might make you wonder why I respond. The fact is: My circumstances might help you as much as the guy whose light far outshines mine.

I don't know anything about dogs except that I am very fond of them. When I retired to my farm, I wanted two things; a ton truck and a dog.

My brother who is an expert dog keeper: he is an employee of I think it is the AKC and is a coon hunting offical who goes to coon hunts all over the eastern US and officates the hunts. He told me to get a Blue Heeler and he told me where to get it.

All I remember is I paid $350 dollars for the pup and I got it from a breeder he selected for me in Versailes, KY.

I did not have to train my dog. One day when I first got my cows, I wanted to move them from the back of the farm to the front. I took my young dog and he knew more about moving them than I did. I smiled the whole way. He was in front of me keeping the cows going and all I did was watch. That was over 4 years ago. A lot of things have changed in the way I manage cows.

The point is: A lot is bred into them. I still don't know anything about dogs but I am with him everyday and discipline is common sense. My brother gave me a shock collar and that is very helpful for some special applications.

Warning: He might still pee on visitors, but like I have said: I get some visitors that I want to pizz on myself. :lol:
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TennesseeTuxedo
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby TennesseeTuxedo » Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:07 pm

Your dog is an ill mannered brute Inyati, not unlike myself. :D
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby Shanghai » Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:12 pm

As Heath said it depends on what you want the dog to do.
No offense to heeler owners but I've never liked them. My experience is they are hard headed and not real biddable, but do tend to have some personality.
I am biased so take that into consideration, but if you'll notice at the dog trials the majority are Border Collies.
IMO they are the absolute smartest, easy to train and have tons of personality as a companion dog also.

I can't stress enough to buy from someone that uses their dogs in their cattle operation and is reputable
Stay away from the breeders that have more dogs than cows ;-)
Now for my own personal recommendation I am extremely partial to the McCallum line, but there are lots of others lines that are really good.
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby Katpau » Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:58 pm

HOW HARD ARE THEY TO TRAIN… It Depends on the dog and the skills of the trainer. You will need a minimum of 60 days training to get the dog to a skill level that my trainer calls kindergarten. This may be enough, depending on how you use the dog. He should be worked on a regular basis after that.
HOW HARD IS IT TO TRAIN THE TRAINER… Depends on the individual. It will help if you can start with a well-trained dog, and well trained livestock.
PRICE TO EXPECT…Well-bred puppies from well proven and trialed parents start around $600 in my area, but if you are lucky and know someone with good dogs you might find one for less. A started dog in my area brings about $2000. Depending on training and the skills of the dog, the price will go up from there. This year’s Stockdogs at the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding sale, brought $2900 to $10,200. My trainer sells dogs there from time to time. He claimed my dog had more training on him when I brought him home than most of the dogs at Red Bluff. He said that is very expensive to sell at that sale, and that he actually would need over $3000 just to come out even on a dog he sells off the ranch for $2000. I paid $1200 for 60 days training on my dog, and that included instructions for myself. My trainer says he will work with me for free in the future if I want to return. It is a four hour drive, so I am not sure if that will happen, but I could sure use it. I was only able to get 8 lessons working with the dog before he came home. I went every other weekend and stayed overnight.
BEST BREED FOR YOUR LOCATION… I don’t know, but my trainer says that after 20 years training herding dogs, he no longer accepts anything but border collies.

I would highly recommend against getting a young dog to train, unless you have both experience working with a trained dog, and livestock that are already familiar with being worked by a dog. Buying any young untrained pup is a big gamble. Not all dogs will work. I have an 8 year old female from good working lines, who is fearful of the cattle and has never had an interest in herding anything. She was my daughters pet. Your best bet is to buy a broke or started dog, and then take as many lessons as you can, working with that dog. People will often say, these dogs train themselves, and I guess you could say they do. The problem is you may not like what the dog will train himself to do. Most cattle dogs have a strong urge to chase, harass and herd anything that moves. A dog not properly started by an experienced handler will most likely cause a wreck. The stronger the herding instinct, the more you will need someone with experience to start the dog out right. A well started dog can still be a big disappointment unless you also learn how to handle the dog. Lessons for you are just as important as lessons for the dog. With a young dog your position must be correct or you will be giving the dog the wrong message. Starting a young dog takes agility and the ability to think quickly. You need to see what the dog is thinking before he acts, and you need to respond correctly. This takes a lot of practice. Even the most highly trained dog will fall apart, if the handler does not know what he is doing.

I have had Border Collies for quite a few years. I was able to train some of them to help me herd, but never to retrieve the cattle to me. Those dogs were relatively laid back compared to a really good working dog, so we got along . I am getting old and so were my dogs. I thought it would be nice to have a dog that would really work, instead of one that occasionally helped, but was more often in the way. I had planned to buy a trained dog, but I was at the Lamb Show, and a friend handed me this 4 week old pup, and all common sense went out the window. That new puppy smell is so hard to resist. The pup was an accident, but was out of some really good working parents. I read everything I could find on training the working dog, and watched numerous videos. I realized that my “book learnin” was not going to cut it, so when he was a year old, I decided I was going to take lessons in training him. I showed up at our first lesson and It was obvious this was going to be a case of the “blind leading the blind”. My trainer recommended a handler that would put two months on the dog. He started him on sheep and then went to cattle. He worked with me once the dog had a good start. By the time he was ready to come home the dog was working really well. He had a left (Come by) and a right (Way to me). He would “down” anywhere I told him, and move out away from the cattle or in close on command. We looked really good working those trained sheep and cattle at the handlers. The handler had well trained dogs that he used to train those cattle, so when my pup worked them it made him look good. Then a few days ago we came home and reality hit. We were going to put about 25 pair through a gate to change pastures. I figured this would be a good chance for him to test his skills. I called the cattle to the gate and gave the command to go around. I was too close to the cattle when I gave the command, so the dog went in too tight. Before he got half way around, the cattle saw the dog and took off running in a dozen different directions. The dog did not know what to do, so he went after whatever he could catch, and I had no idea what command to give. Our first command at home, and our first wreck. After a few seconds, I calmed down and called the dog off, he came right to me, which would not have happened before. He would have kept on chasing with me running behind yelling and cussing. We let the cows get back together and relax, then started over. We got the cattle gathered and through the gate, but they don’t have respect for the dog. It is going to take some time in a more closed in environment before these cattle learn to trust and respect the dog.
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby inyati13 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:50 pm

TennesseeTuxedo wrote:Your dog is an ill mannered brute Inyati, not unlike myself. :D


TT, now I know why Blue is an Ill Mannered Brute. I need to spend $3,000 to train him. :D

That is impressive information provided by Katpau. Not many people who run in my circles in a depressed area like most of KY are going to spend that much on a dog. Get this: Most people tell me they would never spend $350 for a dog. :D

But I am not disparaging what Katpau says, just injecting some reality.
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby Katpau » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:24 pm

I agree. Never thought I would do it either. The pup was free, but by the time he was a year old, he was such a handful, I either needed help to learn to control and use his energy, or he was going to need a new home. These dogs can be extremely neurotic and obsessive. If they don't get to do what they are bred to do, they will find something to do. Like I said, I had other Border Collies that were what is usually referred to as pet quality. They were very different from this dog. He needed a job, and I was not qualified to train him. Gators Rule mentioned he would only buy a horse with "Power steering" and they don't come cheap either, so I figured he might be willing to pay the price. If not, be warned, that a dog bred solely as a stock dog is not an easy animal to live with unless you know what you are doing.
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby Shanghai » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:01 am

Lynn Dalton in LA raises good dog in country that would probably be similar to yours


http://www.daltoncowdogs.com

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0vRkHgCoQKg
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby inyati13 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:11 am

Katpau wrote:I agree. Never thought I would do it either. The pup was free, but by the time he was a year old, he was such a handful, I either needed help to learn to control and use his energy, or he was going to need a new home. These dogs can be extremely neurotic and obsessive. If they don't get to do what they are bred to do, they will find something to do. Like I said, I had other Border Collies that were what is usually referred to as pet quality. They were very different from this dog. He needed a job, and I was not qualified to train him. Gators Rule mentioned he would only buy a horse with "Power steering" and they don't come cheap either, so I figured he might be willing to pay the price. If not, be warned, that a dog bred solely as a stock dog is not an easy animal to live with unless you know what you are doing.


Thanks, Katpau. I respect a person who handles a comment well.

I love border collies and I would have been very pleased with one. I followed my brother's advice. I know TT is serious about Blue being ill-mannered. It is not as bad for me because he knows the reaction he is going to get will not be in his favor.

These working dogs are high energy. Blue gets the run of the farm everyday and that settles him down. Still, he gets excited with visitors. He tripped an older friend of mine by running in and grabbing his shoe. I wish people would do as I instruct them when they arrive. "Kick the shyt out of him". I can put a shock collar on him and he is smart enough to know right a way that he has to behave. Take it off and it is like throwing a light switch.

Thanks for your excellent information!
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby TennesseeTuxedo » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:39 am

Hard to be comfortable kicking another man's dog even with permission...that being said....well, next time it might be a good idea for Blue to have his shock collar on when I get there. :)
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby inyati13 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:41 am

TennesseeTuxedo wrote:Hard to be comfortable kicking another man's dog even with permission...that being said....well, next time it might be a good idea for Blue to have his shock collar on when I get there. :)



:lol: :lol:

He is just young and full of energy. :D
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Re: Herding Dogs advice

Postby Shanghai » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:44 am

That's what I meant about heelers not being biddable
You have to be strong and forceful at even to the point of being physical
Most dogs aim to please, but heelers don't seem to be that way. They are pretty independent
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