Anyone recommend a cow dog training book

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5S Cattle
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Re: Anyone recommend a cow dog training book

Postby 5S Cattle » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:43 pm

Ky hills wrote:
5S Cattle wrote:
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Australian Cattle Dogs (Blue Heelers) are much calmer than Australian Shepherds and Border Collies.
The cattle dog knows how to work cattle, YOU need to know how to CONTROL your dog.
They need basic commands. You must be able to STOP them when they are running full bore after cattle. Hubby taught ours with a Frisbee. If you can stop one in mid run after a Frisbee, your all set to work cows.
And yes, you have to get your cattle used to the dog also.
We teach them hand commands, so they LOOK at you. Arm straight up, STOP/DOWN. Arm sweep to right, dog needs to go to the right. Keep it simple. We rarely "work" our cattle with a dog anymore, because we just call them for moving.

Thanks, but Blue heelers are out. I can’t stand them things


Not trying to change your mind, just stating my limited experiences with stock dogs. Have tried several breeds and no luck with them at all as far as working dogs. We got a female heeler, will be 2 years old this December. Hard headed little thing, my wife could deal with her but I couldn't hardly at all, until a few months ago. She had been coming with me to the barn to feed for a while and was an aggravation for a while, but then all at once she started actually helping me. It wasn't long until she was listening to me and stopping when I told her and standing back until I was ready. She has proven to me that she has the ability to be a real good stock dog, I am the limiting factor as I don't know how to get the full potential from her. She has taken a lot of steps off of me, even with me not knowing how to work with stock dogs. This morning we got a cow and calf in the barn with no gates.

Glad she’s working out for you! I said that about heelers because out of the handful of dogs that I’ve been bit by, 3 have been heelers. Just don’t trust them.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cow dog training book

Postby okiek » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:34 am

I've trained several BC's. My favorite training book was Herding Dogs by Virgil Holland. If I remember right, he is primarily focused on fetching dogs like BC's.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cow dog training book

Postby Katpau » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:59 am

We live in sheep and cattle country and most ranchers have good dogs that will do both. It is easy to find someone to train your dog and work with you in this area. The hardest part is finding a good dog. There are also clinics available where you can practice working your dog on animals that have already been trained to work with dogs. It is a long term commitment to train the dog, yourself, and the cattle. We started by buying a pup out of working parents. If I was starting over, I would have begun with a young dog that had already been started on cattle so I knew what I was getting. Our dog has been a great help, but he is definitely not one of the best. I read books and watched videos while waiting for him to grow. Herding Dogs Progressive training by Vergil Holland and Lessons from a Stock Dog by Bruce Fogt were books I read. I had made the mistake of reprimanding my prior dogs for chasing cows when they were still pups, and they had grown up to ignore or avoid the cattle. It was recommended in the books that I avoid interaction with the cattle until they were old enough to handle themselves. We sent our dog to a trainer when he was 1 year old. He started Tip on Sheep because that was safer. When he had Tip understanding some basic commands, he had us come as often as we could to work with him. We had him there for 90 days and he was working cows by the time he came home. I have been told that once you have one dog trained, it is easier to start another because the young dog can learn from the older dog.

If I was you, I would go to a Cattledog trial and talk to people there. They might be able to recommend someone who could help you find a dog and someone to work with you. Our cattle will come in when we call them, but sometimes calves will hang back, or cows will refuse to come up into the corrals to be worked. The dog sure makes that easier. He doesn’t mind the mud or the lumpy ground and he is quick enough to cut them off when they decide to make a break for it to run around us. Our cows challenged him quite a bit at first. We made a special point of working the replacements with him each year, so the younger cows work the best. Even the old cows have now accepted the fact that going where we want is easier than challenging the dog. When a cow tries to avoid the corrals, we call the dog and when she sees him she almost always begins to cooperate. Most of the time he just waits on the ATV. We do leave him home when cows are calving, because it can be more difficult to catch and tag the newborn calves when he is in sight.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cow dog training book

Postby 5S Cattle » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:12 pm

Katpau wrote:We live in sheep and cattle country and most ranchers have good dogs that will do both. It is easy to find someone to train your dog and work with you in this area. The hardest part is finding a good dog. There are also clinics available where you can practice working your dog on animals that have already been trained to work with dogs. It is a long term commitment to train the dog, yourself, and the cattle. We started by buying a pup out of working parents. If I was starting over, I would have begun with a young dog that had already been started on cattle so I knew what I was getting. Our dog has been a great help, but he is definitely not one of the best. I read books and watched videos while waiting for him to grow. Herding Dogs Progressive training by Vergil Holland and Lessons from a Stock Dog by Bruce Fogt were books I read. I had made the mistake of reprimanding my prior dogs for chasing cows when they were still pups, and they had grown up to ignore or avoid the cattle. It was recommended in the books that I avoid interaction with the cattle until they were old enough to handle themselves. We sent our dog to a trainer when he was 1 year old. He started Tip on Sheep because that was safer. When he had Tip understanding some basic commands, he had us come as often as we could to work with him. We had him there for 90 days and he was working cows by the time he came home. I have been told that once you have one dog trained, it is easier to start another because the young dog can learn from the older dog.

If I was you, I would go to a Cattledog trial and talk to people there. They might be able to recommend someone who could help you find a dog and someone to work with you. Our cattle will come in when we call them, but sometimes calves will hang back, or cows will refuse to come up into the corrals to be worked. The dog sure makes that easier. He doesn’t mind the mud or the lumpy ground and he is quick enough to cut them off when they decide to make a break for it to run around us. Our cows challenged him quite a bit at first. We made a special point of working the replacements with him each year, so the younger cows work the best. Even the old cows have now accepted the fact that going where we want is easier than challenging the dog. When a cow tries to avoid the corrals, we call the dog and when she sees him she almost always begins to cooperate. Most of the time he just waits on the ATV. We do leave him home when cows are calving, because it can be more difficult to catch and tag the newborn calves when he is in sight.

Thank you for your insight! I received a envelope from Kansas today so it looks like chocolate cow sent me my first bit of learning information (thanks!) I’ll look into trials around here. Haven’t heard of any though.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cow dog training book

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:17 am

Heelers are a "pack" dog - they will protect their pack, which includes cattle, family members, equipment. But, if you have encountered biters - it is the owners fault - not the dogs.
Some dogs/breeds are smarter than their owners. If you are not smarter or the alpha, you are going to have a BAD dog.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cow dog training book

Postby 76 Bar » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:42 am

I’ll look into trials around here. Haven’t heard of any though.

Noted you were in Texas. Link below should prove helpful.
http://www.texassheepdogassoc.org
FYI members include some of the top sheep AND cattle handlers/trainers in the country.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cow dog training book

Postby Katpau » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:06 am

Here are a few more websites that should be helpful. Look under trials at the National Cattle dog site to see a list of upcoming events. There were several in Texas in early September and one scheduled for Oct. 20-21 in Aquilla which is just North of Waco.
http://nationalcattledog.com/
http://www.southwestcattledogassoc.com/
The second website gives phone numbers and email addresses for Officers in Texas. They would probably be good ones to talk to. They may even know of a dog that is available. Many of these guys start multiple dogs and not all are up to the standards to be competitors in Trials, but they may be perfect for a guy wanting to work a few cows.
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