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Thread: Tarining a BC to Heard Chickens

  1. #1
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    Question how do you tarin a BC to Herd Chickens

    ok this is a hypercritical as I don't have a BC yet ...

    I have free range chickens that i love to bit until it come to getting them back in the coop of a night time

    so far i have to herd them myself or catch them which just stress them out and that's not good

    I have had working dog breeds and I'm experienced with training for agility etc and plan to do all the dogs basic training b4 it event starts training with the chickens

    but i have never trained a dog to herd so where do I start just looking to get and idea if it's event possible cause i don't want to go get a new working pup and tease him/her with the idea of herding but not being able to give it the right training so it hurt its self or the chickens
    Last edited by Shedeivl; 11-12-2011 at 07:11 AM.

  2. #2
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    i just noticed i slept herd wrong
    Erm. Hypothetically, I wouldn't worry about that spelling misteak, it's all good training.

    Dunno what state you are in but most have herding trials - which involves competition herding - but connected to that are people who can teach herding.

    For Frosty - learning herding meant being let loose in a round yard with three shaggy sheep, a long line on her collar - to slow her down, and an instructor with a long orange plastic pipe-stick to make sure Frosty did not get too hard on the sheep. Frosty headbutt the stick fairly often to start with but soon got the hang of it.

    All our obedience and agility training didn't help - as every time I opened my mouth - she'd look at me or come back ie stop herdnig and yet she had zero recall because seh was so excited. I did have a fairly decent "drop" so that's how I would stop her when I needed to. Or jumping on the long line.

    So suggest you look up the website for your dog association and find the herding people.

  3. #3
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    ok that's good idea leave it up to the professionals do you know what age is a good age for the dog to start herding

  4. #4
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    Hi Shedeivl

    I think for the guys who have their own farm and sheep - they start their dogs at around 6 months - with an older experienced and useful herding dog.

    I think for herding lessons - it would be around 12 months - but you'd have to ask them.

    PS you can edit your thread title if you edit the first post and go into the "advanced" bit - and change the title. Or I can do it for you if you want.

  5. #5
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    so 6 months to 1 year that's a good time frame thanx for the answers

  6. #6

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    my grandfather who was a farmer all his life used his sheep dog to herd the chooks back into their yard. Basically any good sheepdog that has gotten used to being around chooks should be able to do it. Just a matter of training

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    Hi Shedeivl

    I think for the guys who have their own farm and sheep - they start their dogs at around 6 months - with an older experienced and useful herding dog.

    I think for herding lessons - it would be around 12 months - but you'd have to ask them.

    PS you can edit your thread title if you edit the first post and go into the "advanced" bit - and change the title. Or I can do it for you if you want.
    We used to start them around 6 months and as you say with the guidance of an experienced dog. Sometimes we'd tie the pup to an older dog but this mostly wasn't necessary. I've also trained a BC without any other dog, just using its natural instincts and obedience(this was a slightly older dog i.e 12 - 18months)

  8. #8
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    We have always had working dogs until about eighteen month ago.......We started ours at twelve to fourteen weeks, just like we start all our dog training very early. Our pups were out in the yard with us as soon as. We kept them safe so big bully sheep could not bulldoze them and often had the puppies on lead with us if we moved sheep or cattle ahead of us. Having lambs was the most perfect time
    The keeping safe is of the utmost importance. if a youngster gets hurt or even frightened that will be the end of most good working dogs.
    As to chickens........You need to get your puppy used to them from day one, eight weeks is best. We always take our puppies to the chicken/duck pen we have and just sit in it with them under control. We have a few very friendly ducks/chooks and this helps by getting the puppy used to them.
    I also always put our chickens/ducks away every evening with the puppies. this makes it all natural for the puppies to know that they are just part of life.And that that is part of their job. Our Tessa (border Colliex Golden) does an amazing job putting ours away now every evening. Especailly handy when you have new once. But it is control you need to have. Such as "wait" and "drop/sit" to keep the fowl safe. Our newfie Kate also helps, though I think Tessa thinks she is more of a handicap then help
    At present i have one dog who is not 100% reliable to leave around chickens, we got her at 14months. We have tried to de-sensitize and get her used to them and no matter what she will still chase. Some people tell me the E-collar would be the only way, but we have chosen separation instead. She has been through enough in her life to even consider an E-collar for her. The few times she has got out with them she has only flattened them, no kill...She just wants to stop them. But one could lead to the other so we are very careful with her
    We did have a great working kelpie who we occasionally attached some of our youngsters too, but it would frustrate him and I have seen some tangles and injuries at a place we were at.
    We go back to relying on the natural instinct, with very solid obedience training and showing the puppy stock ASAP.
    There are the occasional dog who is "born" to herd and seem t need no training, but they are rare, but most are just in for the chase if not trained. The dog needs to be under control, that is what most stockworkers have over their dogs. And some of it is not so nice.


    This is our little Nugget in his prime


    And this is Fred



    And this is Nugget in his retirement sharing a bone with our ducks
    Last edited by newfsie; 11-13-2011 at 06:07 AM.
    Pets are forever

  9. #9
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    Beautiful photos Newfsie. Oh how I love Kelpies
    Owning a dog should be a partnership. Much like a good marriage it should be based on love, trust and devotion until death do you part.
    R.I.P Dali: 10th May 1998 – 20th December 2011

  10. #10
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    We love them we did really well with them as work dogs...Everyone used to say they would be useless because they lived indoors with the newfie tribe, but not so. We just do not have enough work for them now, having gone away from sheep and we use our horses on cattle and the cattle are so easy, that even that is not really required.
    We still miss Fred and Nugget a lot. Fred went everywhere with my hubby, To every horse Clinic we put on. He would sit there at Lunchtime in the middle and do his "no one feeds me at home look".....he was missed by a lot of people when he passed. He was just part of our horse clinics
    Pets are forever

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