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Hello, I currently live with my border collie and have been considering the possibility of raising livestock. We live on 9 acres that we own, and live in the UK. We use part of it for training and agility, and what we aren't using is let out for grazing to a farmer nearby. I was thinking of perhaps purchasing a small number of sheep or goats to get started. Being new to livestock owning, I was wondering what people thought of this idea. I have heard goats are much easier to care for than sheep as they need less maintance in terms of coat, such as dipping. We currently have ducks, but they are different than sheep and goats in terms of management. Also, I was wondering what you thought of training my border collie to herd? I have heard goats are difficult to herd because they have less flocking instinct and can be more stubborn. Though are there some that are easier to herd with than others? And that certain sheep are easier to use for herding with a beginner dog than others. She comes from a farm, and both her parents worked livestock. She has instinct, though I am not sure how much talent as she has not been trained to herd. We don't have anyone nearby who can help teach us however. We have someone we can visit irregularly who could perhaps give us some pointers, but no one we can visit weekly. Do you think this is a good idea? If so, what do you recommend for a first time owner of livestock? Or for training a dog to herd? Any breeds you think would suit best? Is it possible to find dog broken adults, and would that be a good idea? Any resources for what is needed to own and care for sheep or goats? TLDR; I was thinking of getting a small number of sheep or goats, and perhaps even teach my border collie to herd, And was wondering what you thought of this idea and if its a good idea, if so what do you recommend in terms of goat vs sheep, or even breed?
Hello! I am moving to the Texas panhandle (Lubbock area) soon and I'm looking for herding lessons for my dog Piper. Both of us are totally new at this, so if you have any recommendations regarding books, websites, random info you think would be helpful for a newb, I'd appreciate it! Thanks for all and any help ~Becca
So my wife has a friend who works for the 11th hour rescue who asked us if we could foster a 2 year-old smooth coated BC or possibly BC-mix. We have six year-old twins and three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, but we figured we'd try it for a couple of days and if it works out we'll keep her for a couple of weeks to keep her out of the shelter. You see where this is going? Well, of course our new black-and-white, long-snouted friend stole our hearts from the get-go. She seems so happy to have a family again and loves to snuggle with us and just enjoys our company. So now we're considering adopting her permanently. But... I know that BCs can be pretty challenging dogs and that this isn't a decision you should jump into just because a dog swept you off your feet, so I'm trying to go about this the right way. About our family: We live in rather big house with 6-yo twins, my in-laws and three Cavaliers. Our house has a fenced-in backyard (6ft dog proof fence) of almost an acre, perfect for dogs to run around in. I grew up with boxers and my mom was very active in competitive obedience and tracking, so I think I know the basics of dog training. About the dog: The shelter said she could be a mix, but our vet (who's also a dog show judge) is almost certain she's 100% BC. Her temperament is surprisingly well-balanced. In the five days we've had her, I've seen very few bad tendencies. She cries a little when people leave the house, but she quickly gets over it. The herding instinct is definitely there, but we haven't seen anything excessive. She did try to herd one of the cavaliers, but she immediately stopped when we told her to. She's extremely affectionate and loves to snuggle up with our kids. Now the kids are like you'd expect 6-yo kids to be and has a problem leaving her alone, but she's very patient with them and seems to enjoy the attention. She seems to have some basic obedience, but needs more work. When it comes to "creative play", we've tried some basic "hide and seek" and she truly enjoys it and is eager to learn more. After she's had a nice walk or a good play session in our backyard, she simply relaxes and takes a nap. We took her to our own vet for a second opinion and she checks out OK physically and the vet thought her mental state and personality was very nice. I've noticed a couple of bad tendencies: First of all, she's very submissive to men. It's much easier for my wife to train her. When I try, she gets down on the ground in submission as soon as my voice gets too harsh. Maybe it's just a matter of her gaining more confidence and trust. I have a feeling a male person has been overly harsh to her in her past. Second, she has a tendency to playfully nibble people and out cavaliers. Her teeth barely touch, but I know from experience that this is an unacceptable behavior we need to work on immediately. Other than that, I can't really see anything I don't like about her. So now is here is the question: Given what you know about this little girl and our family, should we permanently adopt her? Giving her back will break our heart, but not being able to give her what she needs and deserves would be a bigger tragedy.