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I debated putting this in the training forum, but I felt the working stockdogs forum would have more people with stockdog experience seeing it. Edit: Now that I've posted this I see there is a training group inside of stockdogs. This post should be there, but I don't see a way to move it. If that's possible, I'll gladly move it. Sorry for posting in the wrong topic! I have an 11 week old Border Collie that was bred for herding. Both of his parents work on a 150,000 acre cattle ranch! My intentions for him are on a much smaller scale, but I still want to make sure I do things right. What sort of things should I not teach my dog? I've heard to teaching them to heel and to only walk on one side of you can ruin his ability/desire to herd, since he learns to only stay by your side. I did read that teaching them to walk on leash without pulling you is okay though, thank goodness! I also believe I've read not to teach tug-a-war, but that may have been for other non-stock related reasons. I know that's a bad game from a dominance perspective anyhow. I also read about a lady who taught her dog the herding commands on a ball while playing fetch, then the dog wanted to play ball every time that it was supposed to be herding. I wont try anything like that! I have the book Herding Dogs-- Progressive Training by Vergil Holland. From what I've seen, this is the go-to book on training stockdogs. So far I've only read the chapters on puppies/new dogs. I have a good few months before we need to start actual herding training. My key questions are: What should I not teach my dog to do? Is puppy obedience class a good idea, or would I have to skip too many things that are covered in the class (mostly things involving a leash)? So far we're learning commands fine on our own and socializing with dogs of friends/family. Do you have any other tips that will help me to raise a good puppy into a great stockdog? P.S. I figured that a post on this would already exist, but my searching did not turn up anything. If I've missed it, please forgive me. Any direction to related posts is also appreciated.
Yesterday's work day shed a whole new light on my 1.5 y/o BC. She has been working sheep periodically since she was about 9 months old. She's shown quite a bit of talent, a nice easy demeanor with the sheep and the ability to pick up commands. Things were going quite well. Yesterday, however was a mess. She would go from complete disengaged sniffing the ground with her back turned to the sheep to exploding in after the sheep, especially when I would give a "that'll do" command. Often she would do a nice small "fetch" and as soon as I would say "down" she'd lay down, but then turn her attention elsewhere. The whole day seemed to be a about the sheep poop on the ground. She showed some seriously defiant behaviors that the trainer and I could only interpret as her feeling the need to be in charge. So, I am curious if others have encountered this with their dogs and how did you interpret that? How did you change your training? I understand she's still a pretty young dog. I work her 1x per week. Thanks!