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How do you teach a BC to herd...

Guest Marigold

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Guest Marigold

...with three geese, two turkeys, flighty chickens, and no large fenced in area to practice in? Now that it is spring, I am letting my geese and turkeys out of their pens to run in our yard, and as soon as the plants in the garden to big for the chickens to damage, the chickens will be let into the yard as well. I'm trying to teach my 8 month old BC, Skye, to herd them in at night to give him something to do and make my life easier. How do I teach him to


1. Keep his distance from the birds and not rush in to nip?


2. To keep behind the birds with me, and not put the birds between me and him when I'm moving the birds?


3. To go right and left?


4. To herd the birds away from a place I don't want them to be?


5. To block the birds' path only when I need him to?


I know this situation is NOT ideal-but it's what I have to work with. I have no interest in competing for now. I just want to give Skye a job to do and make life easier for me at evening chore time. I've never trained a dog to herd before; nor do I know anyone in my area who trains dogs to herd. As an individual with Asperger Syndrome, I've dealt with imperfect situations all of my life, so figure if I work hard enough on this one Skye and I can succeed :rolleyes:


Thanks for your help!

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Guest carol campion



The answers to your question are so complex, I have no idea where to begin.


The first thing I would do it get yourself as many books and videos as you can showing all aspects of training a border Collie as there is not space on these lists to even begin to scratch the surface. This will give you an idea of where you might be headed with this dog.


If you are determined to use this dog to accomplish any of those listed tasks before being really trained, I would literally tie her/him to me on a long line and through reptition of your pattern of bringing the birds in, hope that the dog could learn what the main task is.


It needs basic obedience and the ability to turn off the work switch when you need it to. It is hard for a young dog with excitable flapping birds.


If you have anyone near or anyone hosting a clinic so you can get some one on one time with a trainer, that is your best option.


Another good option is read through all the training posts in the archives in this section and the training section on this list.


Hope this gives you somewhere to start.



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