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Hard to say which will work out best since it is most likely the way you treat them that will play the largest role in how they act, rather than the specific breed from the ones you listed. (At least that's my take, based upon my admittedly limited experience.)


More expert opinions will appear here, I'm sure.


In the meantime...


How many do you think you are going to get? If you're just getting a few, you want some that stay reasonable after becoming very dog broke. If you're getting more than a few (say, 30 or so), then with care you can keep them pretty fresh.


Are you using these sheep to start a dog, or to train a more advanced dog? Fresh sheep and brand new dogs require a good bit of skill to achieve training success. So, if it's an option, better to opt for some dog-broke sheep if you are starting a dog.


Here's a good thing to read.


Let us know what you end up doing.


Good luck!


charlie torre

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Don't know if my information will help or not... I am new to this board because we just brought a 2 1/2 yr old bc into our family (rescue).


We have a sheep farm of about 175 sheep, containing many various breeds. I have not attempted to train Tag with them yet because we are still letting Tag get used to us and his new home. But, I can tell you what I know about the various breeds of sheep.


Black faced Suffolks would be a definite NO - they are huge and will probably turn on the dog.


However, a black faced (sometimes white, but a lot more money) hair breed Dorper is known for being very dosile and cooperative and raises great lambs too.


As far as white faced... Rambouliot are rated very high, but as far as I'm concerned, I don't know why. This breed has not done well for us at all, they seem to be the breed that doesn't age well, gets sick easy, etc, etc. However, they are not flighty or hyper sheep, so they may work well if you strictly want them to train your dog on.


Our favorite pick of the white faced would be the Dorsets. Dorsets are all around great sheep, whether working a dog with them or raising them commercially.


I do not know much about Southdown or Columbia.

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My dog has been on sheep maybe ten times, he works slow and does not get excited. I could get dropers, but the people who have them want a ton of money. When I say a few I mean 10 at the most. I know people with dorsets, but they are not dog broke. The rest of the sheep I am looking at are dog broke.


Thanks Tracy

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That is an interesting observation about the Rambouillets.


Out here (Utah, etc.) the Rambouillets have the reputation of being quite hardy as they are a big part of the "range sheep" that generally thrive on relatively scarce forage covering thousands of acres. Granted, most range sheep are probably not pure Rambouillet. A few times I have had the pleasure (and considerable challenge!) of working with undogged range ewes (predominantly Rambouillet, I believe) at dog trials and clinics. The ones I've encountered were really fine sheep and tough as nails. Massive, athletic beasts they were, too.


charlie torre

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Let me stand corrected. I'm thinking that maybe it is just the group of Rambouliot that we bought. We are in Ohio, maybe the difference in territory has something to do with it. Like I said, they are ranked number one in many books that rank the breeds of sheep (we were surprised after purchasing them that we were so disappointed, as they do have the reputation of being the most hardy). So, I guess I shouldn't speak out against those who are more expert than I. As I said though, they are not flighty at all, so they would probably do very well with training a dog on them, I don't think they would turn on the dog at all.


Please forgive me for speaking out when I only have about a dozen sheep of that breed to base my opinion on.

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Misty, I expect I know a lot less about sheep than you do, so don't worry about saying what you think!


What you say IS interesting. The range ewes I've experienced will certainly run like mad or fight if a dog is clumsy, pushy, weak, etc. I don't doubt the validity of your experience, though. Maybe the difference is how the sheep are bred and raised. As far as I can tell, "out on the range" if the sheep don't naturally protect themselves from predators (coyotes mostly) and aren't real hardy, then they don't get a chance to propagate their genes, if you know what I mean.


charlie torre

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