Jump to content
BC Boards

At what age to introduce a pup to sheep?

Recommended Posts

Will you be doing the introduction yourself or with a trainer?


If it is with a trainer I would discuss it with the trainer that you plan on working with along with what things they would like you to do between now and then that will make the first introduction and future training go a well as it possibly can.


Often times when new people come up here we spend more time working on things that should have been done at home, things like walking properly on the leash, have a the ability to recall and stop the dog at distance while off leash and exhibiting self control.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At what age would i first introduce Ben to sheep?



Hi Keith. You're likely to get a varied response to your question, and keep in mind that there is a rather large difference between "Introducing" a dog to sheep and beginning to train a sheepdog.


I'll introduce a pup to sheep as young as 3-4 months, but I don't generally start any training until at least 8 months, and usually closer to a year. The introduction is basically getting the pup in a small field with dog broke sheep and letting the pup run around a little. Usually a 5-10 minute session, and I would do that a few times at most every couple of weeks just to gauge the pups interest level.


It also depends a lot on the dog. Some pups can handle a lot early on, while others you're likely to do more harm than good.


How old is Ben now? Give some more details about your situation, and you'll get more detailed results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might enjoy the book "Top Trainers Talk About Starting a Sheepdog", available from Outrun Press. You'll get some in-depth answers to this, as well as other, questions. As Barefoot indicated, answers will vary, and a lot will depend on what you mean by "introducing" (as opposed to starting to train). Your pup's own (still emerging) temperament will also play an important role in determining when he's mentally ready for training.


Even though you haven't asked about locating a trainer (perhaps you already have one lined up), I'll throw in some gratuitous advice. For now (as Ben is still too young to train), you may want to go to some local USBCHA-sanctioned trials, watch how the trainers interact with their dogs, get some recommendations from people there for good trainers in your general area. Don't base your selection on how well any particular dog/trainer combination is doing on that particular day. Every dog (and trainer) has good days and bad days. Some very good trainers may be in the process of introducing dogs to Open, while others may be running more seasoned dogs. Finally, just because someone is successful at trialing doesn't mean that they're talented at teaching you how to work your dog.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...