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Can I prepare my dog for herding in the near future?

Can I already teach my 1 year old Border Collie some commands before he starts working with sheep? I don't have sheep myself, but I would like to start sheep herding soon. If yes, how should I do that?

Of course you can learn your dogs some things already. A very good start in to teach him '(Lie) Down'. With a toy or some food that you move in between his legs towards the ground, you can teach him to go down fast. If that works, and he can stay down for some time, you can continue by letting him walk on carefully from 'down' ('Walk on'). Alternating between lie down and walk on (with treats on unexpected moments) turns this exercise into a fun game.

Furthermore it is important under all circumstances to know the 'here' command. Throw away a ball, and make sure the dog stays down. Tell him to fetch it, and call the dog every now and then, or give him the down command halfway.

Do expect that your dog will be disobedient the first time he is around sheep. All training and exercises will be completely forgotten once he spots those exciting sheep.

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This page last modified: Friday, 01-Aug-2008 17:07:11 CEST
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