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Sheep Find Sheepdogs Annoying when things are fine But.. the translation for Friendship is Sheepdog! :)
It has been said that there are 3 kinds of people in the world... Wolves are the bad guys of the world, the evil sociopaths who seek to harm and exploit others.
Sheepdogs are the guardians and protectors of society - those that are not afraid to stand up for right, even when it means going against the crowd, and have the courage to face danger and save others. The rest of us lie somewhere on the sheep-sheepdog continuum, with the vast majority of the population firmly on the sheep side.
SHEEPS... Most people are sheep. Grossman isn't using the term pejoratively, he is simply referring to the fact that most human beings are kind, gentle, and peaceful. The conflicts and ethical dilemmas they are regularly faced with rarely rise to the level of life and death, good versus evil.
For the most part people deal with challenges that are more annoyances than true crises. And when faced with conflict, they generally try to do the right thing, avoid making waves, and demonstrate pro-social behavior. While most people are kind and good, they simply don't know how to deal with evil and dangerous people because for the most part they don't encounter and interact with evil and dangerous people in their day-to-day lives. Like sheep, they largely move about with those who are like them and do as others do. They are content to subsist in a predictable and routine sphere.
As they live and graze, they cannot envision anything disrupting their peace or routine, and imagine that each day will proceed like the last. And just like sheep, most people depend on somebody else to protect and take care of them and keep this relatively placid world around them going smoothly, be it the police, military, or some administrative agency.
WOLVES... Wolves are bad guys. They exist in the shadows outside the porous perimeter of safety that surrounds the sheep. Wolves are the sociopaths who commit violent crimes or ignore moral or ethical boundaries with impunity. They take advantage of the sheep's tendency to be inexperienced with evil, unprepared for attack, and caught flat-footed when a crisis arises. This allows these evil men to, as Grossman puts it, feed on the sheep without mercy. A minutely small percentage of the population can be described as true wolves. Their number is around 1 percent.
SHEEPDOGS... Sheepdogs are society's protectors. They are "livestock guardian dogs". While both herding dogs and livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) are known as sheepdogs, their roles are quite different. The former bark at, nip, and stare down animals to keep them together and moving in a certain way. Livestock guardian dogs, on the other hand, live with their flock of animals full-time, allowing them to blend in and watch for intruders within the herd. LGDs are placed in the flock as puppies so that they "imprint" on the animals they will be tasked with caring for and protecting. Strongly bonded to them, the LGD will perceive other species as predators and protect those it knows from these potentially hostile outsiders.
Large and protective, the mere presence of a LGD in a herd can deter would be predators, and those that dare to venture closer often turn tail when the dog simply demonstrates its aggression through barking and intimidation. LGDs seldom kill predators - instead, their aggressive behaviors tend to condition predators to seek unguarded prey. The three qualities most sought after in LGDs are trustworthiness, attentiveness, and protectiveness.
The role of human "sheepdogs" is almost exactly that of their canine counterparts. Like actual sheepdogs, they live among the flock - one of them, and yet different and set apart. They protect the perimeter and vigilantly watch for evil "wolves." Their mere presence can keep bad men turning on each other instead of on law-abiding citizens, but if they do attack, human sheepdogs are alert and ready to be aggressive. They are prepared to make a stand against those who would do others harm, but outside of times of crisis, they are gentle and trustworthy. Their hardihood and bravery gives them the ability to walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed. As with wolves, sheepdogs make up a very small percentage of the population. Probably either around 1%.
WHEN THE ROLES EXCHANGE... Your "sheepness" or "sheepdogness" can change depending on context, too! You easily can act like fierce sheepdogs in one situation, but have the passivity of lambs in another. Sheepdogs are being Made, Not Born! Being a sheepdog is not a matter of birth. It is a choice – a matter of mental and physical training. In fact, as we will see in our next post, we are hardwired psychologically and sociologically for sheepness. In order to become a sheepdog, you have to consciously decide to do so and then slowly upgrade your mental, physical, and emotional hardware from Sheep 1.0 to Sheepdog 2.0.
There are Moral and Ethical Sheepdogs. The concept has been a driving force in my desire to learn both armed and unarmed self-defense. We don't want to be a sheep. I want to be a sheepdog and have the capacity to protect my family and loved ones from the wolves that might be out there.
BECOMING A SHEEPDOG... While those who make the military, police work, or emergency response their career have a professional responsibility to be sheepdogs, all men should strive to be more on the sheepdog than the sheep side of the spectrum. The world needs men who are willing to face danger and stand up to dishonesty to save others and preserve the fabric of their communities. Yet while the sheep/sheepdog paradigm has become more popular and well-known these days, but why are most people sheep?
And how do you become a sheepdog? Maybe these are interesting and important questions to answer, so for the next couple weeks we will offer some possible explanations for our ingrained sheepness, as well as ways to overcome those tendencies and become a sheepdog. Unlike the real-life sheep or sheepdogs which are born into their animal roles, humans default into passivity unless they make the choice to become proactive protectors.
Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. So the first step in becoming a sheepdog is to simply decide to become one. Don't take this decision lightly. There are heavy moral, physical, emotional, and psychological costs that come with it. When you decide to become a sheepdog, you are also deciding to live a life of service to your fellow man, to run to danger when others flee, and to stand up for right despite the cost.
Are you ready to accept those responsibilities and risks, and the consequences that come with them?
1. Old English Sheepdog Without a doubt, the Old English Sheepdog has one of the canine world's most unclear origins. There is evidence that the breed originated in the southwestern counties of England somewhere in the early 19th century, though it may owe its origins to the Scottish Bearded Collie or the Russian Owtchar, or some other dog altogether. The Old English Sheepdog is a large, athletic dog breed with an unmistakable shaggy coat. The Old English Sheepdog was historically a drover, helping farmers drive cattle and sheep to the market.
The Old English Sheepdog is a playful, affectionate clown who delights in frolicking with his family and neighborhood children. In fact, adolescence in the OES often extends to about age three, and an adult OES will retain his playful demeanor well into his golden years. Males stand 22 inches tall and weigh 80 to 100 pounds. Females stand 21 inches tall and weigh 60 to 85 pounds. Today, the good-natured Old English Sheepdog enjoys the comfort of home life and still competes in conformation, obedience, agility, and herding trials. He's an adaptable, intelligent dog with an easygoing disposition. In reality, the OES - nicknamed "Bobtail" because of his docked tail.
Those who know and love him are familiar with his sense of humor. An intelligent breed, the OES is a quick learner, always looking for something interesting and fun to do. He's capable of performing numerous tasks, including herding, agility, obedience, and search and rescue.
Beautiful, profuse coat, but the intelligent and agile Old English Sheepdog (OES) can easily complete any demanding task asked of him by a shepherd or drover. Square in build and possessing great strength, the OES enjoys working and is seen in the conformation, obedience, agility and herding rings today with their characteristic shuffling gait.
His coat, which serves as insulation, can be any shade of gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle with or without white markings. A strong, compact, square, balanced dog. Taking him all around, he is profusely, but not excessively coated, thickset, muscular and able-bodied. These qualities, combined with his agility, fit him for the demanding tasks required of a shepherd's or drover's dog. Therefore, soundness is of the greatest importance. His bark is loud with a distinctive "pot-casse" ring in it.
The OES is highly adaptable. To some people's surprise, he does well in an apartment if he is exercised regularly. With his shaggy coat, keen mind, and bobbed tail, the OES is a great addition to any family with the time and patience to care for him. However, the OES is not known for being an assertive watchdog.
2. Komandor The Komondor also known as the Hungarian sheepdog, is a large, white-coloured Hungarian breed of livestock guardian dog with a long, corded coat. The Komondor is characterized by imposing strength, dignity, courageous demeanor, and pleasing conformation. He is a large, muscular dog with plenty of bone and substance, covered with an unusual, heavy coat of white cords. The working Komondor lives during the greater part of the year in the open, and his coat serves to help him blend in with his flock and to protect him from extremes of weather and beasts of prey. Originally bred to guard livestock - a job he still excels at - the Komondor is intelligent, independent, and highly protective. In fact, he enjoys nothing more than watching over his family. His appearance might make you think he was developed to mop floors, but the Komondor has a long and noble heritage as a flock-guarding dog breed in his native Hungary. He still retains a strong protective instinct and will defend his family and property with his life. Nor is the Komondor's coat care an easy proposition. Their trademark cords don't need brushing, but they must be kept free of parasites and dirt. The Komondor comes with lots of benefits in addition to the responsibilities. This loyal breed will happily spend his days under or on your feet, serving as companion, friend, and guardian.
3. Bearded Collie The Bearded Collie dog breed was developed in Scotland to herd sheep and cattle in any weather or terrain. They function today as excellent family companions, show dogs, working sheepdogs, or even all three. Because of their energy and quickness they are well suited to competing in obedience, rally, agility, and other dog sports. When anyone describes a Bearded Collie, the adjective most often used is enthusiastic! That word, along with hardy, exuberant, active, energetic, bright, reliable, and trustworthy should give you the beginnings of a picture of this well-loved breed. The Bearded Collie, known affectionately as the Beardie, is the ultimate shaggy dog. The name Bearded Collie comes from the hair that hangs down from the chin and forms a beard. Beardies are highly intelligent, active and resourceful. It takes a smart and energetic person to keep up with them. Bearded Collies are excellent with children. Beardies are outgoing, affectionate dogs, but they can have a stubborn and independent streak from a heritage that required them to make their own decisions while herding sheep.
4. Maremma Sheepdog The Maremma Sheepdog is a massive, noble, distinctive-looking dog with a bear-like head. The jaws are strong with a scissors bite. It has a black nose that often becomes slightly pink-brown with age. The ears are V-shaped, pointed and rather small. The eyes have a lively, intelligent expression, but are not large. The nasal canal is straight. The tail is low set and thickly feathered with dense hair. The deep, well-rounded ribcage extends to the elbows. The long, harsh and very abundant hair has a slight wave. The undercoat is dense. Coat colors include white with markings of ivory, light yellow or pale orange on the ears. The Maremma is a friendly and well-balanced flock guardian.
For several decades, it has also achieved success as a companion dog. Sober and dignified, this loyal, brave and determined dog makes an excellent guard dog without being a constant barker. It is correctly described as affectionate, but not dependent.
5. Carea Leones The Carea Leones or Leonese Shepherd, is a breed of herding dog from Leon, Castile and Leon, Spain, and is used as a sheepdog. For centuries, they tended flocks of Churra - sheep in the mountains of the historical region of Leon. The Carea Leones is a dog whose morphology and character have been molded by its environment, both physical and human. Regarding the physical, it can say that this breed is rooted in the regions of the province of Leon and Zamora. This was so because it are agricultural areas where crops shared its existence with sheep herds. For such coexistence come to fruition, and due to shortage of shepherd men who were at any particular time, and the number of heads could be high, it was necessary to resort to a helper who will control cattle to temptation, and this was the Carea Leones. When Spain colonized America, they introduced Churra sheep for food and fiber. They also brought their Carea Leones to manage the huge flocks. These dogs contributed to the type of herding dogs found throughout California and the Southwestern United States including the Australian Shepherd. Their coat is smooth and short or moderate length and slightly wavy, and ranges from black to dark liver or merle with white and or tan trim. They range in size from 18 to 23 inches (45 cm to 58 cm) and in weight from 30 to 70 pounds (14-32 kg). This breed is used as a working dog and as a companion. Because of its intelligence, the Carea Leones, like most sheepdogs, is easy to train. The function of Carea Leones it is to carry and control livestock, whether sheep, bovine or equine, it is a stubborn and courageous animal with the cattle, not allowing these daunted it.
6. Huntaway The New Zealand Huntaway is a very unique sheep-herding dog, in that it uses its voice to drive the sheep. Height: 20 - 24 inches (51 - 61 cm). The New Zealand Huntaway originated in the 1900s. While most of the original British sheepdogs transported to New Zealand worked the sheep silently, an occasional dog would work them with his voice. Some shepherds were intrigued with this, liking what they saw in the voice-driving sheepdogs. The dog leans to gather the herd and follows behind it.
Special events were developed for these dogs at sheep-herding trials. The events were referred to as "huntaways," and eventually gave the dog its name. Usually good with children and fairly easy to obedience train, the New Zealand Huntaway is an intelligent dog. They are usually good with non-canine pets. The New Zealand Huntaway is friendly with strangers. They are not guard dogs and some are not good watchdogs. Because they were bred as a barking-herding dog, they need to be trained when to bark and when not to bark. These dogs are very intelligent, so this is not difficult to do.
7. Smithfield & Tasmanian Sheepdog The Smithfield, Smithfield Collie or Smithfield Sheepdog is a type of herding dog. It is a large, strong dog of collie type. The Smithfield can be black, grey or red with a white collar, or wholly white and they always possess floppy-ears and shaggy hair on the body, face and legs. Two varieties exist, with one having a natural bobtail and the second with a longer tail. It was used for droving cattle in the south-east of England, especially the Smithfield Market in London, and although this breed of dog is believed to be extinct and was never recognised by any of the major kennel clubs before its extinction, dogs of similar type are shown under the same name in Tasmania, Australia.
The Smithfield was first introduced to Australia during colonial times. It was a handy dog used to work the meat markets in Smithfield, London. It is a dog standing from 18 to 21 inches (46 to 53 cm) and has a shaggy appearance. Very little has been documented about this breed, and although it is not a recognised pure-breed in the Australian National Kennel Council, it is shown at the Campbell Town Show in Tasmania. Many older farmers still own the breed as well as some breeders who want to keep the original lines going and maintain effort in a future of the breed. Whilst it is accepted that they are not a registered breed as such, there is sufficient interest and acceptance in Tasmania of the breed for this event to be held.
8. Polish Lowlend Sheepdog The Polish Lowland Sheepdog, also called the Polish Owczarek Nizinny, is also sometimes shortened to PON. The dogs worked on the lowland plains. Some say that this medium-sized, robust sheepdog evolved from ancient, corded herding dogs from the Hungarian plains, which were bred with other small, long-coated mountain herders, and more recent, shaggy herders, such as the Border Collie and Dutch Schapendoes. It is also said to have Tibetan Terrier and Lhasa Apso in its blood. The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is a medium-sized, long-haired dog, originally bred for herding and guarding, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is still an excellent working dog breed. The PON is a cobby, medium-sized dog, slightly longer than tall, giving it great agility. It is strong and muscular, enabling it to control livestock. It has a fluid gait, with long stride, allowing it to trot effortlessly for hours. It is inclined to amble, which can act as a reconnaissance, energy-efficient gait. Toeing in is considered natural. The coat is long, dense, shaggy, and double, providing great protection against the elements. Lively and loyal, the PON has been shaped by centuries of work as a shepherd. This is a territorial breed that is often wary of strangers, however, to those it knows it is very affectionate. He is obedient and fearless, good-natured with people and other dogs, but highly protective of his flock. He is intelligent, active, strong, and handsome with his characteristic multicolored shaggy coat. In recent years, he has gained popularity as a companion dog.
9. Icelandic SheepDog Thought to be companions to the ancient Vikings, the Icelandic Sheepdog dog breed was used to protect flocks, especially lambs, from birds of prey. They still retain the habit of watching the sky and barking at birds as well as everything else they see or hear. The Icelandic Sheepdog is a breed of dog of spitz type originating from the dogs brought to Iceland by the Vikings. It is of similar type to the Norwegian Buhund, the Shetland Sheepdog, and the Welsh Corgi.
It's thought that invading Vikings brought the ancestors of this breed with them to Iceland in the ninth century. Thanks to the isolation of Iceland, today's Icelandic Sheepdogs also called the Icelandic Spitz or Icelandic Dog, probably look a lot like their ancestors. It's is a Nordic herding Spitz, slightly under medium sized with prick ears and a curled tail. Seen from the side the dog is rectangular. The expression is gentle, intelligent and happy. A confident and lively bearing is typical for this dog. There are two types of coat, long and short, both thick and extremely weatherproof. There is a marked difference in appearance between the sexes.
10. Akbash Originally bred in Turkey, this livestock guard dog can reach 140 pounds. This solid white flock guard dog is equipped with keen hearing and superior strength. Its white, weather resistant, double, short to medium length coat is coarse and non-matting, with very little doggy odor. The Akbash has a massive head and powerful jaws. The V-shaped ears are set high with the tips slightly rounded, flat to the skull, and are carried pendant. Imported Turkish dogs may have cropped ears. Its almond shaped eyes are set well apart and distinctly oblique. Eye color varies from light golden brown to very dark brown. The neck is strong and muscular, medium in length and arches at the crest. It has strong, large, well-arched toes. The nails are blunt and gray, brown or white. The pads are thick, hard, elastic and normally dark. The tail is long, reaching to the hocks. There is an elastic, springy nature to the gait.
11. Groenendael de Petite Venerie is a medium-sized breed of dog used in hunting as a scenthound, usually in packs. It is one of the Anglo-French hound breeds which were created by crossing French scenthounds with English (Anglo) foxhounds. The name Petite Venerie does not mean that dogs of the breed are petite or small, but rather that it is used to hunt small game. The body of the Belgian Sheepdog is well muscled, with tight skin and a squarely proportioned body. The overall size of the head should be in proportion with the body.
The top of the skull is flattened rather than rounded. The muzzle is moderately pointed with a moderate stop. The lips should be tight. The dog's bite should be either even or scissors. The medium sized, almond-shaped eyes are brown. The erect ears are triangle in shape and in proportion to the head. The legs are parallel, straight and strong. The feathered tail is strong at the base with the tailbone reaching the hock. The dewclaws are usually removed. The feet are cat-like in shape. The weather-resistant coat is moderately long, with a ruff of fur around the neck and extra feathering on the legs, tail and underneath the body. The coat color is black, either solid or with a small amount of white on the chest, chin or toes.
He is alert, devoted, and protective. The Belgian Sheepdog, known as the Groenendael in Europe is the solid-colored variety of the four Belgian shepherd dogs. Elegant and graceful, he has a long black coat and an imposing appearance. He's athletic as well as beautiful and maintains the working ability for which he was originally known, making him an excellent choice for agility, herding, and obedience competitions. The Belgian Sheepdog combines the versatility of a working dog with the gentleness of a family companion.
He makes a wonderful family companion as long as he receives the exercise he needs. Loving and loyal, the Belgian Sheepdog will always protect "his" children, but it is important for parents to supervise play when neighboring children are around. They can get along well with other dogs and cats if they are brought up with them, although they may have issues with strange animals that come onto their property. They love to chase!
This versatile dog has many excellent characteristics, but he is probably not suited to a first-time dog owner. He is loving, loyal, and energetic, but can also be shy, sensitive, and strong-willed. When you put time and effort and energy into him, however, he is well worth all your work.
12. Caucasian Ovcharka The Caucasian Ovcharka - also known as the Caucasian Mountain Dog or Caucasian Shepherd Dog, is one of the largest rare dog breeds in the world, hailing from mountainous regions of Russia and neighboring transcontinental nations. Despite their cute and cuddly appearance, these massive mountain dogs are no teddy bears: fiercely territorial, they were historically used to hunt wolves and bears. Ovcharkas don't like strangers, and are most often kept as working guard dogs, though with proper socialization they can be loyal family dogs as well.
The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a harmonious built, large, strong dog with plenty of bone and powerful muscular system of a slight rectangular format. Sexual dimorphism is well pronounced. Males are masculine, with well developed withers and a bigger head in comparison with females. They are also more massive, bigger and often shorter in body than females. In dogs with longer coat variety males have a distinctly pronounced mane. Behaviour is steady, active, self-confident, fearless & independent. The Caucasian Shepherd Dog shows a devoted attachment to its master. It is an excellent guard dog.
13. Bucovina Shepherd Dog The Bucovina Shepherd - Caine Ciobanesc de Bucovina - is a large and strong rustic dog which was for many centuries the traditional partner and companion for Romanian shepherds in the Carpathian Mountains. The original purpose of this Mountain dog was to guard and protect the herds against predators - wild animals or thieves. Bucovina Shepherd Dogs have become appreciated by people living in cities, who keep them as watch dogs or just as pets, because of their balanced temperament and the kindliness they show to children. There are three types of Romanian shepherd dogs: Mioritic - old name Barac, Carpatin - old name Zavod and Bucovina Shepherd. In the FCI, this breed is known as the Southeastern European Shepherd.
The Bucovina Shepherd's head is massive, slightly elevated with respect to the back line. The Bucovina Shepherd dog was bred to protect sheep flocks and cattle herds. They are excellent watchdogs. This breed is balanced, calm, very devoted, and loves children. It does not trust strangers. An excellent watchdog for herds, dogs of this breed are courageous and very combative where potential predators are concerned. They do have a powerful bark. If strangers or animals come close to its territory, the fact is signaled by a deep penetrating bark. During the night, it patrols around the property or herds. An adult Bucovina Sheepdog needs plenty of space to run around with a large back yard.
14. Cumberland Sheepdog The Cumberland sheepdog is an extinct dog breed related to the border collie and other old working collie types. It is claimed to be one of the ancestors of the Australian shepherd and in the early part of the 20th century some Cumberland sheepdogs were being referred to as border collies and may have been absorbed into the latter breed. Cumberland sheepdogs were described in Dogs In Britain, A Description of All Native Breeds and Most Foreign Breeds in Britain by Clifford LB Hubbard, 1948. Hubbard described the breed as much like the Welsh sheepdog and old working collie types. It worked quietly, quickly and low-to-ground. The head was rather broad and flat, tapering to a medium-length muzzle. The ears fell over to the front or were semi-erect and rather small. The body was fairly long and extremely lithe, with light but muscular legs and a low-set tail carried at the trail. The coat was fairly heavy and quite dense. Cumberland sheepdogs were black with white blaze, chest, feet and tip of tail. Height was about 20 inches and weight ranged 40-50 pounds.
15. Catalan Sheepdog The Catalan sheepdog - Gos d'atura catala, Spanish: Pastor catalan, is a breed of Catalan pyrenean dog used as a sheepdog. This dog is bred in Europe, especially in Spain, Finland, Germany, and Sweden.
Catalan sheepdogs range in size from 45 to 55 cm in height and 45 to 60 lb (20 to 27 kg) in weight for males, with females being smaller. Their coat is long and either flat or slightly wavy, and ranges from fawn to dark sable and light to dark grey. There is also a short-haired variety of this breed, but it is nearly extinct. Height at withers: 47-55 cm and 20-25 kg for male dogs.
Long and limp and a little curled. Seen from afar the dog seems to be unicolour and may have lighter shadings at the limbs. When seen close up, it is noticeable that the colour comes from a mixture of hairs of different colour shades: fawn, brown more or less reddish, grey and black. This breed is used for herding and as a pet dog. Because of its intelligence, the Gos D'Atura, like most sheepdogs, is easy to train. This cheerful dog excels at dog-sports, such as agility and doggy-dance. In spite of its appearance, this courageous dog is also used as a watch-dog. An "all-around-dog" and great companion.
They guard sheep without needing instruction. Enough outdoor activity and distraction makes this dog a quiet and well-balanced home companion. This breed is appropriate for people with firm techniques and who can give the dog enough exercise. Early socialization is important, particularly if the dog will be around children. The dogs defend their family and become attached to it. The Gos d'Atura can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Catalan sheepdogs exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.
16. Himalayan Sheepdog The Himalayan Sheepdog, also referred to as the Bhote Kukur or Bhotia, is a livestock guardian dog that originated from Nepal. This mountain dog breed is closely similar to Indian Mastiff and the Tibetan Mastiff and may be related to the long-haired Kinnaur Sheepdog of Tibet. Naturally, Himalayan Sheepdogs enjoy outdoor lifestyles and are rarely seen beyond the regions of India and Nepal. As a powerful and robust breed, the Himalayan Sheepdog is mainly used for herding purposes. The Himalayan Sheepdog is regionally popular as both a loyal companion as well as a working dog. Four commemorative postage stamps were issued on 9th January 2005 by India Post for four breeds - i.e. Himalayan Sheep Dog, Rampur Hound, Mudhol Hound and Rajapalayam. Due to its active nature, this breed is not meant to keep indoors for a long period of time or in an apartment. The Himalayan Sheepdog is normally used as a herd dog or a watchdog and requires a great amount of outdoor exercise. This breed may require obedience training in order to domesticate them. Training this breed may be difficult due to its independent and stubborn nature. Trust and dominance should be enforced when training the Himalayan Sheepdog. To successfully train this breed, it is best to be stern when doing repetitive training exercises and to socialize them as puppies. Proper care of this breed includes daily exercise and training. Although this rustic breed may be inclined to be ferocious with strangers, they are loyal to their owners making them faithful companions. Aside from being alert and territorial, they are also affectionate and gentle to their owners, making them suitable family pets. It is advised that this breed should not be in the presence of other pets, as Himalayan Sheepdogs tend to show aggression and jealousy towards other animals.
17. Polish Tatra Sheepdog The Polish Tatra Sheepdog is a breed of dog introduced into the Tatra Mountains of Southern Poland by Vlachian (Romanian) shepherds. Tatras are primarily considered livestock guardian dogs. Their instinct, through hundreds of years of breeding, is to protect livestock, though they easily adopt a family as a flock. They are a good companion dog as well as a protection dog. They are not an attack dog, but rather move threats away through intimidation. They have a loud bark. They are not all that similar in temperament to their Mountain dog cousins the Kuvasz, Great Pyrenees or Maremma Sheepdog. They are less aloof than the other breeds, tending to be better tied into their breeding and not as domesticated or inbred as some of their cousins. In the USA the Tatra sheepdog is considered a rare breed. It is not recognized by the AKC. The Polish Tatra Sheepdog, which sometimes goes by the Owczarek Podhalanski and the Polish Mountain Sheepdog, originated in Podhale, in the Tatra Mountain area of Poland, hence the breed's name.
18. Welsh Sheepdog The Welsh Sheepdog - Welsh: Ci Defaid Cymreig, is a landrace of herding dog from Wales. It is sometimes known as the Welsh Collie. Like other types of working dog, Welsh Sheepdogs are normally bred for their herding abilities rather than appearance, and so they are generally somewhat variable in build, colour and size. Welsh Sheepdogs are of collie type, usually black-and-white, red-and-white or tricolour, and merle markings may occur over any of these combinations. The coat may be short or fairly long, and the ears are pricked, but usually folded at the tip. They are longer in leg, broader in chest and wider in muzzle than the Border Collie. They are extremely active and intelligent, and therefore need much exercise and mental stimulation, if they are to be kept as pets. Over many decades the Welsh Sheepdog has largely been replaced for working sheep in Wales by the Border Collie, a standardised breed. However, in more recent years, efforts have been made to maintain the indigenous Welsh Sheepdog as a distinct variety. Welsh Sheepdogs are usually of loose-eyed action, not fixing the stock with their gaze like the strong-eyed Border Collie. They are able to work independently without necessarily being under direct human control. Welsh Sheepdogs are most often used for herding sheep, but also readily work cattle, goats, and even horses and pigs. Traditionally they were often used as droving dogs to take cattle and sheep to markets locally or elsewhere in Britain. The Welsh Sheepdog's life span is 12-15 years. At one time there existed many sheep-herding dogs peculiar to Wales; during the 18th century Welsh drovers taking sheep for sale took with them five or six sheepdogs as "herders on the narrow roads, guards against highwaymen, and providers of game on the route". These were an early type of Welsh Sheepdog, higher on the leg and more racily built than the modern day breed. Welsh Sheepdogs can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, rally obedience, flyball, tracking, and herding events.
19. Shetland Sheepdog The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as the Sheltie, is a breed of herding dog. The original name of this breed was Shetland Collie, but this caused controversy among the Rough Collie breeders at the time, so the breed's name was formally changed to Shetland Sheepdog. This small dog is intelligent, vocal, excitable, energetic and willing to please and work hard. The breed was formally recognized by The Kennel Club in 1909. The Shetland Sheepdog's early history is not well known. Although of obscure origin, what is known is that the Sheltie is not a direct descendant of the Collie.
T The Sheltie is a descendant of small specimens of the Scottish Collie and the King Charles Spaniel. It was developed to tend the diminutive sheep of the Shetland Islands, whose rugged, stormy shores have produced other small-statured animals such as the Shetland pony. Today it is raised as a farm dog and family pet. They were originally a small mixed-breed dog, often only about 8 - 12 inches in height at the shoulder, and it is thought that the original Shetland herding dogs were of the Spitz type, and were crossed with Collies from mainland Britain.
In the early 20th century, James Loggie added a small Rough Collie to the breeding stock, and helped establish what would become the modern Shetland sheepdog. Unlike many miniature breeds that resemble their larger counterparts, this breed was not developed simply by selectively breeding the Rough Collie for smaller and smaller size. The original sheepdog of Shetland was a Spitz-type dog, probably similar to the modern Icelandic Sheepdog. The general appearance of the Sheltie is that of a miniature Rough Collie. Shelties have a high level of intelligence.
20. Greek Sheepdog The Greek Sheepdog is a medium to large size dog, with a solid body and great physical strength that is capable of escorting the flock and also fight with the enemy while maintaining its physical superiority. Its head is massive with its muzzle-skull. The Greek Sheepdog belongs to the Greece, sometimes referred as Greek Shepherd and Hellenikos Poimenikos. In the first look, the Hellenikos Poimenikos dog is looking like Saint Bernard or Great Pyrenees. A Greek Shepherd might not be suitable for first-time dog owners. As all livestock guardian dogs, they tend to be independent thinkers. They are considered brave, decisive, loyal, working dogs with a high sense of duty and strong protective instinct towards flock animals and their environment. Hellenikos Poimenikos is a big fluffy dog breed with a peaceful expression. The strong built and willful, the flock guardian, the Greek Sheepdog is fit for ordinary dog owners. Many centuries ago the sheepdogs brought by the migrated persons, traversed from Turkey to Foothills, located in Greece, it is knows as an area with abundance population of sheep. The strong built and willful, the flock guardian, the Greek Sheepdog is fit for ordinary dog owners. The arrogant and meticulous is a sheep and goat guard by nature, but it should never be confined under hard directions. It likes to work in pairs, with preference to move on the sides, it can guard the flock against beast predators and wolves.
21. Karmala Sheepdog Karmala Kelpies are bred from old bloodlines concentrating on clever mustering dogs. Emphasis is put on a friendly, calm temperament, natural working ability and sufficient strength. The dogs are of good type, fed a raw diet for future soundness, and bred carefully to avoid known health problems as much as possible. The stud has been based in Queensland for over fourteen years.
22. Australian Keplie Sheepdog The Australian Kelpie, or simply Kelpie, is an Australian sheep dog successful at mustering and droving with little or no guidance. It is a medium-sized dog and comes in a variety of colours. The Kelpie has been exported throughout the world and is used to muster livestock, primarily sheep, cattle and goats.
The breed has been separated into two distinct varieties: the Show or Bench Kelpie and the Working Kelpie. The Show Kelpie is seen at conformation dog shows in some countries and is selected for appearance rather than working instinct, while the Working Kelpie is bred for working ability rather than appearance. The Kelpie is a soft-coated, medium-sized dog, generally with prick ears and an athletic appearance. The ancestors of the Kelpie were simply black dogs, called Colleys or Collies.
The word collie has the same root as coal and collier - a ship. Show Kelpies generally excel in agility trials and may be shown in conformation in Australia. Kelpies are great with kids, easy to train but have lots of energy and can be too much for some people.
23. Portogueso Sheepdog This medium sized sheepdog used in the Alentejo region for herding and watching different kinds of livestock - sheep, cattle, horses, goats and pigs. An austere and rustic dog perfectly adapted to the area's temperature changes and with great endurance for covering long distances herding livestock. Exceptionally intelligent and very lively. Very devoted to the shepherd and the herd, it can be somewhat wary of strangers and vigilant at night. Nowadays it is also an excellent companion, sporting and guard dog. It is known for its skilful ability to keep livestock in the pastures and also for searching stray animals. It is always vigilant and successfully alerts for the proximity of predators. The breed is extremely devoted to its work and its shepherd. The work is conducted with joy and pleasure.
24. Bergamasco Shepherd The Bergamasco is a breed of dog with its origins in the Italian Alps near Bergamo, where it was originally used as a herding dog. The Bergamasco is a muscular, heavy-boned herding dog with a large head and a thick tail that hangs down to the hock and curves slightly upward at the end. The entire dog is covered with an abundant coat that forms mats. The Bergamasco is compact in profile but is just slightly longer than tall.
The Bergamasco's characteristic feature is its unique coat, made up of three types of hair. The coat forms flocks - strands of hair weaved together creating flat layers of felted hair, or loose mats, which cover the dog's body and legs, and protect the dog from weather and predators.
The hair on the head is typically long and hangs over the eyes. The friendly and energetic Bergamasco has an individual coat that is made up of wool, dog and goat-like hair which combine to form a thick coat that will keep this dog warm year-round.
25. Belgian Malinois Sheepdog The Belgian Malinois is one of four varieties of Belgian Sheepdogs, which were developed in Belgium in the late 1800s. Canines of the Belgian Malinois dog breed were originally bred to be herding dogs. Today, they also work as police dogs, protection dogs, and family companions. In the hands of an experienced dog person, they are intense, intelligent and athletic companions. The Belgian Malinois - pronounced MAL-in-wah, is a medium-size Belgian shepherd dog that at first glance resembles a German Shepherd Dog. Malinois are shorthaired, fawn-colored dogs with a black mask. They are one of four types of Belgian herding dogs, and have been shown in the U.S. as a separate breed since 1959. Originally developed in Malines, Belgium, Malinois have a great deal of stamina and truly enjoy working. They are intelligent and very active dogs that excel at many tasks. In addition to herding, they also do well with police work, search and rescue, and in performance events, such as agility. People who are not familiar with the Malinois often confuse him with the German Shepherd Dog (GSD), but there are significant differences in the body structure and temperament of the two breeds. Malinois are smaller dogs with lighter bones. They stand with their weight well on their toes, which gives them a square body profile, while today's GSD has a long, sloping back and carries his weight flatter on his feet. Many think that the Malinois is more alert and quicker to respond than the GSD. They're also very sensitive dogs that don't respond well to harsh training methods. Malinois are quick learners and eager to do whatever their people ask of them. They excel are obedience, tracking, agility, flyball, herding, showing, Schutzhund and other protection sports, search and rescue, and police work.
26. Sarplaninac Shepdoog The Sarplaninac or Sarplaninac or Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog or Illyrian Shepherd Dog is a dog breed of the livestock guardian type named after the Sar Mountains in the border area between Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania. It is a molosser-type mountain dog. The origin of the breed is uncertain, it may have come from Asia in the prehistoric era. Known in Albanian as Qeni i Sharri. Šarplaninac is probably developed from Tibetian shepherd dogs that were brought to the Balkans from Asia. Their descendants have been known as flock guardians in the Sar Mountains area, an mountainous area in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia, since more than 2000 years ago. The Sarplaninac is a large, strongly built dog. The body is slightly longer than the height at the withers, and the front legs account for approximately 55% of the height. The head is large but proportional to the body, with dark eyes. The Sarplaninac is one of the few flock guards that come in solid colors other than white. The body is medium in size and bone. The feathering on the underbelly and legs and the bushy tail, however, give the appearance of a much huskier dog. The tip of the nose is quite large, but not protruding. The tail is slightly curved in repose. The forearm is well-boned, well-muscled and almost vertical. The eyes are dark and almond-shaped. A keen, discriminating expression is characteristic.
The Sar is a flock-guard dog that needs to be working. This sheep-herding guard dog is unaffectionate toward its humans. It prefers the flock it so enthusiastically protects. It has natural guarding qualities and independent thinking typical of the flock guard group. Usually calm, but when the situation warrants, it is ferocious in its efforts to protect the flock. It takes its work seriously. When on sheep-guarding duty it will investigate anything that catches its eye, and has no hesitation about confronting adversaries larger than itself. This is not a brainless tail-wagger; the Sarplaninac is a very wise dog that chooses friends carefully and trusts no one completely. He is more obedient to his ingrained code of proper behavior than to accept commands from one master, to whom he is most loyal. These dogs are very devoted to their flocks.
27. Great Pyrenees Sheepdog The Great Pyrenees is a very old breed that has been used for hundreds of years by shepherds, including those of the Basque people, who inhabit parts of the region in and around the Pyrenees Mountains of southern France and northern Spain - specifically Aragon and Navarre - The Pyrenean Mountain Dog, known as the Great Pyrenees in North America, is a large breed of dog used as a livestock guardian dog. It should not be confused with the Pyrenean Mastiff. As late as 1874 the breed was not completely standardized in appearance, with two major sub-types recorded, the Western and the Eastern.
They are related to several other large white European livestock guardian dogs (LGD), including the Italian Maremma Sheepdog, Kuvasz, Akbash Dog and Polish Tatra or Polski Owczarek Podhalanski, and somewhat less closely to the Newfoundland and St. Bernard. According to the Great Pyrenees Club of America, the Great Pyrenees is naturally nocturnal and aggressive with any predators that may harm its flock.However, the breed can typically be trusted with small, young, and helpless animals of any kind due to its natural guardian instinct.
The Great Pyrenees dog breed's goal in life is to protect sheep, goats, livestock, people, children, grass, flowers, the moon, the lawn furniture, bird feeders, and any real or imaginary predators that may intrude on your personal space. Oh yeah, and to give, give, and give unconditional love. Anyone who has seen this stunning white dog becomes enamored. He has a strong build, a beautiful, thick coat, and he exudes elegance and majesty. One look and you can see the intelligence and steady temperament that many seek in a good family dog.
28. Romanian Mioritic Sheepdog An old romanian dog breed name is Barac. The Mioritic Sheepdog has a massive body that is fully covered with abundant long and fluffy, light colored hair. The head is massive; the skull is broad, slightly arched; the stop is not clearly marked, the muzzle is strong, tapering gradually on to the nose. The Mioritic Sheepdog is vivid and balanced - alert and vigilant, disciplined and very attached to its owner, but suspicious with strangers. Fearless and very courageous, he is the perfect protector of his owner and the herds. He is a vigilant, courageous and dominant dog, though he obeys his owner with calm and discipline. An incorruptible guard and a wonderful pet. A very goodflock guard, very brave and an efficient fighter against possible attackers - bear, wolf, lynx. When raised as a working livestock guardian it will not be trustworthy with unknown people. It loves children very much.The Mioritic Sheepdog has a massive body that is fully covered with abundant long and fluffy, light colored hair.
29. Schapendoes This "Dutch sheep poodle" loves to play and gets along well with kids. It is friendliness personified. Often described as cheerful, funny, clever and brave, this shaggy Dutch herding dog also has an astounding ability to jump. Although he sports a thick double coat, it sheds very little and isn't difficult to groom. The Schapendoes can be a good companion for an active person or family. The sturdy Schapendoes got his start as a Dutch farm dog, and he retains the traits of intelligence, ability to work on his own and cooperation that made him a good helper for farmers.
Today he is more likely to be a family dog, having an adaptable nature that can make him a good choice for those willing to devote the time needed to train him and provide him with daily exercise. A Schapendoes can be any color or combination of colors, but the preferred coat for the show ring is blue-gray to black. The long, well-feathered tail, carried high with a characteristic swing from side to side, is a notable feature of the breed. Typically, when the Schapendoes is at rest, the tail hangs low, and when the dog gallops, the tail flies straight out behind him.
30. Slovensky Cuvac The Slovak Cuvac is a Slovak breed of dog, bred for use as a livestock guard dog. This mountain dog also known as Slovensky Cuvac, Slovak Chuvach, Tatransky Cuvac and Slovensky Kuvac is closely related to the Hungarian Kuvasz. The alternate German and English spelling Tchouvatch reflects the pronunciation: chew-votch. The breed is recognised under sponsorship from Slovakia by the FCI with the name Slovensky cuvac. Despite the multiple renderings in English, these refer to only one breed. The United Kennel Club in the US uses the English version of the name Slovak Cuvac.
They don't like strangers. They only like you. And they look like harp seal cubs. The Slovensky Cuvac is a mountain dog breed bred as a livestock guard dog. They have always been bred in white to distinguish them from the beasts of the night. Living mostly in the Slovak mountains, holiday visitors took to the dogs and started bringing them to the lowlands. Cuvacs are ultra loyal and very brave. It can resist predators like bears or wolves. This breed is very affectionate to its family and intensely protective.
31. Australian Cattle Sheepdog The other dog breed names include: Australian Heeler, Blue Heeler, Queensland Heeler, or Halls Heeler. Officially, however, he's the Australian Cattle Dog - the "heeler" moniker comes from the fact that the dogs were bred to herd cattle by nipping at their heels. The Australian Cattle Dog is an extremely intelligent, active, and sturdy dog breed. Developed by Australian settlers to handle herds of cattle on expansive ranches, he is still used today as a herding dog. He thrives on having a job to do and on being part of all family activities. He is loyal and protective of his family, though wary of outsiders.
Besides herding work, the Australian Cattle dog does well at canine sports, including agility, obedience, rally, flyball, and flying disc competitions. The Australian Cattle Dog is a high-energy working dog. The Australian Cattle Dog was bred by 19th-century Australian settlers to herd cattle on large ranches. This breed was instrumental in helping ranchers expand the Australian beef industry by quietly but aggressively herding the sometimes uncontrollable, almost wild cattle with nips and bites. Today's Australian Cattle Dog is the result of many breedings and cross-breedings. The Australian Cattle Dog is also highly devoted to his owner and family.
Because the Australian Cattle Dog was bred to herd, and herd with force, by biting, he is a mouthy dog. Another part of the breed's instinct is his strong prey drive. The Australian Cattle Dog is generally friendly, but he is protective of his family and home turf, and he tends to be wary of strangers. There is a toughness about the Australian Cattle Dog - he had to be tough to handle the high temperatures, rough terrain, and long distances involved in his job on ranches — that makes him both highly tolerant of pain and intensely focused.
The Australian Cattle Dog is an extremely active dog who needs constant mental and physical activity. If he's bored or lonely, he can be destructive. He's apt to chew and tear up items he should not. If you choose to live with an Australian Cattle Dog, be prepared to keep him busy - and tired. If he's tired, he is less likely to get himself into trouble.
32. Australian Shepherd Sheepdog Animated, adaptable, and agile, the Australian Shepherd lives for his job, which still involves herding livestock and working as an all-purpose farm and ranch dog. He needs a lot of activity and a sense of purpose to be truly content. This breed scores high on agility and intelligence. Since they love pleasing owners, they are perfect for herding your sheep as well as for your family and children. They are also undoubtedly the smartest breeds around. Today, due to the breed's intelligence and versatility, "Aussies" also excel in AKC events such as agility, obedience, and herding. Their coats can be black, blue merle, red merle, and red with or without white markings. There are many theories about the origin of the Australian Shepherd. Despite its misleading name, the breed as we know it today probably developed in the Pyrenees Mountains somewhere between Spain and France. It was called the Australian Shepherd because of its association with Basque shepherds who came to America from Australia in the 1800s. The Australian Shepherd was initially called by many names, including Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob-Tail, New Mexican Shepherd, and California Shepherd. An energetic breed with strong herding and guarding instincts, the Aussie requires daily vigorous exercise. Although sometimes reserved with strangers, they are "people" dogs that want to always be near their families. Their thick coats require weekly brushing.
33. Samoyed Samoyeds, the smiling sledge dogs, were bred for hard work in the world's coldest locales. In the Siberian town of Oymyakon, for instance, temperatures of minus-60 degrees are common. The Sammy's famous white coat is thick enough to protect against such brutal conditions. Powerful, agile, tireless, impervious to cold Sammies are drop-dead gorgeous but highly functional. Even their most delightful feature, a perpetual smile, has a practical function: The mouth's upturned corners keep Sammies from drooling, preventing icicles from forming on the face.
The Samoyed, being essentially a working dog, should present a picture of beauty, alertness and strength, with agility, dignity and grace. As his work lies in cold climates, his coat should be heavy and weather-resistant, well groomed, and of good quality rather than quantity. Males should be masculine in appearance and deportment without unwarranted aggressiveness - bitches should be feminine without weakness of structure or apparent softness of temperament. Bitches may be slightly longer in back than males. They should both give the appearance of being capable of great endurance but be free from coarseness. Because of the depth of chest required, the legs should be moderately long. General appearance should include movement and general conformation, indicating balance and good substance.
34. Magellan Sheep Dog The Magellan sheep dog - Ovejero magallanico, is a breed of dog originated in Chile. It was developed to work in sheep activity of the Magallanes y la Antartica Chilena Region in southern end of Chile. Currently, the Kennel Club of Chile KCC works with the object that the breed be internationally recognized. The story of the Ovejero magallanico data from the late 19th century, when reached to the area groups of people linked to the management of sheep needed of the help and support of specialists dogs. With the passing of the years, these imported dogs, which were probably not of a same type, were crossed with a criterion purely utilitarian, i.e. were selected specimens capable to develop work of grazing, resistant to harsh climatic conditions of the Chilean Patagonia. An inborn instinct for herding sheep, intelligence, submissive and faithful character, and above all foolproof a resistance to extreme cold, snow and long distances to travel, are part of the peculiarities of Ovejero magallánico. Among other things, it is one of the few sheepdogs in the world to keep up with carriers on horseback, by more than 30 km. daily, and caring pines of five thousand sheep only between five companions. In the middle of the southern tundra, used to eating every three days and almost no drinking water while working, for never detach of the flock, which does not happen with other breeds introduced in recent years, as the Scottish Border Collie, or the Australian Kelpie. Of medium height, about 50 centimeters in height, long hair, square muzzle, and pointed ears, a thick fur able to repel the snow.
35. Scottish Deerhound Should be broadest at the ears, narrowing slightly to the eyes, with the muzzle tapering more decidedly to the nose.The head should be long, the skull flat rather than round with a very slight rise over the eyes but nothing approaching a stop. Ears: Should be set on high. In repose, folded back like a Greyhound's, though raised above the head in excitement without losing the fold, and even in some cases semi-erect. A prick ear is bad. Big thick ears hanging flat to the head or heavily coated with long hair are bad faults. The ears should be soft, glossy, like a mouse's coat to the touch and the smaller the better. There should be no long coat or long fringe, but there is sometimes a silky, silvery coat on the body of the ear and the tip. On all Deerhounds, irrespective of color of coat, the ears should be black or dark colored. Eyes: Should be dark-generally dark brown, brown or hazel. A very light eye is not liked. The eye should be moderately full, with a soft look in repose, but a keen, far away look when the Deerhound is roused. Rims of eyelids should be black.
36. Kuchi Afghan Sheepdog The Kuchi or Afghan Shepherd dog is an Afghan livestock guardian dog, taking its name from the Kuchi people of Afghanistan. It is a working dog following the nomads, protecting caravans and flocks of sheep, goats, camels and other livestock from wolves, big cats and thieves. It is sometimes known as just a local variant of the Central Asian Shepherd Dog and its status as a distinct breed is disputable. Sage Kuchi or Sage Jangi is the standard Persian name, and the Pashto name is De Kochyano Spai or Jangi Spai, meaning "Dog of the nomads" and "Fighter Dog". It is found around the central and northern parts of Afghanistan and the surrounding regions in Central Asia. This Mountain dog shares similar genetic background to the Central Asian Ovtcharka. Because the dog is intricately associated with nomad life in remote and rugged regions where Western breeding techniques are not used, it is difficult to identify a "true" Kuchi type of dog. Warfare and general unrest in the region has also affected the Kuchi people, of whom many have settled around cities creating ample opportunity for the Kuchi to interbreed with other dogs. There is no organizing body for dogs in Afghanistan and some Kuchi dogs have been exported to Europe. The Kuchi dog breed possesses a very rich gene pool, and the dogs adapt well to varying environments. It also means that gene expression can vary greatly from one individual to another. For that reason, it is often difficult for an unaccustomed observer to determine what makes a particular dog a true Kuchi dog, or what type of a Kuchi dog it is. Throughout history, the Kuchi people needed their dogs to be extremely vigilant in guarding their livestock and belongings. They trusted their dogs to safeguard their camps and caravans on their seasonal journeys. They also needed their dogs to be extremely tough, not only in the face of danger, but also for braving the rough environmental conditions that required incredible ability to adapt.
37. Croatian Sheepdog The Croatian Sheepdog is a dog breed from Croatia. The Croatian sheepdog is a weatherproof, adaptable breed. They are of low to medium height and the base color is always black, although there may be very small patches of white on its chest and/or toes. A characteristic is the short hairs on its somewhat fox-like head and legs. The remainder of the coat is longer and wavy or curly. The height at the withers in both sexes is between 16 and 21 inches and the length exceeds the height by approximately 10%. Nowadays, some dogs are even taller; that is probably due to better nutrition and an easier life - they grow to their full genetic potential. Traditionally the tail is docked very short but, if undocked, it is carried curled over the dog's back. The Croatian Sheepdog is an alert, agile, keen and intelligent dog with enormous energy and with a strong need for human companionship. It is healthy, resistant to disease and not expensive to keep. It possesses a well-developed herding instinct and is an excellent watchdog. It's a caring and modest shepherd's dog, very loyal to their master. The breed also possesses an hereditary predisposition for working cattle. Some farmers affirm that their Croatian Sheepdog knows and will single out every head of cattle by hearing its name. In the past, the dog was often used to drive herds of pigs to oak woods in autumn, and, in one old document, it states that this versatile breed even herded the horses from Dakovo's stables. It is both a driving and a gathering dog.
38. Border Collie Here is The Smartest Sheepdog in the World - Border Collie! Border Collies are athletic, medium-sized herders standing 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder. The Border Collie is a working and herding dog breed developed in the Anglo-Scottish border region for herding livestock, especially sheep. It was specifically bred for intelligence and obedience. The Border Collie's ancestors have been around since humans in what is now Britain first began using dogs to help guard and herd sheep. In the border country between Scotland and England, the herding dog became one of the most valuable assets a shepherd could have, and the best working dogs were bred with each other. The Border Collie dog breed was developed to gather and control sheep in the hilly border country between Scotland and England. He is known for his intense stare, or "eye," with which he controls his flock. He is a dog with unlimited energy, stamina, and working drive, all of which make him a premier herding dog - he is still used today to herd sheep on farms and ranches around the world. The highly trainable and intelligent Border Collie also excels in various canine sports, including obedience, flyball, agility, tracking, and flying disc competitions. The Border Collie is a herding dog, which means he has an overwhelming urge to gather a flock. The Border Collie is a dynamo. His personality is characteristically alert, energetic, hardworking, and smart. He learns quickly - so quickly that it's sometimes difficult to keep him challenged. The Border Collie is also renowned for being highly sensitive to his handler's every cue, from a whistle to a hand signal to a raised eyebrow. Of course, the Border Collie isn't perfect. He can be strong-minded and independent, and his compulsion to herd can become misdirected. In the absence of sheep, or some kind of job, he is apt to gather and chase children, cars, or pets. He can also become fearful or shy if he isn't properly socialized as a puppy.
Herding breed dogs could be your best companion, your efficient farmhand, a friend for the family and a lot other things. Most of these breeds share the common characteristic features of being energetic, friendly and intelligent. However, every breed differs from the other in several ways. Size, weight and even temperament are very much breed specific. It is, therefore, essential to understand and be aware of the characteristics shared by the 5 best dog breeds for sheep herding before you adopt them into the family.
Why Do I Need an LGD? You may decide that you want a livestock guardian dog if you live on a large amount of acreage. They are great for protecting a large variety of livestock. So if you raise goats, sheep, cattle, or even chickens, an LGD will protect them for you. They are also a great benefit because they stay with your livestock 24 hours a day. Therefore, your livestock can stay out in the field overnight and not have to worry about begin threatened. Plus, these dogs are self-thinkers which means they evaluate the situation themselves to know whether a threat is upon them. You don't have to be there to tell them to attack. They are also great at protecting your livestock from almost any predator whether they come by air or on the ground. However, as aggressive as they are towards predators, most breeds are known to be very gentle with small livestock and newborn livestock. But as many great things as there are to say about LGDs, there are still a few things you should take into consideration before getting one.
With their independence comes challenges.
First, they need good fencing. These dogs were bred by nomadic farmers. Therefore, it is engrained in them to watch large areas of land. Even if you have a great fence, they may feel like their territory is beyond that fence. If so - don't be surprised if they try to burrow or slide through the fencing.
Second, these dogs are independent thinkers. This means they must be trained and socialized thoroughly or you will have a stubborn and out of control dog on your hands. Even with training, they still sometimes ignore commands because of a threat they feel is imminent. However, if they are on a smaller piece of land with neighbors, this could lead to trouble.
Third, these dogs bark a lot. It is their job. So if you live in close proximity to other people, they may not appreciate that fact about them very much. However, it should be mentioned that these dogs determine themselves who or what is a threat. Which means, if you live near people that they may not be familiar with they could potentially show signs of aggression towards them when mistaking them as a threat.
Finally, these dogs are extremely valuable. They could literally be the difference between you losing livestock or not. And don't think for a second that the people that breed them don't know that. So that means that they come with a high price tag. I urge you to strongly consider the pros and cons to these dogs before investing in one. As valuable as they are, if you don't put them in the right setting and give them the proper training and attention it could be a bad situation.
1. Border Collie Well.. its the smartest dog in the world, by Guinness book record. Probably that explains at least partially their will to help human to guard sheep livestock. And they are very good at this mission. They are THE BEST.
2. Kangal Kangals have only recently been added to the list of top LGDs, but don't let that deter you. They are not particularly great for herding animals though they are still a good selection for simply guarding your livestock. Plus, these dogs are supposed to be great with children and other pets. They are known for their loyalty and how gentle they are. They are also very agile dogs and quite speedy too, which is great because when they need to sprint after a predator they are capable of doing so.
3. Komonder Komanders are fighters. They are not afraid of predators and will fight to protect livestock. Though they will fight, these dogs have a keen sense about them. So they won't fight until absolutely necessary. However, they have a lot of special character traits that should really be considered prior to deciding to bring them onto your homestead. First, these dogs bark a lot and are very loud. Second, they are considered overprotective. Which leads us to number three, because these dogs can be over protective, they would be at risk of attacking a stranger. So you will definitely want to keep these things in mind.
4. Great Pyrenees When I think of an LGD, my mind immediately goes to the Great Pyrenees. They have been used as LGDs for centuries. Though these dogs can be very aggressive towards predators, they are still considered trustworthy. So this means that the breed has proven to still be gentle with younger livestock, smaller livestock, and even the helpless livestock. Plus, these dogs have a nocturnal sleeping pattern which means they will interact with your livestock all night so you can leave them out to pasture.
5. Kuvasz The Kuvasz is a very intelligent dog, but they are actually better known for their sense of humor. They are just extremely funny dogs that do funny things. Who says you can't have an LGD with a great personality? Though they are class clowns, these dogs also are very loyal, they act with instruction, are very noisy yet independent dogs, and they are also great at evaluating their own surroundings. This is great because even when you aren't around and if these dogs notice there is something changing in their surroundings, they know to be proactive for the sake of the livestock.
6. Anatolian Shepherd These dogs are known for their keen sense of sight and hearing. They are very agile dogs and can be speedy if they need to get to a predator quickly. Anatolian Shepherds are also what you would consider an independent dog which sometimes leads to them being stubborn. This means that their way of thinking might overrule your commands at times. However, the upside to that is they don't need human instruction in order to protect the livestock. And because they are so intelligent it makes them a much easier breed to train. So their personality traits are definitely something you will want to weigh out before you invest.
8. Tibetan Mastiff Do you live in a place with a lot of heat? What about a lot of cold? Well, if so then a Tibetan Mastiff might be a good breed for your homestead. They are known to be very hearty dogs that withstand harsh environmental elements well. They are also another breed that has nocturnal habits which means you can leave your livestock out to pasture at night with them. Plus, these dogs will also take on any size predator. So you need not fear if you have predators of the sky, coyotes, or even a bear. However, these dogs are another breed that are known for their stubbornness. This means they will need a lot of training to overcome this.
9. Pyrenean Mastiff This is a very loyal breed. They are known for how good they are with livestock, pets, and people that they are familiar with. This breed will literally lay down its life to protect you. But this also means that this dog will need extensive training because it is what I consider a "pack" breed. If you are in its pack, then you are good. If not, then you are in trouble. So it might bulldoze a passive owner if not trained properly in instances when for safety the dog needs to obey. And these dogs must be socialized so they know how to handle strangers. However, this dog doesn't need regular exercise which is an added bonus. They could make great LGDs and even a farm companion if the effort is put into their training.
10. Akbash If you have a lot of visitors around your homestead, then this breed might be one that you'd want to consider. I say this because unlike some other breeds mentioned, this breed only becomes hostile when challenged - if trained properly. Plus, they are also great with small livestock including baby livestock. They also can detect unusual changes and sounds in their environment in order to be proactive with predators when guarding their livestock.
11. Polish Tatra Sheepdog These dogs are great for working with sheep. Herding and guarding them is kind of their specialty. Yet, because of their loyal and protective personality, they are great for keeping as personal protection too. And if you the thought of having a big, drooling dog doesn't sound appealing to you then you will love this breed because they don't drool. However, these dogs are very active and very intelligent. They are very loud barkers, but with proper training won't attack unless absolutely necessary. So they have a lot of very positive qualities that could fit in with some homesteads.
12. Maremma Sheepdog Well, it simply loves the sheeps! : )
There is one more unofficial dog breed group, which only partially acknowledged at this moment, by dog related worldwide organisations.
This breed is called "FARM DOGS" and consists of the following breeds:
Altdeutsche HEUtehunde (Tiger, Gelbbacke, Harzer Fuchs, Kuhhund, Schafpudel, Schwarzer, Strobel) Australian Cattle Dog Australian Kelpie Australian Shepherd Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog Basque Shepherd Dog Bearded Collie Beauceron Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael, Laekenois, Tervueren, and Malinois) Russian Sheepdog & Samoyed Bergamasco Sheepdog Berger Picard Berger Blanc Suisse Black Mouth Cur Blue Lacy Border Collie Bouvier des Flandres Briard Carea LeonEs Catahoula Leopard Dog Catalan Sheepdog Chien de Crau Collie breeds (see specific breed) Croatian Sheepdog Cur (Blackmouth Cur, etc.) Dutch Shepherd English Shepherd Farm Collie/Farm Shepherd German Shepherd Dog Hairy Mouth Heeler (Also known as Wire Mouth Heeler) Huntaway Icelandic Sheepdog King Shepherd Kerry Blue Terrier Koolie, German Coolie or Australian Koolie Lancashire Heeler Lapponian Herder McNab Miniature Australian Shepherd Mudi Norwegian Buhund New Zealand Huntaway Old English Sheepdog Picardy Shepherd Polish Lowland Sheepdog Portuguese Sheepdog Puli Pumi (dog) Pyrenean Shepherd Reindeer Herder Rottweiler Rough Collie Savoy Shepherd Schapendoes Schipperke Scotch Collie Shetland Sheepdog Smithfield Smooth Collie Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Spanish Water Dog Swedish Vallhund Tibetan Terrier Welsh Corgis Sheep Dog Breeds: Cardigan Welsh Corgi,Pembroke Welsh Corgi,Welsh Sheepdog White Swiss Shepherd
For the last 12,000 years, people have relied on dogs to help them get their work done. One of the first jobs dogs were used for was tending sheep, cattle, goats and other livestock. Today's sheepdogs, including collies, shelties, shepherds and Old English sheepdogs, were all bred to herd animals. Sheepdogs are used by those responsible for flocks of sheep because they offer the safest and most efficient means of carefully moving sheep from one location to another. The sheep are not afraid of a well trained sheepdog - the fact that they sometimes stop to eat grass does show a lack of concern, but the handler would much rather they get to the finish and eat grass there. Old English sheepdogs were popular with rich Americans in the late 1800s. Some of America's wealthiest families, such as the Vanderbilts and the Morgans, kept and showed these dogs.
Throughout history, farmers and ranchers have bred their dogs to be competent farming and hunting companions. Rather than purchasing an expensive purebred dog, your neighbors may be able to supply a good "farm dog" descended from many generations of general-purpose dogs. On small-scale, diversified homesteads, a general purpose breed such as an English Shepherd is a good choice. These general purpose dogs can bring in the goats, kill a groundhog and keep the rooster under control. They can pick all that up without a lot of explicit instruction. They are focused on their people and their tasks. German shepherds were originally bred as sheep dogs. Shelties were developed on Shetland, a tiny island off the coast of Scotland. Everything on this island is small – the sheep, the horses and even the dogs. If you have been around sheep dogs, you know that they like to herd things.
They might even nudge you or try to herd you! They are usually easy to train and obedient to their owners. They make good watchdogs too and they will let you know if someone's at the door. The skill of a shepherd or sheepdog handler is to move the sheep as steadily as possible so as to cause no distress. Herding livestock is one of the oldest jobs for dogs. There are many breeds of herding dogs as well as many styles of herding. For example, the Border Collie commonly when herding sheep, uses what is called "the eye" to work - a glare which asserts their dominance over the sheep, others are well known for their ability to dart in and nip the heels of cattle. Border collies are the most intelligent dog species in the world. Stockdogs are used on many farms and ranches and mostly to work with cattle and sheep.
Today, herding dogs are also seen competing in Herding Trials all over the world. Quite often the people participating in this sport are not involved in the livestock industry but have an interest in working with their dogs to help preserve the instincts and abilities of the herding breeds. If the sheep become upset they are inclined to run in every direction, and possibly become lost in open country.
Therefore, the sheepdog often lies down and approaches the sheep slowly, and only follows when they are moving happily in the right direction. Sheepdog trialling is all about demonstrating that handler and dog can achieve this tricky task. Points are gained for the sheep moving under control, in straight lines and with the minimum of excitement. The skill is in the handler and dog working together as a team, often almost instinctively. Sheepdog trials are carefully managed to ensure both the welfare of the sheep and the dogs.
The sheep must be healthy and fully able to undertake the walk around the trial field. When they have finished, after 20 minutes or so, they will be led into a quiet meadow to be with the rest of the flock and continue their normal life - they only do the course once. The sheepdogs love what they do. The concentration and obedience they show is a testament to how much they enjoy working with their owner. On a working farm they might be out for six hours with the shepherd, but on a trial field they get only 20 minutes to show how good they are.
All trials are supervised by a Course Directorand the Judges who will ensure that the sheep are healthy and happy, and that the dog is in good health and perfectly behaved. Although very rare an occurrence, the Judges will stop the handler and dog, and send them off the field if any animal looks upset or shows any aggression. It is the responsibility of the Society and its members to uphold the highest standards of animal care at all times.
...not much is heard of this breed nowadays although it has been in the north of England for a very considerable time. From the Peak district to the Cheviots, particularly on the eastern side, the Cumberland Sheepdog has been known as a fine working breed. The late Lord Lonsdale was a great admirer of the breed and owned many in his time. Cumberland Sheepdogs had been in his family for more than a hundred years, and it is certain that no man did as much as he for the breed. He had tried hard to save it from extinction, but in 1899 had to outcross with the German Shepherd Dog - this rescued the race for the time being but a few years ago Lord Lonsdale had disbanded his kennel and given his Cumberlands to farmer friends around Lowther. Cumberland farmers have entered this breed in Sheepdog Trials for at least 65 years, indeed, many of the so-called Border Collies which have won awards have really been Cumberland Sheepdogs.
In general the breed is much like the Welsh Sheepdog and old working Collie types, and works quietly, quickly and low-to-ground. The head is rather broad and flat, tapering to a muzzle of medium length, with ears falling over to the front or semi-erect and rather small. The body is fairly long and extremely lithe, with light though muscular legs and a low-set tail carried at the trail.
The coat is fairly heavy and quite dense, and coloured black with white blaze, chest, feet and tip of tail. In height it is about 20 inches, and its weight ranges from 40-50 pounds. At around 15 inches, these were taller than the modern Shetland Sheepdog and had a less fluffy coat. The modern Shetland Sheepdog in the UK is 14 - 14.5 inches for show dogs, with many pets being no more than 12 inches. The fluffier coat on the modern pet/show Shetland Sheepdogs demonstrates the divergence of working lines and pet/show lines. The ideal heights of Shetland Sheepdogs has long been a matter of debate. The Scottish Shetland Collie Club (1909) called for 12 inches and this was interpreted as the maximum height. Those shown at Crufts in 1911 were 10-12 inches.
Between 1913 and 1914, the Scottish and English Shetland Collie Clubs both set the ideal height as 12 inches. By 1923, 12 - 15 inches was permitted. In the USA today, 13 - 16 inches is permitted for exhibition quality Shetland Sheepdogs, but in the UK the ideal heights are 14 inches (female) and 14.5 inches (male) and no more than an inch over or under these sizes. A sheep dog or sheepdog is generally a dog or breed of dogs historically used in connection with the raising of sheep. These may include livestock guardian or pastoral dogs used to guard sheep and other livestock in farms for farmers, and herding dog, a dog used to herd sheep and other livestock. Sheepdogs or Sheep Dogs are a part of A Herding dog, also known as a stock dog or working dog, is a type of pastoral dog that either has been trained in herding or belongs to breeds developed for herding. WATCH CUTE SHEEPDOG PUPPY vs SHEEP
A sheep dog or sheepdog is generally a dog or breed of dogs historically used in connection with the raising of sheep. These may include livestock guardian or pastoral dogs used to guard sheep and other livestock in farms for farmers, and herding dog, a dog used to herd sheep and other livestock.
Herding dogs are often seen with cattle, sheep, and geese. Bred to herd, these dogs have a natural tendency to guard and move the livestock. Even if the dog exhibits these natural tendencies, he still must undergo training. The dog needs to be able to understand and respond to the owner's commands. Some dogs work better with certain type of herds, but there is a variety of herding dogs. Popular breeds of herders include the Australian Shepherd or Australian Cattle Dog, the Border Collie, the Koolie, and the Newfoundland.
This is a list of dogs that possess the ability to be used for herding livestock. A "header breed" is a description of all working breeds who move to the head of the stock to gather them and bring them back to you.
The term "drive" is used when the dog moves the herd away from you. Most working breeds naturally will either head - gather the stock to you or drive the stock away from you and the majority of herding breeds can be taught to be both.
Caution: Some herding dogs carry a MDR1 gene which makes them sensitive to certain drugs that are otherwise okay to give another dog, but if tested positive for this gene can kill them.
DUTIES OF SHEEPDOG This article is proudly presented by WWW.DAILY PUPPY.COM and Simon Foden
Sheepdogs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and even textures. The appearance of a sheepdog is influenced by the environment in which he was originally bred to work and the predators he was likely to encounter. Sheepdogs can perform a number of duties. Some breeds are capable of performing all required duties, while other breeds specialize in one or two.
Mustering the Basics This skill is at the core of what a sheepdog does. Without this skill, a dog is unable to herd or drove. Mustering involves forcing sheep or other livestock into a group. Once the animals are in a group, the dog is able to control the movement of the unit, rather than individuals. Good sheepdogs have "stock sense," an innate understanding of how livestock behave. This sense enables them to judge when to leave a sheep behind for later collection and when to muster it. Sometimes, it is better for a wayward animal to be left behind to focus on the herd.
Herding in the Field This skill is at the core of what a sheepdog does. Without this skill, a dog is unable to herd or drove. Mustering involves forcing sheep or other livestock into a group. Once the animals are in a group, the dog is able to control the movement of the unit, rather than individuals. Good sheepdogs have "stock sense," an innate understanding of how livestock behave. This sense enables them to judge when to leave a sheep behind for later collection and when to muster it. Sometimes, it is better for a wayward animal to be left behind to focus on the herd.
Droving on the Hoof Droving is similar to herding, but requires the dog to escort a flock or herd of livestock from one place to another, without the advantage of being inside a fence. This is done "on the hoof." The key difference between droving and herding is the distance of travel required. A dog may drove his stock for miles, keeping them traveling in the same direction by flanking and following them. It is less incumbent on the droving dog to keep the herd tight and compact, his focus is more to ensure the sheep all travel in the same direction.
Livestock Guardians In some farming environments, livestock are exposed to threats from large predators. In cases where bears, wolves and boars are common threats, the sheepdog in charge needs to be as much a guardian as it does a herder or drover. Guardians tend to be larger, stronger and more capable of living among their flock, rather than living as a companion to the shepherd or farmer. Notable livestock breeds include the Maremma shepherd, Anatolian shepherd, komondor and Great Pyrenees. These dogs are all naturally protective, suspicious of strangers and capable of scaring off predators.
SHEEPDOG SKILLS & PRICES This article is proudly presented by WWW.DOGICA.COM
The various levels of a sheepdog's skills and their prices can be confusing. UK sheepdog and cattle dog prices have rocketed recently, despite the fluctuating prices of animals sold at market.
To put an accurate price on a sheepdog can be very difficult but we try to be fair to ourselves as well as the customer, so our price will reflect the dog's potential as well as its skill level at the time of valuation. Age can also make a big difference to the price of a sheep or cattle dog, with younger animals normally valued higher than older ones.
STARTING SHEEPDOG SKILLS AND PRICES A started dog is exactly what the title says. It's not a highly trained dog, it's a dog that knows just the bare essentials of the job. The hardest part of its initial training has been done for you by an expert but there is still much to do. You should only buy a started dog if you are prepared to put in quite a lot of time to continue the dog's training. A started dog is exactly what the title says. It's not a highly trained dog, it's a dog that knows just the bare essentials of the job.
The hardest part of its initial training has been done for you by an expert but there is still much to do. You should only buy a started dog if you are prepared to put in quite a lot of time to continue the dog's training. For this, you should get a dog which can be fairly easily encouraged to go around the sheep rather than through them, although the dog may still go through the sheep if you don't take it close to the sheep before you send it off. The dog may well be quite hard to stop, but in a young dog that's normal. A good stop will normally develop as the dog's training progresses. You can ruin a young dog by putting too much pressure on it to stop. You can also ruin a young dog by confronting it with aggressive sheep. Generally, a started dog will cost upwards of 1,400 (GBP).
PARTIALLY-TRAINED SHEEPDOG SKILLS & PRICES What we call a part trained or intermediate dog is one that will do a medium outrun - say, 50 metres or so, and bring the sheep to you fairly reliably without having to be commanded too much. This gather may not be perfect by any means, but it should be practical and workmanlike. The dog should keep the sheep together and not circle or go through them unless commanded. It should stop fairly easily and be capable of balancing the sheep whilst bringing the sheep towards the handler, rather than just following them.
A dog with this kind of skill level will normally cost upwards of 1.800 (GBP), although a dog that shows really good potential can cost much more than it's current skill level suggests. If you buy an intermediate dog you should be prepared to continue its training, but this will obviously be much easier than it would with a started or completely untrained dog.
FULLY TRAINED SHEEPDOGS What is a fully trained sheepdog? One person's part-trained dog is another's highly skilled worker. It all depends on the level of work you expect of your dog. Many farmers, for instance have no need for their dog to be able to drive or shed sheep, whereas others would see it as absolutely essential. For our purposes, we would class a dog as fully trained if it had the following qualities when working on a small flock:
Good Outrun - at least 200 metres. The dog should go out in a pear shape - not run straight to the hedge and follow it, widening out as it gets closer to the sheep, and then coming in behind the sheep to the point of balance. It should collect all the sheep it's been sent out to gather.
Steady Fetch - the dog should bring the sheep towards the handler in a steady fashion, using its own initiative to keep the sheep together without the need for many commands.
Stop. The dog should have a good stop and know the difference between the need to actually stop and maybe just check its pace or slow down.
Flanks. The dog should know its flanks and turn out squarely, keeping a constant distance between the sheep and itself whilst moving around them. The handler should be able to command the dog to widen out or come in closer if required.
Driving. In our opinion, a fully trained sheepdog should be competent at driving the sheep for at least 100 metres. It should be easily controlled while driving and certainly not looking back at the handler as this is a sign of lack of confidence.
Shedding and holding. The dog should be able to shed and hold sheep when required and have the confidence to push sheep up in a pen.
Expect to pay more than 2,500 (GBP) for a dog with these qualities!
A working dog might make a great addition to your homestead. Herding dogs, livestock-guardian breeds, and vermin-control dogs such as Jack Russell terriers all have their special place on a well-run farm or ranch. We can divide the sheepdog into 4 groups:
1.ISDS registered (International Sheep Dog Society)
2.Non-registered farm type dog
3.Kennel Club registered
4.Other herding breeds or cross breeds
TYPES OF SHEEPDOGS
ISDS registered dogs will have been bred specifically as working stock dogs. The breeding is carefully monitored by the ISDS and has been selectively bred by competent shepherds and farmers over the last 100 years. All breeding dogs must pass an obligatory eye test.
Farm type non-registered dogs are not usually selectively bred and frequently carry major faults I.E. casually bred and ofter mongrel heritage!
Kennel Club registered dogs are no longer bred for work, mainly show standard, confirmation, and colour The instinct has become very diluted and in most cases extinct.
Other herding breeds have usually been bred for specific terrain and specialised jobs, not always suitable for the novice handler as the basic instinct is more complex. The next hurdle is deciding whether to buy - A Puppy, Starter Dog or already a Fully-trained sheepdog? Obviously finance will be the deciding factor in most cases, however it is sometimes false economy to buy a puppy.
SHEEP & FARM DOG PUPPY Remember, buying a puppy is always going to be a gamble, as it may not turn out to be suitable for your needs, and temperament either too strong, or too weak. Not all dogs however well bred ,will possess the necessary instinct. ISDS dogs have a greater chance of being successful due to more careful breeding. Inexpensive to buy & Will bond with owner more easily and can be socialized to suit the enviroment. Cannot start to be trained for several months until it shows instinct and is sufficiently mature both mentally and physically. Cost of vaccination, worming, micro-chipping and food will probably bring it to the same price as a starter dog. It can always be sent away for training by proffesionals which makes it even more expensive. May not always work, temperament will not be developed sufficiently to assess its potential at such a young age.
STARTER DOG This covers quite a broad spectrum and starter dogs can be aged anything from 8 months to approx 18 months. A dog which has been taught the very basics of stock work. A started dog will usually run reliably around stock - rather than splitting them up, if sent to them from a short distance away. The started dog can be stopped, sometimes with a little difficulty and taken away from the stock.
They can be just going round sheep showing basic natural instinct to a dog having a stop, left and right flanks and maybe starting to drive. Although more expensive, only the same financial outlay at the end of the year after keeping a puppy for the same period. You can see the formed temperament and instinct. Continue training immediately to suit yourself. Not fully trained,therefore handler must be knowledgeable enough , or be able to have experienced help close at hand to continue the training. One single cash outlay, it may be more expensive. Unable to do proper job on as needs further training.
PARTIALLY TRAINED SHEEPDOG A partly trained dog is more skilled than a started dog. Usually reliably working around sheep from a short to medium outrun - rather than splitting them up and stopping reasonably well on command. The partly trained dog will not usually have experience of penning, shedding, pushing stock up or through a handling area, but it will be a useful dog, and should learn more skills quite quickly.
FULLY TRAINED DOG There is no such thing as a fully trained dog. Even the world champion trials dog will have room for improvement at some skills and will be learning all the time. We have yet to find a dog which is fully skilled in every aspect of stock work - for instance, good cattle dogs can often be much too aggressive with sheep, but of course, there are a great number that are highly skilled in a good number of tasks. Every shepherd and every farmer has different requirements of a dog, so it's unwise to describe a dog as fully trained.
It is very difficult to decide whether to buy a puppy,starter dog or fully trained dog. Obviously finance will be a deciding factor in most cases, however sometimes it is false economy to buy a puppy. You can go out immediately and do a job of work, very essential for most larger farmers, as time is precious. Many hours are required to fully train a dog. If you do not have the required skill to train a dog or are too busy. Very expensive to buy. Handler must be able to work a fully trained dog correctly on voice and whistle commands or the dog will deteriorate.
POWERFUL DOG STRONG DOG A powerful or strong dog is a confident dog. One which works in a relaxed way and which commands instant respect from the stock. It will stand no nonsense. If they stop, it will just keep coming towards them in such a confident manner, the animals will continue on their way. The dog's attitude and body language makes it clear to the stock that they have no choice.
WEAK DOG A dog that's commonly called "weak" is simply a dog that has little confidence around stock. It may be extremely obedient and work well with light or co-operative animals but when faced with a difficult situation a dog has little confidence will either stop and stare, grip or even turn away from the stock altogether. Sheep can interpret weakness in a dog surprisingly quickly and will take advantage of it. It is therefore af paramount importance to avoid putting a young dog in a position where it might be challenged or even worse, attacked by sheep. This dog's confidence can be improved with a little care.
EYE A good sheepdog needs what's known as "eye". This is a kind of powerful glare the dog can fix on sheep to make them move in the direction the handler wants.
TOO MUCH EYE Farmers and shepherds say a dog has "too much eye" if it appears to become entranced - standing rooted to the spot, glaring at the stock and ignoring all commands. In fact, this is another symptom of the dog lacking confidence. The dog can be trained out of this habit, particularly if it's young. It's called sometimes "Sticky Dog" by the farmers.
The basic commands generally used in sheepdog training are traditional. "Come-bye" tells the dog to move clockwise whilst "Away" means move anticlockwise around the sheep. If you have difficulty remembering which is which, try this - "c" stands for "come-bye" and clockwise - while "a" stands for "away" which is anti-clockwise! Unfortunately, there are one or two small areas in the UK where the commands are the opposite way around but the vast majority of handlers use "come bye" when they want the dog to go clockwise around the sheep.
"Lie down" means stop but as the dog gets more experienced, it's used in many different ways and can mean anything from stop, slow down or pause for a moment - to "don't do that" and much more. Fortunately, sheepdogs are very intelligent and they are perfectly capable of learning what you mean by the situation they face, and the tone of your voice. Some handlers insist the dog lies down when told to - in which case they normally use "stand" when they just want the dog to stop or slow down. "That'll do" tells the dog work has finished and he must come back to you. Other commands are "walk up" which means move towards the sheep. "Steady" and "Time now" - both meaning slow down or keep going slowly. Who said dogs aren't intelligent?
It doesn't matter a hoot to the dog which words we use - we could say "lottery ticket" and as long as we were consistent, the dog would work out what we meant - but if you ever want to sell your dog, it might be difficult to explain to the next handler that he must say "lottery ticket" if he wanted the dog to move clockwise around the sheep! In practice, border collies in particular are so intelligent they can quickly sort out what you want. I once bought a young dog which had been trained using "come bye" for anticlockwise.
Come-Bye Move around circle the stock in a clockwise direction, unfortunately, in a minority of areas it's the opposite way! C is for Come-Bye - Clockwise. From facing the sheep, the dog should turn squarely and keep at a constant distance from the stock as it casts or flanks around them.
Away / Away to Me Move around circle the stock in an anti-clockwise direction, unfortunately, in some areas it's the opposite way! A is for Away - Anti-clockwise. From facing the stock, the dog should turn squarely and keep at a constant distance from the stock as it casts or flanks around them.
Lie Down / Stand / Stop Confusing, this one! It can mean stop, or sometimes just slow down! With time and experience, the dog will learn that a sharp command means the handler wants it to stop immediately, but when the command is soft it should just check its speed to allow the sheep or cattle to go further ahead. More confusing still, some handlers want the dog to lie on the floor when it stops, while others prefer the dog to stay on its feet.
Get Back / Get Out The dog is working too close and likely to cause stress to the stock. The command is used to send the dog further out to give the animals more room.
In Here Used during shedding or separating some sheep away from the main group. When a gap has been created between the stock, the handler uses "in here" to command the dog to move from its position on the opposite side of the stock, through the gap to separate them. The dog will then be expected to keep the separated animals away from the others, and take them away.
Look Back The dog must leave the sheep it's working, and turn around to look for more sheep. Regarded by many as advanced, this under-rated command is extremely useful for teaching a trainee dog to go back and collect some animals it's left behind. The dog will soon learn that it's easier to bring all the sheep or cattle at the first attempt, rather than have to go back a second time.
Steady / Take Time The dog should slow down, usually used to put more distance between dog and sheep when the dog's eagerness is likely to panic or stress the sheep.
That will do The dog must stop what it's doing and return directly to the handler. This command can be a great help when training a dog to drive. As the dog veers off line because it desperately wants to fetch the stock back to you, the dog is effectively getting farther and farther away from you. The dog's far more likely to obey the "That'll Do" command than a flanking command to bring it back towards you, so we use "That will do" as a sort of "cheat card" to bring the dog closer, and therefore into a driving position behind the stock.
There Used by some handlers to tell the dog it has completed the required flanking manoeuvre - circling or casting, and should turn squarely back towards the stock. We prefer to use the "Lie down" command, to avoid confusing the dog with too many commands.
Walk Up / Walk On / Get up These commands require the dog to move straight towards the sheep in a calm, steady fashion without spooking or stressing them.
HERDING SHEEPDOG TRIAL SECTIONS
Boundary & Continental Continental Herding Dogs, including: German Shepherd Dogs, Bouviers des Flandres and Belgian Sheepdogs often work on the smaller farms found in Continental Europe where the sheep graze in pastures right next to crop fields. These herding dogs are responsible for patrolling the boundaries to protect the crops from the sheep as well as to protect the sheep from predators. All Continental herding breeds have very strong protective instincts.
Cattle Dogs There are many different breeds used all over the world to help move a herd, the most common include: Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian Shepherds and Border Collies. These dogs drive a herd, often biting on the heels if necessary, and move the cattle until they settle. Most often, cattle dogs work the livestock from behind by "heeling". Cattle herding dogs are known to be very intelligent, courageous, trustworthy, and have a strong desire to work. They are also very protective of their family and property.
Outrun Standing at "the post", the handler sends the dog to collect the sheep and start the run. The dog should go out in a pear shaped run, getting wider as it approaches the sheep. Towards the end of the outrun, the dog should move in behind the sheep, close enough to gain control, but leaving enough room to avoid disturbing them. In a trial the handler will choose the direction for the outrun.
Lift At the end of its outrun, the dog should be behind the sheep on the "Point of balance". The lift is when the sheep begin to move under the influence of the dog. It should be controlled and orderly.
Point of balance When the dog stops at the end of its outrun, it should be on the point of balance. This is not necessarily directly behind the sheep. The point of balance is where the dog needs to be to keep the sheep in place prior to moving them towards the handler at the lift.
Fetch The dog brings the sheep down the course towards the handler, making sure all the sheep pass through the fetch gates. If one or more sheep fail go go through the gates, no retry is allowed, and the sheep must not pass back through the gates. The sheep must pass behind the handler at the post, and they are driven towards some more gates. As the sheep reach a point directly behind the post, the drive section of the trial begins. British Herding dogs, such as: Border Collies, Bearded Collies, English Sheepdogs, Rough and Smooth Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs generally work over large areas of land where the dog's main role is to "fetch" or "gather" the sheep. To fetch is the natural instinct for most herding dogs. When gathering, the dog is trying to keep the livestock together in a group.
Drive Having completed the fetch and driven the sheep around behind the handler in the direction dictated by the course director or judge, the dog then drives the sheep away from the handler to the first drive gates.
Crossdrive After negotiating the first drive gates, the sheep are driven across the course to the second drive gates. The cross drive must be as straight and orderly as possible. Once again, no retries are allowed at any of the gates.
Shed / Shedding After passing through the second drive gates, the sheep are turned towards the shedding ring where dog and handler sort out and separate a specified number of sheep. The handler shouldn't leave the post until all the sheep are inside the shedding ring - about 40 yards in diameter. Until shedding is completed the sheep must stay within the ring, or points will be lost. Often, but not always, the judge will signal to the handler that the shed has been accepted, and the sheep must then be taken to the pen.
Pen / Penning The pen is a part of the sheepdog trials course where the sheep are driven into a small enclosure, sometimes the pen is a stock trailer but more usually it's a fenced enclosure with a gate. The handler holds the rope to the pen gate and must continue to hold it until the sheep are penned and the gate is closed. The handler is not allowed to touch the sheep or push them in to the pen using the gate.
Single / Singling Singling is similar to shedding - but more difficult! At open trials, once penning is completed a single sheep may be required to be separated from the main group and driven away. This operation is carried out in the shedding ring, and the sheep must not leave the ring until one has been singled off.
Double Gather At some of the bigger open trials, the dog must collect a group of sheep and bring them to a specified point. The dog is then commanded to go to another location on the trials course to collect a second group and bring them to join the first batch before continuing around the course.
Look Back The designated point at a double gather where the dog must abandon the sheep currently under its control and turn around to look for more sheep. An advanced "look back" can be done in such a way as to indicate to the dog which direction the new sheep lie in.
HERDING SHEEPDOG TRIAL HARDWARE
Drive Gates A pair of gates or hurdles - through which the dog should direct the sheep as part of the drive in sheepdog trialling. There are normally two sets of drive gates on each course.
Exhaust Pen Enclosure into which sheep are driven after each run at a sheep dog trial. If there are not enough sheep available for the number of competitors, the sheep are allowed to collect in the exhaust pen until there are a large number, and then they are taken back to the letting out pen and re-used in the trial.
Fetch Gates A pair of gates or hurdles - through which the dog brings the sheep during the fetch at a sheepdog trial. The "fetch" normally follows the "lift".
Letting out Pen Enclosure from which a specified number of sheep - normally between three and five are released for each run at a sheep dog trial.
Peg Point to which the required number of sheep are brought before each run at a sheepdog trial. In more advanced sheepdog trials the sheep may not be visible to the dog or sometimes even the handler, at this stage.
Pen Enclosure into which the sheep must be driven during a sheepdog trial. Usually a temporary construction but sometimes a trailer. More recently, some trials have a "chute" arrangement, where the sheep merely pass through. This is much easier for handler and dog, a the sheep are more willing to go into the chute as there's no back in it, so they can see a way of escape.
Post Point at a sheepdog trial where the handler stands. The handler must not leave the post until the sheep reach the shedding ring.
Shedding Ring A 40 yard diameter circle, usually marked-out, close to the post, where the shed and / or singling takes place before or after "penning".
HERDING SHEEPDOG TRIAL TERMS
Left Hand Drive On completion of the fetch, the sheep must pass behind the handler in a clockwise direction and be driven towards the left hand drive gates.
Right Hand Drive On completion of the fetch, the sheep must pass behind the handler in an anticlockwise direction and be driven towards the right hand drive gates.
Timed Out Most sheep dog trials specify a time for each run. If a competitor cannot complete the course in the allocated time, they must leave the field but the run still earns points and counts towards the results. It's quite possible to win a trial even though you were timed out.
Retired If a run goes really badly, most competitors will leave the course without completing it. The run will score no points. It should be noted that even though you retire, you are normally expected to take your sheep to the exhaust pen.
Disqualified The judge asked the competitor to leave the course because of a rule infringement such as the dog leaving the course, or biting the sheep.
HERDING SHEEPDOG TRIAL TYPES
International Trial To qualify for the "International", dogs must be registered with the ISDS and become members of their national team. The winner of the annual International Sheepdog Trial becomes the "ISDS Supreme Champion".
National Trial Run by the ISDS (International Sheep Dog Society) the "National" is sheepdog trial in which dogs qualify to represent their country in the International Sheepdog Trials. To qualify, dogs must be ISDS registered and gain points by successfully competing in open trials.
Open Trial A sheepdog trial in which entry is open to any competitor and dog - will include outrun, lift, fetch, drive, shed, pen and sometimes a single. Points awarded in open trials count towards qualification for National Sheepdog Trials. Dogs do not need to be registered with the ISDS to compete in open trials.
Novice Trial Open to less experienced dogs. Rules vary but normally for dogs which have not been placed in an open or won a novice trial. Will include outrun, lift, fetch, drive, shed and pen but not usually a single. ISDS registration is not required for dogs to compete in novice trials.
Nursery Trial Trial open to inexperienced dogs. Rules of entry vary but usually for dogs which have not been placed in any novice or open trial. A nursery sheepdog trial will typically include outrun, lift, fetch, drive and pen. Surprisingly, nursery sheepdog trials courses often have an outrun of equal length to novice or open trials. Dogs do not have to be ISDS registered to compete.
Light Sheep Usually smaller breeds from highland, hill or mountain farms, these are sheep which are easy for a dog to mov, sometimes too easy as they run away or scatter with little or no provocation.
Heavy Sheep Stubborn sheep which are difficult for a dog to move. They will sometimes even attack a dog and can have a disastrous effect on its confidence. Heavy sheep are normally large, lowland types which keep together well but can be very stubborn.
Dogged Sheep After being used repeatedly for training sheepdogs, sheep become dogged. Lightly dogged sheep are very useful as they stay calm and it's easier for the trainee dog to keep them together. Extremely dogged sheep will either rush to the handler as soon as the dog is sent off to fetch them or others will bunch together tightly and be near impossible for the dog to move. Sometimes, they will crowd around the handler's legs, becoming extremely difficult to work with and painful because they hurt your legs and tread on your feet.
ISDS The International Sheep Dog Society - based at Bedford, England. Keepers of the Stud Book and recognised governing body of sheepdog trialling.
Pedigree The family tree of a dog - showing generations of ancestors. Pedigrees of ISDS dogs are copyright and must not be publicised without their permission.
Registered Dog Dog whose birth has been registered with the ISDS. Normally, the parents must be registered before a puppy is eligible for registration.
Stud Book Books kept by the ISDS for many years - recording the ancestory, registration and breeding details of all ISDS registered sheepdogs.
Stud Dog Male dog, usually ISDS registered and from excellent working lines and used for breeding purposes as well as sheepdog trials and / or farm work.
Working dogs have long been important in the handling of livestock throughout the world. Today there also is an increased interest on the part of individuals who are not a part of the livestock industry but are interested in working with their dogs and helping preserve the abilities of the breeds. Competitive trials have been increasing in number and variety. Stockdogs must cooperate with the handler, yet use their own initiative and judgment. There is little that is more thrilling than watching the special partnership between a man and a dog in the field. Making the most of interspecies communication, these teams epitomize a working relationship that has fostered livestock farming for hundreds of years. Without herding dogs, there would have been no British or Australian wool industry and farmers throughout the Old World would have been hard put to get sheep and cattle to pasture and market. Livestock farming is a hard life today, but not so hard as it was a century and more ago when dog breeds developed to help husband the herds and flocks that sustained families and began an agricultural revolution by bringing meat, milk, cheese, leather, and wool to market. Herding breeds were born in the countries now known as England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, The Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Australia, and Israel. The US is home to two herding breeds, and the native people in Siberia and the western Arctic contributed two reindeer herders. As with hunting dogs, herding and driving dogs developed in each region had their own sets of skills. Some were specialists at gathering sheep in rolling terrain. Some drove livestock to market down country lanes and through village streets. Two drove and herded reindeer. Some worked cattle, some kept to sheep, and some did both. And a few breeds developed to guard as well as drive and herd.
They must be able to work with gentleness, yet show strength in facing up to a stubborn animal. One of the best things about training sheepdogs is witnessing that magic moment when the dog realises what it's all about. Some dogs are very hard to train, others seem to take to it naturally, but it's the moment when "the light comes on" for a difficult dog that gives me a real buzz. Start out on the right paw with your new farm dog, and begin training on the farm early.
Training a young herding dog is an exciting and nerve-racking experience. It's hard to believe that such a clumsy, comical little pup will ever become a useful partner in your livestock operation.
But when you see that young dog transform into an intense, quivering bundle of concentration as it turns on to stock for the first time, I guarantee your heart will leap. There is absolutely nothing like the power of a herding dog's natural instinct to work. That's why it's heartbreaking when your pup doesn't turn out the way you hoped. If you don't start its training right, that dog could become a liability.
Keeping a Watchful Eye First, keep your puppy away from dangerous or counterproductive situations. Avoid any contact between your young dog and livestock unless it's under your supervision. It's fine to get a pup used to being around your animals while you are doing chores, as long as you can keep it safe and out of trouble. It's too easy for the dog to escape and get at the stock if you are not attentive, and the result could be a disaster. Either the dog will get hurt and become fearful, or it will think it's OK to harass or injure your stock.
Dog Training Age Begin training your dog only when it is mature enough to withstand the physical and cognitive rigors of training - usually 10 to 12 months old, though it depends on the individual dog. If you are having problems early on, don't get mad at the dog. You may need to wait a few weeks until it is more mature.
Signaling Your Dog Before you start training on stock, have a solid recall on your dog. If you can't call it off when it's chasing your sheep through a fence toward the highway or hanging by its teeth from a calf's ear, you are in trouble. A young dog is so excited when it first starts working stock that it may not listen, but a stern command that it's been well-trained to obey will eventually get through to its crazed brain. Some people also train their dog to lie down on command - essential to stopping or calming the dog and livestock, before training begins, but asking it to lie down on the kitchen floor versus out in the pen with sheep racing by yields wildly different results.
Training Time When introducing your young dog to the farm, use calm livestock that are used to being worked by dogs. Four to 10 yearlings that are already "dog broke" are a good choice, because an older ewe or cow might challenge a young dog and make it fearful.
Many trainers use a round pen where the stock can't get wedged in a corner, or they block off the corners in a square pen with panels. Some people work in an open pasture with a mature dog on hand to bring the sheep back before the pup chases them into the next county. Wherever you decide to start, try to set up an area where you can have some control over both the dog and the stock. You may want to tie a long, thin rope to your dog's collar so you can walk it up to your stock in a controlled manner and guide it around the stock if it shows any sign of wanting to head right into the middle of them. Once you see that the dog will circle your stock, you can let it go and be able to snag the rope and catch him later if he is in trouble or about to collapse with exhaustion but doesn't want to quit.
Don't expect much from your dog in the beginning. Don't say anything - don't correct it. Use a calm, encouraging voice. Make it fun! You want to keep those early lessons stress-free and reinforce the pup's desire to work. Each dog matures and handles pressure at a different rate, so wait a few weeks to resume lessons if it shows fear or a lack of interest, is easily distracted, or chases the stock indiscriminately. If the young dog is eating sheep poop or taking a bathroom break, it probably means it's nervous. A dog that is ready for training should have enough instinct to circle the stock and respond to your body language. If you step in front of the dog as it circles clockwise, it should change direction and circle in the opposite direction. Using the dog's natural instinct to circle and react to the movement of both you and the stock is what all the early lessons are based on. It should be fun but productive. Dogs have a great way of signaling whether they are serious or not - if their tails are up, they are playing. If their tails are down, they are thinking. Once you see that tail go down, you will know the pup recognizes that it has a purpose for interacting with your livestock.
The pressures of training quickly exhaust a young dog. End your session if the dog shows signs of stress, fatigue or inattention. That's when it misbehaves and learns bad habits. Short, sweet lessons are the best for the dog's early training. Above all, be patient. Work on a single skill at a time, and have it solid before progressing to the next. If the dog isn't progressing the way you'd like, it's usually the fault of the trainer - not the dog!
Advanced Sheepdog Training It takes time and commitment to train a good stock dog. If you plan to train the dog yourself, be aware that it's easy to make major mistakes with a young dog. It could turn the dog off of herding forever. Do your research and educate yourself. If you are new to working with young dogs, get help from a respected trainer. You want to do the best for your dog. The joy of working in partnership with a good working stock dog and the invaluable assistance they will give you in managing livestock is well worth it.
HOW TO INTRODUCE A PUPPY TO THE SHEEP This article is proudly presented by Andy
Training a sheepdog can be much easier if you introduce the dog to sheep at an early age. But only attempt it if you know what you are doing! A young puppy is very impressionable, and if things go wrong and the pup is threatened or harmed by the sheep, it may damage the youngster's confidence for a long time. Occasionally for life.
Guard dogs bred to protect livestock from predators have been used for thousands of years in Europe. Studies show that properly trained livestock guard dogs reduce predation by as much as 93%. Guard dogs are not pets, and must be specially raised and trained in order to be effective. They may also pose a risk to people, and are best suited to large herds in remote locations.
We can break down farm guard dog breeds into four categories:
Livestock Protectors There are a number of dog breeds that are great for watching over your livestock, these dogs do not necessarily need to be big, but they are expected to have a loud bark that can scare away wild animals and alert the owner, and have a high attention span that allows them to stay vigilant day and night. Some breeds that are popular for livestock protection include the Great Pyrenees and the Tibetan Mastiff. There has been plenty of research on the effectiveness of guard dogs that proves just how much of a difference they can make, a study states that 60% of farms in rural areas depend on dogs as a primary means of protection from wildlife.
Animal Herders Animal herding is a hands-on job that requires attentiveness and the ability to lead animals from their pens to pastures and back again. Dog breeds that are effective at herding tend to be highly trainable, capable of learning a variety of commands and following them with absolute obedience. German Shepherd are perhaps one of the most well-known herding dogs in the world and believe it or not, corgis were bred for herding as well, their small size and active nature makes them perfect for guiding larger livestock.
Pest Vontrollers Predators and trespassers are not the only source of trouble for a farm, pests pose an equally dangerous threat as they are capable of destroying a farm from the inside. A minor infestation can quickly grow to become a nuisance that destroys crops and causes trouble for your livestock. This is why farms also employ dogs for pest control, these kind of jobs are handled well by dog breeds that have great tracking ability and are preferably smaller in size so that they can explore nooks and crannies better.
Multipurpose Fogs For people who do not feel up to the challenge of training and keeping multiple dogs on their farms, there are dog breeds that are kind of like all-rounders, capable of guarding your livestock while also hunting down pests and keeping them from infesting your farm.
Guard Animals Specially raised livestock guard dogs are one of the more effective strategies for reducing livestock predation by mountain lions and other large carnivores. They have been used in at least 35 states after being introduced to the United States in the early 1970s. Other guard animals, such as llamas and donkeys are more effective against coyotes than lions. Horned cattle are also being used in some ranching operations as a deterrent to predators.
Finding the Best Guard Dog for Livestock Finding a good LGD is completely unlike finding a good pet, where it is easy to find a lovable mutt from the local shelter who will readily befriend you for life. The best places to start are breed associations websites. These typically provide a list of reputable breeders across the country, do not be shy about asking for references if there is any doubt about their credibility. Another option is to contact farmers who own LGDs to see if they are selling puppies, or perhaps even a mature, trained animal that you can see in action prior to purchase.
The key is to find breeders that focus specifically on working animals, not show animals or pets – many LGDs are sold for the latter purposes, but you want a dog from a bloodline with proven guardian dog instincts. If possible, purchase a dog that has been raised by a working LGD among livestock, preferably the same species that you intend for it to work with. At the very least, the seller should be able to provide some evidence that the animal is descended from working dogs.
Avoid "bargains," as there is usually a reason, whether poor health, undesirable temperament, or lack of training. You can expect to pay a minimum of $500 for a puppy and $1000 for an adult, and twice that for some of the less common breeds. One LGD may be all you need the livestock serve as their companions, but two or more are necessary for large herds on open ranges. If you have multiple herds kept in different locations, you will need at least one dog per herd.
Training and Behavior The use of dogs as livestock guard animals appears to have originated in Europe, and dogs have been used there to protect flocks and herds from wolves, bears, foxes and domestic dogs for many thousands of years. Records from Ancient Greece and Rome describe the use of an extinct breed of dog - the Molossus for livestock protection. Guard dogs differ markedly from sheepdogs which are trained to herd, and the breeds used differ as well.
Guard dogs are trained to integrate themselves within the flock, transferring the canine pack social structure, and therefore learning to protect the flock from harm. The light coloration of most guard dogs is believed to allow them to more readily blend in with the sheep, be accepted as part of the flock, and also to confuse predators. Guardian dogs may be trained to boundary limits by walking the fence line repeatedly, setting their territory and that of the flock. Usually, guard dogs need not actually fight a predator, but frighten it away by displaying their large size and loud bark.
Establishing the Dog with the Herd If you purchase a puppy, wait to bring them home until they are about two months old and then place them immediately with the livestock so they can start the bonding process - they must live with your livestock, not with you, from day one. It is important to socialize LGDs with humans, as well, but it is best to keep human contact to a bare minimum for the first couple of months.
The good news is that there is no need to train the dog to guard the herd - either they have the instincts or not. But do not expect them to do much guarding during puppy-hood they will want to play with the animals at first. Look for the protective instincts to kick in at around six months of age, they will continue to develop until the dog reaches adulthood at about two years. If a young LGD play-chases their livestock companions too aggressively, use verbal reprimands to discourage the behavior.
They will need a rain-proof dog house with soft bedding, such as cedar shavings. Sturdy fencing is critical on farms where the livestock are not roaming large, open ranges, as most LGDs instinctively want to patrol a large territory. The same fencing that contains your livestock may not do the same for your dog, who can dig and jump electric fencing is often an effective deterrent for both, however.
Costs and Benefits When properly trained and raised with the herd, livestock guard dogs have reduced predation on livestock by over ninety percent in many cases. Some ranchers reported an estimated value around $3,000 of open range sheep saved per dog per year from predators. Of course, this amount varies from ranch to ranch depending upon the size and value of the herd. But in the majority of cases, the money saved from the reduction in predation greatly exceeds the purchase price of a livestock guard dog - ranging anywhere from $200 to $1,000 depending on breed, bloodline and age and a few hundred dollars per year for their annual maintenance cost - food, veterinary care, and miscellaneous.
How to Choose Best Livestock Guard Dog Besides sturdy fencing, guard dogs are the primary tool to prevent such horrors, not just with sheep, but goats, calves, chickens, ducks, and any other livestock small enough for a predator to take down. But it is more than your four-legged coyotes, foxes, bobcats, wolves, and mountain lions you have to worry about, hawks and other birds of prey can easily nab poultry, even in urban areas, as can raccoons, skunks, and weasels.
Livestock guard dog (LGD) breeds are generally large - over 100 pounds, and while they may be devoted and friendly with their human owners, they are often unfriendly with other dogs. A good canine guardian will also keep stray dogs - not to mention your neighbor's mischievous cockadoodle at bay. LGDs are true work animals, and they cannot double as a traditional family pets if they are expected to do their job. They have evolved a specific combination of traits that few other breeds possess: the ability to live outdoors year-round, a willingness to not harass, or kill, livestock, even when hungry, a highly developed sensitivity to livestock behaviors and a skilled approach to detecting and deterring predators.
BEST DOG BREEDS FOR GUARDING LIVESTOCK
1. Great Pyrenees These noble, independent, highly intelligent dogs are perhaps the most widely used LGD in America. Originally bred by the Basque in the mountains between Spain and France, they excel in wide open spaces; in small pastures, they may be tempted to dig out of fencing to satisfy their urge to roam. They do not accept vocal commands as readily as other breeds, but they are considered more friendly with humans. Great Pyrenees' thick coat makes them a poor choice for hot, humid regions.
2. Anatolian Shepherd This breed is muscular, imposing, and reserved in temperament. Originally from the mountains of Turkey, these dogs are unmatched in their devotion to the herd, but may not be particularly friendly toward humans. Some individuals may even dislike petting. Historically, Anatolians were often left alone with livestock for extended periods. They are capable of withstanding hot weather.
3. Akbash Another Turkish breed, Akbash are all white, but vary considerably in hair length one to eight inches and build - both slender and stout individuals may be found. They are a bit smaller on average than most other LGDs, however.
4. Maremma Sheepdog Also referred to as Marremmano, this breed originated in the hills of central Italy and is quite small for an LGD typically under 100 pounds. They are fiercely loyal to the herd, but fairly aloof with people.
5. Carpathian Shepherd Dog The Carpathian Sheepdog is a large-sized canine breed originating in the Carpathian Mountains, Romania. It is characterized by a rectangular-shaped body, wolf-like head, broad forehead with slight curves, big, black nose, brown, almond-shaped eyes, V-shaped drooping ears, thick, strongly pigmented lips, wide chest, and a long bushy tail that stands high attaining a sickle shape when the dog is alert, but hangs down touching the hocks, once it is relaxed. Their alertness, in combination to their loyal and calm disposition makes them a perfect guard dog.
6. Kangal Dog Kangal dog, a purebred dog with large, powerful body and heavy bones, is typically used as a flock guardian, actively protecting flocks of sheep from predators like bears, jackals, and wolves. Distinguished by moderately large wide heads, drop ears, black masks, black velvety ears, and a curled tail, kangal dogs have slightly longer body than its height with a front leg that measures over one-half of the height.
7. Cane Corso The Cane Corso a large-sized Italian breed is a wonderful companion dog, also known for its perfect guarding skills. Being a close cousin of the Neapolitan Mastiff, it is sturdily built with a powerful, athletic body, alongside a flat skull, rectangular muzzle, medium-sized, dark, almond-shaped eyes, well-shaped triangular ears, as well as a fairly long, thick tail which mostly stands erect. Docile and affectionate in nature, they are known to emerge as a fierce protector when it comes to guarding their master's home and property.
8. Tibetan Mastiff Originating with the nomads of Tibet, Nepal, China and Central Asia as a guardian dog, the giant breed Tibetan Mastiff, as a pet, would be a huge commitment. This highly intelligent and independent-natured, muscular, long-coated, black-nosed, moderately-dewlapped dog comes in many colors, with the males having more prominent facial skin folds.
9. Karakachan Dog The Karakachan originated in Bulgaria as a mountain dog mostly used for safeguarding the livestock from their predators. These dogs having a large and massive stature are characterized by a well-muscled body, deep chest, V-shaped ears, small, deep eyes and a broad muzzle. This loyal breed is a master's pride as it goes on to protect his property with all its might.
10. Caucasian Shepherd Dog Mainly bred to catch bears and protect flocks of sheep from wolves and thieves, the Caucasian Ovcharka, the tall, strong-boned, muscular, black-nosed, wide-headed, large-featured dog is covered with short coat, having strong paws with hair between their toes.
11. Spanish Mastiff The large, stocky, hardy breed of dogs, Spanish Mastiff, originating in Spain, with a massive chest, a muscled, rectangular structure, fall under category mountain dog that are popular as pets as also in exhibitions and shows.
12. Komondor The Komondor is one of the biggest dogs out there, it is related to the Hungarian Kuvasz and has a very unique look thanks to its shaggy, dreadlock type fur coat. Its shaggy coat and short legs can be deceptive as they make the dog seem smaller and hide its well-built body, however, both of these traits make it a great herding dog since it can easily blend in with the herd, especially if it is herding sheep. These dogs are usually calm and laid back, however, it becomes aggressive when met with something unfamiliar and readily fights to the death. Its independent nature makes it rather hard to train, but with enough discipline and socializing, Komondors can become incredibly capable herding dogs.
13. Polish Tatra Sheepdog This dog breed is an all-rounder, capable of defending your livestock, watching over your herd as it moves around and also keep your farm free of pests and invasive animals. Tatras are territorial and will immediately alert their owner if they sense something is wrong, their intelligent and cautious nature keeps them from blindly jumping into fights, however, they will fearlessly attack threats if left with no other choice.
14. Kuvasz This muscly and elegant dog breed hails from Hungary and was primarily bred to act as a pack hunting dog, it is a popular choice amongst people who want a hardy livestock guard as well as a reliable guard dog for their homes.
1. Purchase pups from working parents, preferably parents that are used with the same species you want your pup to protect Many of your fellow producers using guardian dogs will have litters of pups available on occasion, so try to find pups that from farms or ranches raising the same species that you do, whether it is sheep, goats, or cattle. Your preference may be for purebred dogs, or for crosses between two guardian breeds, but never purchase a pup resulting from a cross with a non-guardian breed.
2. Set the pup up for success The primary period to bond pups to the species to be guarded is between the ages of eight and 16 weeks. It is important that the pups be placed with the livestock species they will grow up to guard during this primary bonding period.
3. Bonding pens work well to get pups off to a great start Place a few calm and gentle ewes, goats or cows into a pen, with a protected area for the pup where he can see the livestock, but can escape to safety. Present the pup to the livestock under your supervision, but give the pup some quiet time where it can watch its new friends. The pup will get to know its livestock first through watching and sniffing noses, but will soon venture out for some gentle exploration. Visit often to supervise, but let the pup spend the majority of its time with its livestock. It is important that the livestock penned with the pup are calm animals that will not harm the pup.
4. As the pup gains confidence in being in the company of the protected species, the flock can be released into a larger area, and/or with additional members of the flock A gradual process of adding animals and range allows for the pup to become accustomed to its larger flock and landscape, and develop more self-confidence in its guardian duties as its body grows.
5. Give the pup attention and praise while it is with livestock Producers must be able to call and handle their guardians for care, so reinforce the human-dog connection, ensuring your dog is comfortable and content as your working partner.
6. Be clear in teaching the pup what you expect from it, including staying within its territory If the pup strays from the flock, or follows you to the house, return it to the livestock. It is a good idea to start verbal commands early, and pups will soon learn the valuable lesson, "Go to your sheep."
7. Give the dog the benefit of training and experience Train the pup to a few commands, to wear a collar, walk on a leash, be tethered on a cable, and be held in a crate or kennel. Walk the pup into buildings and stock trailers, take it for rides in the farm truck, and let the pup learn what it feels like to be examined, brushed, and restrained. Introduce the pup to other farm animals - including other species of livestock, herding dogs, chickens, etc. it will need to know as it goes about its business.
8. Expose the pup to a variety of experiences it will be expected to understand later in life From learning the dangers of vehicles and farm equipment, to encounters with people riding bicycles and motorcycles, early exposure to new experiences will aide the dog in its future success.
9. Provide human supervision, correcting bad behaviors early on so they are not repeated A good scolding goes a long way, but repeated correction may be needed to reinforce learning.
10. Feeding routines are important Feed the pup near the livestock not at your house - preferably at the same time every day. Secure the pup's food so it can eat in peace, without competition from the livestock. Allowing livestock to eat the dog's food creates unnecessary conflict that can escalate as the dog grows in size.
11. Make overall care a routine You have invested in a working animal that will do its job without complaint, so make veterinary care a normal practice, from keeping the pup updated on vaccinations to routinely running your hand over the pup to be sure it is not wounded or needing other care. Provide good dog food to your pup, but be careful not to overfeed or underfeed.
12. Until your pup has proven his reliability, use caution during the livestock-birthing season Guardian dogs may want to clean newborns, or may attempt to "protect" them from their mothers, disrupting the mothering process. When your dog reaches the point it lounges nearby without interfering, you can sleep easier at night knowing the pup is well on its way to being an effective herd protector.
A sheepdog trial - also herding event, stock dog trial or simply dog trial or trail - is a competitive dog sport in which herding dogs move sheep around a field, fences, gates, or enclosures as directed by their handlers. Such events are particularly associated with hill farming areas, where sheep range widely on largely unfenced land.
These trials take place in the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Chile, Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and other farming nations. Some venues allow only dogs of known herding breeds to compete - others allow any dog that has been trained to work stock.The International Sheepdog Trails is a must-see for all animal enthusiasts who have wondered who is in charge of the sheep and how the dogs are trained to respond to their handlers.
These amazingly talented animals will bring words of astonishment from all viewers along with great photo opportunities. The first dog trials were held in Wanaka, New Zealand, in 1867 with reports of trials at Wanaka, Waitangi and Te Aka in 1868, at Wanaka in 1869 and Haldon Station in the Mackenzie Country in 1870. Australia also has a long history of dog trialing, with a kelpie named Brutus reported in the local paper in Young, NSW, as winning a sheepdog trial in 1871.
The first Scottish sheepdog trial was held at the Carnworth Agricultural Society Show in Lanarkshire around 1874. Trials quickly spread in England and Scotland. The success of those early trials led to events in the United States in the 1880s. Today the sport continues to be popular throughout the world. In the United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland all host national championships followed by an International Championship featuring the best dogs and handlers from each of the four. Their sanctioning body, the International Sheepdog Society also hosts a World Championship every three years with dogs participating from throughout the world.
Sheepdog Event Types Events vary with different courses being predominant in different parts of the world. In the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and in Southern Africa, the British Course is most common.In Australia, there are several events, but the key element is the control of three to six sheep by one or two highly trained dogs under the control of a single handler. Both time and obedience play a part, as competitors are penalized if a sheep strays from the prescribed course. Another popular event involves having the dog split six sheep into two groups of three and conducting each group in turn to small pens through a defined course by heading dogs. The group not being led is guarded by one of the two dogs, an eye-dog, from its ability to keep the sheep still by head movement alone. This is more difficult than it sounds because the two groups of sheep invariably try to stay together. Yard Dog Trials are also gaining in popularity. In these competitions dogs are required to move sheep through several yards, including a drafting race and sometimes into and out of a truck, with minimum assistance.
Those who need to look after sheep, sometimes on difficult country, need the help of one or more able sheepdogs. For many years dogs have been bred to develop the traits of intelligence, stamina and obedience. The dogs are guided through a series of commands to complete a variety of tasks which reflect their everyday work with a packet of sheep. Each handler will have a preference when giving their commands, either by voice, by whistle, or a combination of both. This has changed very little over the years, and the shepherds of yesterday would easily recognise the requirements of today's handlers' competition.
Many of the dogs seen on the trials field will have been at work on the farm, probably that very morning before setting off for the trial. It is true to say that the skills they acquire in their everyday work are key to them gaining maximum points. The system of scoring at trials is that a maximum number of points are allocated for each element and dog and handler actually "lose" points for any faults as they progress around the course.
The whole of the trial is of a practical nature and the International Sheep Dog Society rules for these competitions are solely concerned with the working capabilities of the Border Collie and its master. The culmination of the breeder's skill is demonstrated in sheepdog trials, and although breeding is of paramount importance, it is the sheepdog trial that is the "shop window" for the end result of the breeder's labours, and is the endless delight of those who compete and those who spectate.
Many trials take place at a local level, organised by small, local groups. All ages and abilities can participate. There are Nursery trials for young dogs who demonstrate early skills, and Open trials where handlers gain points to permit entry to the National trials. Sheepdog Display - realistic show of working gorgeous sheepdogs, usually put within a herd of sheeps. Watch who's the Master!
The New Zealand software company Rocos is training a Boston Dynamics-designed robot called Spot to work on farms to help relieve the strain of worker shortages, and create precision in farming. Rocos announced that it's partnering with Boston Dynamics to investigate how its robot dog could help out on farms.
The company is hoping Spot could provide real-time feedback as it navigates and scans rugged environments. By creating these maps, farmers could inspect yield estimates of their crops without having to go out. In fact, the task of operating the robot could be fulfilled by practically anybody, even if it means outsourcing to another country.
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