What is a herding dog?
A herding dog is a type of rural, pastoral dog that is trained in herding or belongs to breeds produced for herding. All breeds experience the remarkable ability to control the migration of other animals. A large majority of herding dogs are household pets, and never meet farm animals. However, pure instinct prompts many of these dogs to herd their owners gently, particularly the family's children. These are highly intelligent dogs that make excellent companions and respond superbly to training exercises.
Video on products to teach you how to train a dog to herd
What are common herding dog breeds?
Although herding dogs are now primarily household pets who have never been in the position to herd other animals, many common herding dog breeds include:
- German Shepherd Dog
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Bearded Collie
- Border Collie
What training is required?
Training herding dogs is exciting and nerve-racking all at once. You will want to keep your puppy away from counterproductive or dangerous situations during training. Begin teaching your dog only when he is old enough to withstand the cognitive and physical rigors of training, which is typically about 10 months to one-year-old, although the age will depend on the individual dog. When introducing a young dog to the farm, choose only calm livestock that are comfortable to being worked by dogs.
Are there clubs or organizations?
- American Kennel Club (AKC)
- American Herding Breed Association (AHBA)
- Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA)
- United States Border Collie Handlers’ Association (USBCHA)
How do I get started?
An ideal way to get started is to find an experienced trainer. Contact a club near you to schedule classes or attend a session to ensure the training is perfect for your dog. Locating an established training facility will provide sufficient facilities, quality instruction, and stock for your training foundation. Each of these elements is extremely crucial for obtaining a solid start in a training program for your herding dogs.