Herding - what it is and what it isn't

Discussion in 'Behavioral Issues' started by glencorgi, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. glencorgi

    glencorgi Senior Member

    I see a lot of behaviors excused or labeled as herding instinct when what all they really are is just being a dog and sometimes not a well - behaved dog. Herding is directed prey drive. Back in July I had the fortune of chatting a bit about herding with the breeder/owner of the first Dual Champion male Pembroke. That means he has both his conformation championship and his AKC herding championship. I was telling her about Munchee's outing with the ducks. And he rarely used his mouth or did any nipping at them.

    What herding is not - chewing on toes or biting at ankles. This is a puppy thing and I have yet to meet a puppy purebred or Heinz 57 that did not go through an ankle biting stage. I've had everything from Maltese to Berner puppies attached to my pant leg at one time or another. Just because a corgi puppy nips at you does not mean there is any herding instinct present, it is a behavior that needs to be corrected.

    Now if you are throwing a party and your corgi begins sorting your guests into groups, then you have some herding instinct present. ;)

  2. CorgiMum

    CorgiMum Senior Member

    I agree with what you have said 100% Debbie. And the last sentance, now wouldn't that be somethiing to see!:D
  3. dcole

    dcole Senior Member

    I had the opportunity to see a herding competition recently at a local doggy extraveganza (herding, agility, flyball, etc.) Alas, there were no corgis competing. :( None the less, I was impressed by what I saw. Herding seems like it takes an amazing amount of work - for both the dog and the handler.

    It was fun to watch, but I don't think herding is for us. Besides, I live in the 'burbs. Where ever would I keep the barnyard animals?? :D

  4. CorgiMum

    CorgiMum Senior Member

    For the short months that Montrose and I herded sheep I found it hard on me phsically, more so because of my asthma. She loved the experience!

    I'm told that one may rent sheep to herd at their home.:)

    This link, the picture is the trainer in pink & Montrose and myself with the sheep during a dog show instinct trial.

  5. Jane Austen

    Jane Austen Senior Member

    Glencorgi: I loved your explaination of what herding is and especially what it isn't. I had been a bit confused about the biting ankles and went along with the general thought that it was herding. This kind of information is what really makes Gocorgi worthwhile.
  6. corgimom

    corgimom Senior Member

    One may rent sheep to herd at their home?:eek: that would go over real well in the city that I live in, and the neighbors would surely think I had lost my mind:D
  7. Jespah

    Jespah Senior Member

    I have 5 cats - that's why I got herding dogs! When the cats escape into the hall I send Rupe out for them - it's amazing - he pushes them along with his nose and turns them around. It's become a big game for 2 of the cats and him - they don't take any guff from him and will plop down and refuse to move. He'll just push them across the floor back to our place. It's very amusing.
    He also helped me "herd" 11 ducklings up the street one day, he was very gentle and just lightly tapped them with his nose to keep them in line. I'd love to take him to see if he has any real instinct for it. He sure as heck isn't an agility dog!
    My cats are for rent if you can't get any sheep.
  8. CorgiMum

    CorgiMum Senior Member

    I love your description of Rupe and the cats. 11 ducks, wow! And and about renting your cats, I'll keep tht in mnd.:D
  9. Fluffypants

    Fluffypants Senior Member

    hmmm . . . do they have mini-sheep for those of us that live in townhouses / apartments? Maybe we could cross breed the cats and the sheep & make cat-sized sheep (or sheep-sized cats! :eek: )!!! Okay - now I know I didn't get enough sleep last night! :rolleyes:

    I am taking Jackie for her herding instict test in October. I'm very excited to see what she does. Whatever it is . . . I know it will be amusing! And we bought a video camera so we won't miss a minute!
  10. corgimom

    corgimom Senior Member

    I see Jackie as a Princess, but I forgot that she loves to get dirty, so this
    herding thing should be quite fun for her, even with any dust flying that may get into her lovely coat:D
  11. Fluffypants

    Fluffypants Senior Member

    Getting the dirt IN . . . she loves
    Getting the dirt OUT . . . not so much

    My little tomboy - just like mommy! :D
  12. Shelly

    Shelly Senior Member

    gosh, cat sized sheep, you made me laugh. I'm sure landlords would love that. Can you imagine the pet deposit they'd make you pay....

    My corgi puppy gathers up all his toys into a pile, I'm sure that's not herding because the toys don't get away on their own, maybe he just gets a housecleaning urge once in awhile. If I could only train him to vacuum up his hair.
  13. dcole

    dcole Senior Member


    Neat picture! Montrose really looks like she was giving those sheep the business! :)

    As for herding cats, well, I've got two of those and all Trevor wants to do is play with them. Not that they're having any of that, it's beneath them!

    There are some Llama farms not too far from where I live, wonder if I could rent a couple of those?!!? :p

  14. corgimom

    corgimom Senior Member

    The llamas would probably spit at him:p

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