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How would you go about training a yr. old Australian Shepherd cattle dog to herd cattle? It was a house dog!

by cattlefarmer on August 30, 2009

want to know asked:


This dog was just given to us – my husband has cattle and he’s hesitant to carry it to the farm since it hadn’t been around cattle! We have a small dog that weighs 15 lbs – they have fun chasing each other and the Aussie seems to try to herd the smaller dog! The Aussie seems very
smart and I’m trying to teach it some basic obedience commands. My husband is afraid that it will just chase the cattle, thus causing them
to lose weight! Does anyone know of a book that teaches Australian Shepherds how to herd cattle? This dog had been in a home with an adult woman and small children since it was a young puppy – it got too big to be a housedog and they tied it outside. The woman said when she tried to leash walk the dog that it would not “heel” and, more or less “drug her along” as he was too strong for her to hold him back! I’ve been keeping him in a 10x10x6′ kennel and letting
him out in the mornings to run & play to get his excerise! I haven’t trield leash walking him yet!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

john p September 1, 2009 at 3:41 am

I used to own an Austrailian cattle dog. Very smart dog. It will know instinctively what to do. My dog never saw cattle in her life, but would nip at the heals of people or animals to get them to go where she wanted them to. That’s why they are called Blue heelers.

manoj g September 4, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I suggest you visit this site and consult a breed expert

Skyhoss September 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm

you need to find a herding trainer in your area if you can if not find one then get on the Internet or as your vet if he knows of any body. if you have any obedience or breeds dog shows in your area check them out and see if any can help you.

Shadow's Melon September 7, 2009 at 5:24 am

If you have no experience with training for this, you would probably be best to locate a trainer that can assist you. Even tho these dogs are natural herding dogs, they still need some form of training. There are lots of things to learn and a good trainer will take you a long way, as well as help you learn how to train for this. You can probably get some referrals by contacting a local Aussie Club in your area. There’s usually someone in these clubs persuing this type of thing that can help you find a good trainer–this is how I found someone who trains for this so that we can persue it with our Border Collie.

Heeling is not something a dog automatically knows. The previous owner obviously didn’t invest any time in proper training, or she wouldn’t have had that problem, and probably wouldn’t have gotten rid of the dog (which would be my guess as to the true reason why).

pojo September 7, 2009 at 7:18 pm

i think it’s a good idea to get your dog trained-it needs to learn basic commands for it’s own safety, but i really don’t think you have to worry that the dog will harm your cattle–they are bred to herd the cattle and other stock also–they are not mean spirited dogs-maybe your husband could try exposing the dog to a few cows at a time and see what he does?…..good luck

kym b September 9, 2009 at 8:30 am

I’m afraid your husband is right, the dog will chase the cattle all day. They are extremely smart and do naturally round up things, chooks, kids, cattle, sheep, even tennis balls but they need a trainer to be taught the right way. I’m afraid that you could never get the knowledge from a book. They will also learn from other dogs if you know of an experienced cattle dog. Other than that, get the basic commands right and then have a go yourselves

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