What is a Herding dog?
Are you curious if your dog belongs to the group of herding dogs, also known as a stock dog, shepherd dog, or working dog? First What is a Herding dog? They are a type of dog that either has been trained in herding meaning the act of bringing individual animals together into a group or belongs to breeds that are developed for herding, these groups are determined by the AKC or the American Kennel Club.
Herding dog Behavior
The Herding Dog is one of the oldest classifications of dog groups in the world, they have been used by humans to maintain and manage livestock, and guard dogs in ancient times. They have a lot of functions or used before and even in the modern days, they work as guard dogs and livestock drivers for many farmers and shepherds.
A stock dog is predatory, sometimes they are troublesome, stubborn, and often territorial and reserved around strangers, but they are also intelligent. Humans have been able to minimize the dog’s natural inclination by training them to treat cattle and sheep as prey while simultaneously maintaining the dog’s hunting skills, thereby creating an effective stock dog.
The Australian Cattle Dog, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi were historically used in cattle droves that moved cattle from Wales to the Smithfield Meat Market in London but they are rarely used for herding today.
Some dogs that also belong in this group are Briards, Old English Sheepdogs, and German Shepherd Dogs. Border Collie, Australian Kelpie, and Australian Koolie, Australian Shepherd, English Shepherd, and Welsh Sheepdog.
- Come-bye or just bye – go to the left of the stock, or clockwise around them.
- Away to me, or just away or ‘way – go to the right of the stock, or counterclockwise around them.
- Stand – stop, although when said gently may also mean just to slow down.
- Wait, (lie) down or sit or stay – stop, but remain with that contact on the stock…don’t take it off by leaving.
- Steady or take time – slow down.
- Cast – gather the stock into a group. Good working dogs will cast over a large area. This is not a command but an attribute.
- Find – search for stock. A good dog will hold the stock until the shepherd arrives. Some will bark when the stock has been located.
- Get out or back – move away from the stock. Used when the dog is working too close to the stock, potentially causing the stock stress. Occasionally used as a reprimand.
- Keep Away or Keep – Used by some handlers as a direction and a distance from the sheep.
- Hold – keep stock where they are.