Herding dogs

4 Feb

One of the oldest jobs created for a dog is herding livestock.  However it is one of the most recently classified group and it wasn’t until 1983 that a group was created to honour this role by the AKC (American Kennel Club)[1]. Herding dogs are used to manage livestock, most commonly sheep. They work in partnership with the handler and obey commands in order to perform its job. Good herding dogs have the ability to control sheep (or other livestock) with a calm authoritative energy and without excessive noises or signals and movement being made[2]. The calm authority of the dog enables the livestock to react in the way wanted, without any panic or unnecessary commotion. The herding dog breed group includes Sheepdogs, Cattle Dogs, Livestock Dogs and Drovers. Some examples include Collie breeds such as the Border Collie and Bearded Collie, Sheep dogs such as the Catalonian Sheepdog and the German Shepherd, and Corgi’s. One of the most commonly used herding dog in the UK is the Border Collie.

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However, as with most breeds of working dog, they are not always used solely or at all as a working dog, but are often family pets. Sometimes, the instincts that make these dogs so perfect for their designated role, will often prompt working behaviours in pet dogs. For examples, collie breeds will often try to gently herd their owners, particularly children

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