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Training Guide Dogs
Contents:
  1. What does a guide dog trainer do?
  2. Dog training - Wikipedia
  3. What to Consider When Choosing the Best Guardian Dogs

The information contained in this manual has been collated from a range of producers, breeders and owners of livestock guardian dogs and should provide the basis to successfully employ these animals in a range of environments and grazing situations. It should also make prospective owners of livestock guardian dogs aware that there is a level of commitment required for training and management to make them work effectively as part of your business just as is the case with any other working dog. Want to get alerted with the latest invasive species news?

Ironically, the stronger the dog, the more they will likely respect that leadership once it has been established and enforced. One further note: For those readers who are small-statured, whether male or female, it is important to say that size is not the determining issue when it comes to determining who is Alpha Dog. Many small-statured women have very successfully handled LGDs that outweigh them , once those ladies learned how to handle the dogs appropriately. Children have also learned how to successfully work with these big, confident dogs.

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In fact, using force and larger size to try to dominate the dogs physically is absolutely the wrong approach, and is nearly guaranteed to provoke further conflict, rather than turn down the contest. So, if folks can't use size and strength, what approach should be used? Some LGD's will never push that boundary. Some push it every single waking minute. See below for some websites which provide LOTS of info about this. But it's something that needs to be considered in advance.

Once those contests start, it's important to recognize them for what they are and nip that process in the bud. If a person is considering an LGD but doesn't want that responsibility and it's not like we're talking about police dogs or high levels of training; just someone willing to be in charge , then LGD's might be more of a hassle than a help.

With a lb animal, it's in the owner's best interests and the dog's to learn what that contest is going to look like, and be ready for it. By reading about it in advance, every potential owner man or woman, large or small can have some strategies or methods in mind. So when that day arrives, the owner can very quickly and competently step forward to say "you want to know who's in charge? You're 2 or whatever.

Training Border Collies (The Basics)

Now let's get back to work. LGD's will range far from home if given the chance. Ranging over a 10 square mile area was a day's work. In today's world of subdivisions, highways and high population densities, all reputable LGD breeders and rescue groups strongly advocate or flat out require at least a 5' woven or chain link fence to contain the LGD. That keeps the dogs home where they belong, and out of neighbor's yards, off the highways and out of trouble. They will push the boundaries of what is theirs until they meet a boundary they cannot cross.

All too often, that "boundary" is a neighbor with a gun, an Animal Control officer or a car on the highway. The 2 reason LGD's are turned into rescue groups for adoption is that their owners didn't have adequate fencing, and they wouldn't stay home, regardless of training.


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Expect that any rescue group or breeder you work with will require a good stout fence to keep them home. If fencing is not an option for whatever reason, LGDs will probably be a LOT of hassle because they'll keep getting out and running off. LGD's are often said to be "aloof and uncaring". That is not true. The notion that LGD's can only bond with either the flock or the human is utterly false. An LGD in a loving family will form strong bonds with all the members of that family, whether that's a single person or a big family with lots of kids and hundreds of livestock.

The LGD will guard them all. The vast majority of LGD's can successfully be trained to guard anything - 2-legged kids, 4-legged kids, ducks, chickens, horses, tractors, gardens, kittens, whatever. If an LGD is tossed out into a field and left to their own devices, they will pick and choose what they decide to guard. That choice may not be what was intended by the owner.

If they are handled intelligently and introduced to "their jobs", ie, which flocks, which kids, which areas, they will learn THAT is their job and they'll defend it with their lives against all comers. A lot of the dogs we have rescued we've rescued 5 were turned in for adoption because "they wouldn't guard". A few short interviews with their previous owners found that in every single case, the previous owners thought they would just automatically "know" what to do, and then didn't like the choices the dog made in that vacuum of training.

All five of our LGD's have turned out to be fantastic livestock guards, and we trained them all after they were already adults. That success rate isn't because we're hotshot trainers. It's simply because we showed them what we wanted them to guard, and set them up to be successful in that particular job.

What does a guide dog trainer do?

There is the occasional LGD which has too high a prey drive or too aggressive a nature or whatever. That will happen in any population. But it's extremely rare. That usually means setting up either temporary or permanent housing with their "protectees" so that they can get used to their protectees over a period of time usually a few months without anyone starting to play so rough that things get out of hand.

So some careful thought should be given in advance to where the dog will be, what the dog will be guarding, and whether the dog needs to be protected from the "protectee" or vice versa. What we've done is set up each new dog near but not in the pen or yard they will eventually guard, such that the dog can watch them all day every day. Then throughout the day, we get the dog used to the people, animals, events, vehicles etc which will be coming and going as part of normal business. That includes introducing people like the vet who might be in working with the animals being protected.

Nothing makes a vet crankier than being bitten on the butt by an LGD while working on a goat. And provide lots of walks around the perimeter of the area to be guarded, even if that's only a backyard. By setting the boundaries the schedule and the expectations early, the LGD will sort out right from wrong much, much more easily. The question sometimes comes up about whether to get an LGD from a breeder, or a rescue organization. There are pro's and con's to both. A breeder can give you information about their parents, can provide good handling right from birth, can raise them with livestock so they are already accustomed to the animals, and provide a solid foundation of learning in a safe environment.

Those breeders put a lot of work into their dogs and their pricetag reflects that. If you want to work with a breeder, they should be willing and able to provide references for other families who have purchased dogs from them. Talk to those families and see if the breeder continued to provide support, encouragement, answers and information as the family got used to the new dog.

Dog training - Wikipedia

Rescue organizations can sometimes give a lot of information about a dog, but sometimes no details at all. However, they often do at least preliminary testing with each dog to determine the personality traits, flush out big problems, etc.

Most LGD's are turned in for adoption between the ages of months, so they have most of their working lives ahead of them. While any dog from any source should get basic obedience training, these older dogs are often much easier to handle. They are more settled and have outgrown their goofy puppy stage where they destroy everything and need constant attention. Most rescue groups have extremely stringent adoption policies, for the simple reason that they don't want the dog to be adopted out only to have that adoption fail.

Every rescue group I've ever worked with will try to work with a family where a dog was placed, and solve any problems that come along, but they will take a dog back if the adoption doesn't work. The only exception to that is in the case of a dog biting a human being. Most states now have a one-strike-and-you're-out clause where rescue groups cannot adopt out a dog that has ever bitten a human being. Not Helpful 2 Helpful 6. Yes, but they do not have a herding instinct like dogs that were bred to do so.

It would take a lot of consistent training for the dog to learn that behavior and it will never be instinctual. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 6. You could, but cocker spaniels aren't a herding breed, so they don't really have the drive to herd. Not Helpful 3 Helpful There are many types of breeds that work around and in herding. Sheepdogs, obviously, are the common types, but some such as the Australian cattle dog and others can work in herding. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. Can I train my Black Mouth Cur mix rescue to herd?

I have animals at my farm. Yes, you probably can, as the Black Mouth Cur is a hunting and cattle dog.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Guardian Dogs

Follow the steps in the article and be patient with your dog. Try selecting a breed or mix that was meant to be a herder. Make sure the dog you pick can also withstand your regional environmental factors. Also, take the size of the herd animals into consideration.


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Not Helpful 0 Helpful 1. Unanswered Questions. How old is too old to teach a cattle dog to herd?