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Author Topic: Tips to introduce dogs to sheep  (Read 6214 times)

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Tips to introduce dogs to sheep
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2014, 10:27:37 am »
Andy Nickless iand Alison Smith in the Marches are excellent trainers. PM me for further details.  They train you to train the dogs. Andy will assess their potential and get you and them started together. Alison took our hooligan for five weeks and gave us back a dog that actually worked sheep and then we went back for more lessons with the dog to get him to drive them.  Don't forget to worm your dogs before they mix with the sheep and keep them wormed - toxoplasmosis.
Voss Electric Fence

devonlad

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Re: Tips to introduce dogs to sheep
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2014, 12:28:33 pm »
so much good advice here. we had to introduce our less than straightforward terrier to sheep when he was an older dog. it took a while to transform him from a dog who would gladly cross several fields to chase absolutely anything to now where we have no concerns whatsoever. in his case it was vital to be vigilant at every turn and never but never take anything for granted. he was not even allowed to look at a sheep without strong words. even tho I have no real concern anymore we still never simply assume he wont- always watch out.

Shropshirelass

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • South Shropshire
  • A country lass who loves it all!
Re: Tips to introduce dogs to sheep
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2014, 11:35:11 pm »
Personally I've found that from a young age tying the dog up to a post in the farmyard near a pen of sheep & leaving them tied up whilst doing your jobs but keeping them in sight - I've often found a group of ewes especially around lambing time to be the best technique to start them respecting sheep as they can be quite intimidating to dogs. That & also taking them for walks on the lead to start through fields with your own sheep pref from pups if poss. Touch wood we've never had a problem with our dogs & our sheep & they have always been fine off the lead with sheep but these are pet dogs & not trained sheep dogs & if they were they would be trained accordingly. It also helped with my dog at present seb has always been scared of sheep as the ewes tend to follow him when we're out walking - I don't know why ??? ??? Any1 else ever heard of / seen this with sheep? I did wonder if its because he has a lot of white on him & they mistook him for a lamb ect. But 1 of my fav pics of him is in front of some ewes & lambs in a pen where I made him sit in front of & it took me ages to get it but its a fab pic x

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Tips to introduce dogs to sheep
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2014, 08:00:28 am »
Our working lab, now 12 mnths old, is scared of our Soay and they know it.  ::)

They walk up to her menacingly, stamping feet or pringing off all fours at her. A couple of them will actually chase her across the field. She always keeps one eye on them and gives them a good wide birth. They have sometimes trapped her on the other side of the brook!

If they are the other side of the fence she will touch noses with them.

When one of our lambs got out the neighbouring farmer got him back using his well trained collie (farmer trains, trials and is one of best known handlers in Wales) to bring lamb back ..... or try to! Lamb followed collie, ran after collie and eventually crossed a stream and ran away from collie.

If any strange dog is in the field the Soay bunch together and follow it.

They do steer clear of our bouncy Flat Coat but one of the tups we hired used to chase and butt him.

So yes ..... scary sheep here that like a spot of dog-worrying.  ::)

lauren85

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Tips to introduce dogs to sheep
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2014, 09:15:19 am »

Whenever we bring a new goat, they immediately sniff them and go their way. They know they belong there. Adult or kid. I know when one of my cats enters the pasture, the cats run for their life out of there. Chickens, ducks, turkeys don't stand a chance entering the pasture. We keep our fowl on the other side of the fence mostly in pens. We even have dogs(german shepherds)that guard our home and birds. The anatolians and german shepherds don't mix. They sniff each other thru the fenced off area. The anatolians mainly just watch goats. When we added a female anatolian pup to the herd, we stood there to make sure the other 2 anatolians didn't attack her. I guess because she was a baby, the nuturing instinct kicked in and they protected her. We will probably do as you suggested. Introduce them slowly and see what happens. I want sheep so next time we breed, the puppies can get used to them. I wish we had the GSDs and birds when we brought our anatolians home as pups because we probably wouldn't have this problem. They could have guarded all of them. Thank you.

Katrina

  • Joined Jul 2014
  • Cornwall
Re: Tips to introduce dogs to sheep
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2014, 02:16:20 pm »

So yes ..... scary sheep here that like a spot of dog-worrying.  ::)

I agree, watch the sheep too, my Dorset ewe lamb crept up behind my Jack Russell and put her nose under him and flipped him upside down and down the steps - she is very cheeky!!

I also had a friend visit with a dog and in the end we had to ask the owner to put him away because the sheep would not leave him alone and the poor dog was being so patient but I was concerned how long the dog would put up with being followed everywhere and having their noses in his face.  Definite dog-worrying.  :-J

Jukes Mum

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Tips to introduce dogs to sheep
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2014, 04:14:19 pm »
My sheep are really pesky with my dogs too. If I try to do dog training in their filed, the sheep walk to heel better than the dogs do! They always run the dogs a merry dance and I usually have to put them in a pen if I want to get any serious work done with the dogs as they find it hard to concentrate when the sheep are tugging at their ears!
Don’t Monkey With Another Monkey’s Monkey

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Tips to introduce dogs to sheep
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2014, 09:22:01 am »
My sheep are really pesky with my dogs too. If I try to do dog training in their filed, the sheep walk to heel better than the dogs do! They always run the dogs a merry dance and I usually have to put them in a pen if I want to get any serious work done with the dogs as they find it hard to concentrate when the sheep are tugging at their ears!

I have six whippets, a greyhound an Ibizan, a border terrier and  two pugs. Oh and a tiny Yorkie. They all look upon my Jacobs, the geese and the bantams as part of the pack. I can take them all through my neighbours sheep and they don't even look at them, except to skip out of the way of the ram!
I even, ahem :eyelashes: have a pug who will work sheep in that she knows hand signals for right and left (I can't train a sheepdog as I can't tell left from right quickly enough)  and she will stand still on command.
I won't say she's expert, or even good if I'm honest but she is useful at times
This doesn't answer your question though! I would honestly say that if you are not certain that your dogs are 100% with your sheep then keep them well separated. It only takes a few minutes for them to do their worst.

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Tips to introduce dogs to sheep
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2014, 11:54:26 am »
You need to make sheep either boring or taboo.

We have a range of dogs, terriers, lurchers, whippet, hounds, collie, spaniel etc etc. All working, and the runners are terriers are well versed in chasing things. . . . . .

But all of them are out from when they have had their jabs, just walking past, through, round sheep etc etc, until sheep are just a boring part of the scenery.

Some, however, take a little more correction, i've had a couple of dogs made an error of judgement, and in a moment of haste, pile into a sheep (mostly when a lone sheep has jumped out of a block of cover, looking very much like something else!). The ONLY thing you can do then, is to very quickly and very firmly correct them, and I hate to say it, but several good whacks around the head and shoulders is probably the best method! I've had to do it twice over the last couple of years to different dogs, and both have immediately been returned to a field of sheep and were fine, and now will never even look in their direction!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Tips to introduce dogs to sheep
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2014, 05:24:09 am »
Dogs, especially collie dogs, think and act so fast, that if you reprimand once they are getting stuck in or have done so, they may well misunderstand the reprimand.  Collies in particular are very prone to thinking that any negativity from their handler means they didn't do it fast enough or thoroughly enough, so just makes them worse!  ::)

When I had pet dogs, not working sheepdogs, I found it best to make it naughty to even look at sheep, so that the dogs would turn away from sheep and back towards me if we came across any unexpectedly.

Hence when I WWOOFed with lovely Horace, pet lambs would chase him about the place as he tried so hard to not be looking at them, and they tried so hard to make friends with him...  :roflanim:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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