On this week’s Dog guide, we look into the different herding phrases you will now need to teach yourself and your animal.
Last week in Part two we touched on introducing your dog to the livestock. This should be done as soon as you get your puppy. Today they will move onto introducing more complicated phrases which you will need to teach your dog.
Your puppy should have already conquered the basic phrases, read article here. When they have this completed and are comfortable around your farm animals, it is now time to begin teaching your dog some new phrases.
There are many different terms associated with herding, getting your dog used to them is vital. This should be done, like all training, slowly and with a degree of persistence and patience. Start off with one phrase at a time so as to not confuse your dog.
The best way to teach your dog is to run through the command with them by completing it at their side, having them beside you on the leash. Doing this a couple of times will help your dog to understand what you want, quicker. Begin with directional movements, start off simple and always remember to reward your dog for good behaviour.
See below the list of common herding phrases and their meanings:
This means you want your dog to move the stock in a clockwise direction. Your dog should run squarely and keep themselves at a distance from the stock. Your dog should flank around the animals.
Away/Away to me
This means you wish your dog to move the flock anti-clockwise. Again the dog should turn them squarely and keep them at a distance.
Lie Down / Stand / Stop
This can mean anything from stop to slow down, therefore it can be confusing for your animal. Be direct and let the dog know exactly what you want from it. This can be done by showing them exactly what you want, by completing the action yourself.
Get Back/Get out
This is a very important one indeed. It simply means you want your animal to get out or keep a further distance from your stock. Be firm with this command and let your dog know that failure to comply is not acceptable.
Once you have these basic herding terms mastered you will be ready to move on. When finished the daily training of your dog, again it is very important to treat your dog for a good day’s training. Providing them a treat or even playing fetch with them is a good way to reward them. Fetch is also a good way of getting your dog to obey commands.
The key to training a dog is repetition and consistency. Practice makes perfect, train your dog everyday until they start to understand the phrases better. Again start on one phrase and don’t move on until the dog is more than comfortable at complying.
Don’t forget to check out next week’s guide, as we will be providing you with more phrases you will need to teach your pup.