Last week we began teaching our beloved pet some herding phrases, to follow our step by step guide please click here.
This week we are moving on to some more complicated phrases associated with herding. Again one should not move your puppy on if they have not mastered the phrases in Part 3.
If you are having trouble asserting your authority as alpha male, a good trick is to feed your dog and just as it is about to take a bite, pull the bowl away and pretend to eat it. This lets your dog know who’s boss and shows him you are the dominant one. This may just help your animal to be more obedient while herding.
This is used during shedding or the dividing of some animals away from the main group. This can be a tricky one for your dog to master so have patience. When a gap has been created between the stock, you use this saying, "in here", to command the dog to move from its position on the opposite side of the stock. This should be done through the gap to separate them apart. The dog will then be expected to keep the separated animals away from the others, and take them away.
This is used when you want the dog to leave the sheep/animals it is currently herding, to find those left behind. This is an advanced phrase, so when your dog masters this one you know it’s training is almost complete. After a while of practicing, The dog will soon learn that it's easier to bring all the sheep or cattle in one go and will try and gather them all in one lots the next time.
Steady / Take Time
This tells your dog to slow down and take their time. It lets your dog know to leave a bigger space between it and the animals. This phrase is used when you notice your flock becoming distressed or anxious.
You’ll all remember the classic “That’ll do” phrase from the ‘Babe’ movie about the herding pig. This phrase is a legit term used to tell your dog to stop what it’s doing and return back to you. This is a very useful phrase to teach your dog, especially at the early stages of training. You should always be able to call your dog back without any problems. If this isn’t the case it could result in the injury of some of your stock. The dog must stop what it's doing and return directly to the handler. The dog's far more likely to obey the "That'll Do" command than a flanking command to bring it back towards you, so we use "That'll do" as a sort of "cheat card" to bring the dog closer, and therefore into a driving position behind the stock.
This one is used by some handlers to tell the dog it has completed the required flanking and should turn back towards the stock. Lie down can also be used instead of this one, to avoid confusing your dog. A dog can learn over 100 different phrases, though like humans they still get confused. Keeping it simple is advised.
Walk Up / Walk On / Get up
This is used when you want your dog to approach the animals in a calm, steady manner to avoid frightening them. Again this one is very important, if your animals get spooked they will be very hard to herd next time round.