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Border Collie training of cattle

One of the reason why dogs became a mans best friend is that they are loyal and can help with the flocks. Ever since time began, shepherds have been using dogs to herd their flocks. I guess it is just a dogs instinct to herd them for you if put in a farm. They will herd any animal whether it be ducks, sheep, pigs, goats, cattle and so on.

The Border Collie is well known for being a great sheepdog. When the dog is ready to work, it’s tail will drop and their hypnotic eyes control livestock of all shapes and sizes. That is why they are considered as one of the tops breeds of dog for the job. There are many dogs than can herd a flock, but none of them are as efficient as the Border Collie.

The best time to train a Border Collie to herd cattle is when he is at least a year old. Physically, they are probably ready before then but mentally, they will still be very immature and may not be able to take the pressure associated with training them.

There are different types of instincts that a Border Collie has. First, we have the herders. This is the easiest instinct to train, they will gather the herd but lack the ability to lead them. They tend to just stack the herd together and do not have the initiative to lead them wherever it is they should be going.

Secondly, you have the chasers. These Border Collies lack the herding instinct but are great at chasing. Chasers often bite the livestock and chase the herd around with no care to the particular direction in which they are going as long as it is running away from the dog. It is very hard to train a dog with these instincts to herd as they tend to prefer chasing the livestock away.

If you were to ask me which of these instincts would be better, it would quite obviously be the herder. I came to this conclusion because with the chasers you need to prepare yourself for a lot of work! Injured livestock, damaged fences and the risk of having a stampede would be the least of your problems! The chasers are best for fenced in stocks so that the cattle will not go beyond the fence. The stay in herders, well they are not good in fences as he has to be inside the fence and may confuse the heard.

When it comes to using your Border Collie in the purposes of training for cattle, you may need to think very carefully about which of the two instincts would be best suited to the needs of you and your livestock!

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