Head strong dog

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Head strong dog

This is a discussion on Head strong dog within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello everyone, I've got a New Zealand Hunterway. He's about 8months old and training to be a farm dog. When he's moving cattle he jumps ...

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Old 08-20-2012, 08:58 PM
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Head strong dog

Hello everyone, I've got a New Zealand Hunterway. He's about 8months old and training to be a farm dog.

When he's moving cattle he jumps and barks at there heads when I tell him to get back ( bring the cows back) . Any ideas how to get him out of this ba habit?

Cheers
Farmboy123
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:06 PM
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I have never trained a dog to herd cattle..but how about tying a string with a ball attached to a cows hock...oh wait maybe front leg so he does not get kicked...Again never trained one just an idea to keep his attention off the face.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:11 PM
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Thanks for the idea, that one will be abit hard cause I move anything from 50 to 1000 cows aday. I can get him to sit straight away, but when he runs off he goes straight back to the head
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:18 PM
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Wow that is a lot of cattle..Do you know someone who might lone you a dog for him to learn from?
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:20 PM
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Yeah I do ,guess I'll have to try that
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:24 PM
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Monkey see Monkey do concept...
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:04 AM
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May be he's part NZ Header, too. LOL
I don't know how to train herding dogs but I do know that for the most part they are bred and trained for their tendencies to either heel, head, or back. Either way, it's all modified predatory behavior...keep the hunting instinct but curb the predator part of that instinct. Hutaways have an instinct to drive the herd away from the herder (just like the name says) and use barking and intense eye contact to do so. It seem like maybe he needs some fine tuning to suit your needs and is a bit overeager. He is still pretty young. Does he have asolid grasp of all the herding commands? Maybe try getting him in a smaller pen with just a few animals or one animal and use commands to encourage the behaviors that you want, while using a rope or leash or stop command to discourage the ones you don't want. Maybe wait til he is more mature and reliable before putting him in with so many head of cattle? That way, you won't be inadvertently strengthening the instincts that you don't want.

Like I said, I don't know much about how to train working dogs. Are treats even acceptable to give herding dogs for rewards during training? If they are, You could just treat him like crazy every time he isn't going for the head of the animal.mostly, it sounds like he's doing what you want but he lacks control and he's overexcited and needs more shaping. Then again, i sure as heck ain't no expert. There are probably great books and websites out there with much better ideas.

Good luck.
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