The Scotch Collie breed has been used as herding and working dogs for a long time. However, proper training is necessary to teach them the herding commands and how to obey them. As the owner, it is your responsibility to train your Scotch Collie properly. To be a good herding dog, your pup needs to have intelligence, agility, and drive. Herding takes advantage of the Scotch Collie’s natural instincts by enhancing them with the right training. It is important to keep in mind that there is a high potential for injury to your dog, especially with cattle. Therefore, it is crucial to supervise your dog until they are used to being around the cattle and have mastered the herding commands.
A well-trained Scotch Collie herding dog can be a valuable asset to your farm. They can help move the entire herd or bring back a wandering cow, making your job easier and more efficient. However, it takes a significant amount of time and effort to train a perfect herding dog. An improperly trained dog can be a liability instead of a benefit, which is why it’s crucial to ensure that your pup has mastered at least the four basic herding commands before turning them loose on the herd.
It’s important to remember that your pup’s safety is your responsibility. Cattle can be unpredictable, and it’s easy for a dog to get stepped on or head-butted. During the early stages of training, you should pay close attention to your pup’s every move until they have mastered the commands and learned how to stay away from the cattle. By doing so, you can prevent any injuries and ensure a safe training environment for your pup.
It’s also essential to keep in mind that the dog does not need to get underfoot to move the herd. They will soon learn their working position with the herd, and you can guide them to ensure that they stay at a safe distance from the cattle. With proper training and supervision, your Scotch Collie herding dog can become a valuable and reliable asset to your farm.
Starting Scotch Collie Herding Training
If you’re planning to train your Scotch Collie pup to become a skilled herding dog, the best time to start is when your pup is 6 to 12 months old. Starting the training at this age range is beneficial because your pup’s cognitive and physical abilities are developed enough to learn and perform basic herding commands.
Before you begin the training process, make sure to consult with your vet to ensure that your pup is physically fit for the job. Keep in mind that the training process is a gradual one, and it requires a lot of time and patience to master each command. But with consistency and positive reinforcement, your pup can become a master herder in no time.
Herding Training of Scotch Collie Dog | Step-by-Step Process
Are you ready to turn your Scotch Collie into a skilled herding dog? Whether you’re a rancher looking to put your pup’s instincts to work or simply want to develop their natural abilities, a step-by-step approach can make all the difference. Buckle up and get ready, because I’m about to guide you through the process of herding training for Scotch Collies.
1. Establish Basic Commands
Begin the training by teaching your Scotch Collie pup the four basic commands: ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, and ‘down’. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and playtime to encourage your pup to learn and master these commands.
2. Introduce Herding Commands
Once your Scotch Collie has mastered the basic commands, introduce the herding commands such as ‘walk up’, ‘steady’, ‘come by’, and ‘away’. Use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage your pup to learn and master these commands.
3. Solidify Commands
Spend several weeks working with your pup until they automatically go exactly where you tell them to without hesitation. This step is crucial as hesitation can lead to accidents, especially when working with live animals like cattle.
4. Introduce Cattle
Start with a small herd of cattle to give your pup time to get used to moving live animals around. Give them plenty of time to get used to working with the cattle. Work your pup with a small herd of cattle for several more weeks until they appear to be comfortable with their new job.
5. Gradually Increase Herd Size
Only after you are sure that your pup can manage the small herd safely and accurately should you move on to a larger herd. Gradually increase the size of the herd as your pup becomes more comfortable and proficient at herding.
6. Gather the Herd
Teach your pup to gather the herd by moving them in a circular motion towards you. Use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage your pup to follow the commands and move the cattle around.
7. Work with Another Dog
8. Move the Herd in Circles
Teach your pup to move the herd in a circular motion around you. Use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage your pup to follow the commands and move the cattle around.
9. Remove the Leash
Once your pup has mastered the commands and is comfortable working with the herd, it’s time to remove the leash. Let your pup work with the herd without the leash, but make sure to supervise them closely and ensure their safety.
10. Final Evaluation
The final evaluation is to see how well your pup can manage the herd on their own. Give them the opportunity to work with the herd without your supervision and see how well they do. If they perform well, congratulations! You have successfully trained your Scotch Collie to become a skilled and reliable herding dog.
The Bottom Line
Training your Scotch Collie to become a herding dog is a gradual and rewarding process that requires patience and dedication. Starting the training at a young age and following a step-by-step process can help your pup develop their natural abilities and become a skilled and reliable herder. Remember to always prioritize your pup’s safety and well-being, and enjoy the journey of watching them excel in their new job.
Good luck with training your Scotch Collie!