Showing posts with label Herding Dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Herding Dogs. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

BRIARD - Basic Details You Ought To Know

Briard in der Farbe fauve
Briard in der Farbe fauve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Briard, also known as the "Berger de Brie", belongs to the herding dog breed group. They have a shaggy coat that looks like a haystack. The breed is thought to have first existed during the 1300s where guarding homes and sheep is the reason they were first used. In the modern day, they are a popular selection as a family guard dog, herding sheep, police work or search and rescue. Attributes like their shaggy coat and fearless nature are what they can be instantly recognized by. Their earlier ancestors are the Berger Picard, Beauceron, and Barbet and they are assumed to have first existed in France during the 1300s.

They're categorized as a large sized dog. The official male size is 75-100 pounds and a height of 23-27 inches, while the female measurements are 50-65 pounds and a height of 22-25.5 inches. Their temperament is recognized as being protective and loyal. They're usually reserved or suspicious with people they haven't met before, and this means they are suitable as a guard dog. Compared with all other breeds, they're recognized as being quite smart and score 30th when being trained to understand new obedience instructions.

They are suitable for a family pet, as they're gentle towards children. They don't get along peacefully with other pets such as other dogs and they may become aggressive with them. Taking care of their coat is a demanding assignment. They require proper grooming every 6 to 8 weeks, and frequent brushing through their coat once every day. They like having a good yard to run around in, but can be suitable for living in an apartment.

As with the majority of large-sized breeds, they're by and large shorter-lived with a life expectancy of 10-12 years. Their most severe health problem is hip dysplasia, and they are also vulnerable to eye problems, bloat or hypothyroidism. Hobbies such as agility, herding, swimming or jogging will give them great pleasure. To avoid the development of destructive behavior, they should be taken for long walks every day because of their medium level of energy.

If you bring home the Briard you should be willing to give them firm leadership and a lot of grooming. They are less suitable for multiple pet households, but a perfect choice for active owners who can be their confident leader. Perhaps the best fact regarding this particular breed is it makes a good family watch dog due to its protective and loyal nature.

Monday, July 10, 2017

HERDING DOGS - Working Dogs

Herding dogs encompass an entire group of dog breeds, all bred with specific characteristics. Herding dogs may be large or small, from the little Shetland Sheepdog ("Sheltie") to the big, bobtailed Old English Sheepdog. They must display the ability to keep other animals together, and this instinct is inborn. 

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
A Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
(Photo credit: 

Owners who keep herding breeds as family pets speak of the dogs trying to keep children or other pets in a small group! Herding dogs might be trained to herd animals as diverse as ducks, sheep, goats, and cattle. 

Interestingly, it's the behavior of the predatory wolf that is honed and refined to produce the herding dog's distinctive actions. The herding dog goes into hunting-type behavior with the animals it is herding - it circles the group, identifies and retrieves stragglers (whereas a wolf would single out a straggler to attack and kill), nips at the animals' heels, and/or "stares them down." 

Herding dogs work from the rear or the front, with those that work from the rear engaging in the heel-nipping to push the animals onward, and those that work from the front using the stare or "strong eye" to turn the animals back. 

What Breeds Are Herding Dogs?

The main dog breeds that are in the herding group are:

* Australian Cattle Dog
* Australian Shepherd
* Border Collie
* Belgian Sheepdog
* Bouvier des Flandres
* Cardigan Welsh Corgi
* Pembroke Welsh Corgi
* Collie (the "Lassie" type)
* German Shepherd
* Old English Sheepdog
* Puli
* Shetland Sheepdog ("Sheltie")

Some of these animals are kept as pets, too. 

Shetland Sheepdog - Pacarane Political Party o...
Shetland Sheepdog
(Photo credit: 

Training herding dogs is an exacting task. While the breeds' instincts are there, trainers must refine and discipline these instincts to make the dogs into good herders. They usually begin with basic commands like any dog owner - sit, stay, heel, etc. But the herding dog trainer needs to make sure these commands are mastered, not optional. 

Next, herding calls are added, such as "That'll do," and "Come by." "That'll do" is sort of like "at ease" - the dog is to stop performing the given command and return to the trainer. "Come by" tells the dog to turn clockwise. 

When the dog is mature enough to handle these commands without hesitation or fear, the dog can slowly be introduced to the herd of animals. At first, the trainer uses a leash and a whistle to keep the dog in check. He or she trots along with the dog to show the dog the proper positions and directions. Gradually, the trainer will forego the leash and continue going with the dog. Then the trainer works toward giving the commands and standing by while the dog performs its herding duties.