And I can’t stress this next point strongly enough – select your puppy from a litter that has working parents. The Australian cattle farmers also preferred a dog that is willing to bite at the heels of large animals who would rather stay put than walk to market. From an early age begin laying the groundwork for the “language” between you and your dog. Starting Heelers on real animals Most mistakes made by dogs are not the dogs fault. I now have my first blue heeler bitch, named Sheba, which I intend training to work cattle when she is older. I got him when he was 3 months old. And from that “Mount Rushmore” of cowdog breeds, you’re likely to see two of them on the farmscape much more often than the others – Border Collies and Heelers. (apologies in advance if you’re a fancier of that breed. Some are just more averse to fear and danger. My friend has a brother to my dog and his heeler does the same. When necessary the Heeler will close the distance and invade the cow’s space, nipping at heels or noses or whatever the cow gives him access to.

Essential info about dog health, training, sports and more.

To a herding dog, however, “other animals” means the humans in the house, too. All rights reserved. Although herding has a very practical purpose for working dogs needing to move livestock, that same instinct can kick in inside the home. This relay race style sport allows dogs to tap into their drives as they run over hurdles, use their paws to push on a spring-loaded pad to release a tennis ball, and catch that ball before running back to their handler. Identify that thing. Just as willing to engage the cows in the poker match. Also choose situations that will move slowly in the begining so the dog will have time to think about what he’s doing. Just as nimble. Border collies tend to do it from a distance with loose consistent pressure. Even though not quite as important as grit, in my opinion, the need for focus in a good cow dog cannot be understated. But it’s probably more accurate to describe them as ‘feral’ rather than wild.

Repeat that thing until your dog can begin to do that perfectly. But, as the dog toy industry has proven, almost every dog has some predator left inside, even if it only comes out when a squeaky toy is thrown across the living room. If you’re looking to introduce a topic into the conversation at a table full of farmers and cowboys, more divisive than religion or politics, try bringing up which is a better herding dog – a Heeler or a Border Collie. You can take a dog like that, and with some time and training, teach him enough commands to make him usable. Don’t be afraid to let your dog make mistakes. Kaleski abandoned a promising career in Law in his early twenties and took to exploring, undertaking practical work (including as a drover) and travelling the wild and newly farmed land. I think they just love being active and have something to look forward to. Other breeds They might occasionally nip a stubborn sheep, but that’s not usually part of their repertoire. The value of a good cattle dog If you've ever owned a well trained cattle dog, then you know what a time-saver and money-saver they can be around the farm. In short, if you have cattle (or most other types of livestock, for that matter) and you don’t have a good cow dog, then you’re probably not operating as efficiently as you could be, partner. Can you explain this behavior?

I have had border collie’s for some time and working sheep has always been entertaining and a breeze.

Stealth and graceful. This is where your teachable moments will come from. (2 yr old and two 3 month old puppies). you asked him to do it from within a round pen where you could manage the distractions and where it is a lot easier to “hit the reset button” when your green cowdog makes a mistake? Interest in the Blue Heeler origin and suitability as a pet is increasing and you may well be considering bringing one of these lovely dogs into your life. AKC actively advocates for responsible dog ownership and is dedicated to advancing dog sports. Eventually the goal is to be able to do it reflexively (second nature) but that can only come from building mental muscles Full disclaimer before we go much further: I am a Heeler man. The dog should never come between the human and the cattle the goal, ultimately is for the dog to be pushing the cattle TO the farmer and by coming between the farmer and the cattle it will usually create an escape space for the stock. Kelpie and Cattledog: Australian Dogs At Work Angus and Robertson 1982, Russell Mackenzie Warner. Sometimes the mistakes are out of fear. He knows treat only is given AFTER I come home, let him out, then look-see to make sure no damage or accidents! A distracted dog is a more challenging dog to train. The essential commands: My heeler use to chase a deflated soccer ball almost every day. Make sure you are providing enough physical exercise for your dog. Hi Guys – thanks for posting this up – but its now a little out of date – Sorry to be negative here.

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