Learning how to train working cattle dogs can be difficult if you do not have the right breed of dog or if you do not know the right way of training. To train working cattle dogs, it is best to start when the dogs are still puppies, although this does not mean that older dogs cannot learn the instructions well.
To train working cattle dogs, you need:
- Picking the right breed. Breeds such as Australian Cattle Dog, Border Collie, Briard, Koolie, and Belgian Shepherd Dog can become great working cattle dogs. To train working cattle dogs properly, you want dogs that can endure an outdoor environment, can understand and obey commands, and dogs that are loyal to you.
- Purchasing the dogs. Before you can train working cattle dogs, you will first need to contact a reliable breeder and pick the puppies with a medium energy level. When you look at the litter, observe how the puppies behave: you want the working cattle dogs to be calm and focused so choose accordingly.
- Teaching basic commands. Before you train working cattle dogs to be around other animals, you have to make sure that they will obey all the basic commands. Practice commands such as "come," 'stay," "sit," and "heel" until the dogs will do accordingly every single time.
- Introducing the herd. Before you train working cattle dogs to be around the herd of cattle, put the new cattle dogs in a small pen with the cattle first. This way, neither the dog nor the cattle can run away, and your dog is more likely to focus on your command.
- Showing the direction. Once your new cattle dogs are familiar with the herd, you may begin to train working cattle dogs to work on the field. By this time, you and your dogs should already have created a strong bond, so having them follow you should not be a problem. Before you lead the dogs to herd for you, you should have a direction in mind. Lead the working cattle dogs to your desired direction, and then proceed to introduce the cattle into the training. Naturally, your dog would chase the cattle while at the same time following you.
- During the training, do not put the new cattle dogs together with mother cows as they tend to be overly protective towards the calves and may harm the dogs.
- Give your dogs a lot of reward if they are performing according to your instructions.