April 17, 2006

Herding Commands

We haven't taught many commands yet other than a whistle and 'Here' as a call to me, and a two hands raised and a 'Down' for a fast drop. Robert's method, which fits with clicker training theory, is that the dogs learn the behaviour before you name it. But for the future some typical herding commands are:
  • Away to me -- flank counterclockwise around the stock
  • Come bye -- flank clockwise around the stock
  • Lie Down -- Lie down or stop
  • Steady -- slow down
  • Walk up -- approach the stock
  • Look back -- turn around and go back for more stock behind you

I'm interested to see how many of these behaviours can be taught with the clicker away from the sheep. At the clinic on the weekend, Robert suggested that Dusty wouldn't have a drop yet, and for me to just go get her when we'd finished our turn. But I asked if we could try what we'd practiced in the park, and sure enough she had a great fast down.

Other herding terms

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