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Herding and the German Shepherd Dog


Once other animals such as cattle, sheep and goats became domesticated, man became aware of the dogs herding ability. Tactics used by hunting wolves, witnessed by humans, such as driving and separating one animal from the flock, were further exploited and bred into these dogs. As in other dogs, the animals possessing the best inherent herding abilities were further developed to assist human shepherds in their daily duties.

As you know, German Shepherds fall into the Herding Category of dog breeds- the breed was derived in the late 1800's from several different types of herding stock. As the breed gained popularity, it also gained new "jobs" and duties as varied as can be possibly imagined- from work in the wars, search-and-rescue, tracking, police work, protection, to guide dog, companion dog and more. Still, some animals(GSD's) are used today actively as herding dogs.

Exactly what is involved in the process of herding? First, a willingness to work and to cooperate with others. In the wild wolves or wild dogs work as a unit when hunting prey and each animal may have a particular "job" to fulfill in order to bring down the intended victim. Some may be following the prey while others attempt to head it off. Still, another may be the pack leader who in essence coordinates the events of the hunt. Herding dogs now work essentially with a human as pack leader in attempting to control herds of livestock.

Herding dogs may have natural abilities and fall in one of two basic categories- either that of gatherer or driver. Drivers generally move the stock away from the handler while still grouped, while gatherers tend to head off stock, keep them grouped and move them toward the handler. Generally speaking, gatherers are more versatile than drivers and it is much easier to cross train a gatherer to drive than it is to cross train a driver to gather.

Overall, principles of herding are based on the dogs natural instincts though other training methods abound. First dogs must obey the handler and follow commands. This, along with mutual trust and respect, are the most important aspects of the working relationship between the dog(s) and the handler. After being introduced to stock, the animals are taught to position themselves in relation to the handler and stock based on their "job" and the direction in which the herd is to be moved. It is the handlers job to give the dog guidance in working the stock.

Later in training directional commands are learned by the animal in training. Most commands are in the form of verbal cues or whistles although visual commands may sometimes be involved as well. Possible commands may include "easy" or "steady" (move slowly), "stop", "down", or flanking commands such as move counterclockwise or clockwise around the herd. Once the dog masters the basic gathering commands it is taught to drive the herd and as it learns each lesson, it is taught other more difficult commands.

Qualities a good herding dog must possess are obedience, trainability, adaptiveness, good health, responsiveness and, most importantly, being able to use its own judgment. "Standing up" to uncooperative stock or being gentle with cooperative stock are other qualities of utmost importance in an actual working herding dog.

Article written and reprinted with permission of: http://www.pedigreedpups.com/ Purebred Dogs, Puppies and Dog Breeders - "Your New Best Friend"

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

Debbie Ray, owner of: http://www.pedigreedpups.com is a lifetime dog lover and owner and breeder of german shepherd dogs for over 15 years.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Mon. January / 20 / 2020

Protect Pets from Accidental Exposure - Pharmacy Times
Protect Pets from Accidental Exposure  Pharmacy Times

Pets of the week: Norma Jean is a couch-cuddler who wants snuggle up with you - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Norma Jean is a couch-cuddler who wants snuggle up with you  MLive.com

Animal advocates remind community to keep a close eye on outdoor pets this winter - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland
Animal advocates remind community to keep a close eye on outdoor pets this winter  WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

Keeping pets safe in winter weather - KETV Omaha
Keeping pets safe in winter weather  KETV Omaha

Broward Shelter Takes In Pets Rescued From Earthquake-Riddled Puerto Rico - NBC 6 South Florida
Broward Shelter Takes In Pets Rescued From Earthquake-Riddled Puerto Rico  NBC 6 South Florida

Pets of the Week: Jasmine and Nicky - Daily Bulldog
Pets of the Week: Jasmine and Nicky  Daily Bulldog

Tips for keeping loved ones, pets safe during extreme cold - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland
Tips for keeping loved ones, pets safe during extreme cold  WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

Bellingham man accused of killing wife, pets arrested, remains hospitalized in Seattle - Seattle Times
Bellingham man accused of killing wife, pets arrested, remains hospitalized in Seattle  Seattle Times

Pets of the week: Saint and Socks - Manning Live
Pets of the week: Saint and Socks  Manning Live

At-Risk Puerto Rico Shelter Pets Flown to New Jersey - NBC New York
At-Risk Puerto Rico Shelter Pets Flown to New Jersey  NBC New York

Keeping pets warm in extreme cold - CIProud.com
Keeping pets warm in extreme cold  CIProud.com

Treasuring our pets - Aspen Times
Treasuring our pets  Aspen Times

Four pets die in Chautauqua County house fire - WGRZ.com
Four pets die in Chautauqua County house fire  WGRZ.com

Spotify unveils playlists for pets | TheHill - The Hill
Spotify unveils playlists for pets | TheHill  The Hill

Family of 5 displaced, pets killed in Durham house fire - CBS17.com
Family of 5 displaced, pets killed in Durham house fire  CBS17.com

Talk of the Town: How to help your pets lose weight - WIS10
Talk of the Town: How to help your pets lose weight  WIS10

CBD, Pot, Pets & Vets - wbckfm.com
CBD, Pot, Pets & Vets  wbckfm.com

For seniors, pets take the 'lonely' out of living alone | News, Sports, Jobs - Altoona Mirror
For seniors, pets take the 'lonely' out of living alone | News, Sports, Jobs  Altoona Mirror

The ‘pawfect’ playlist: Spotify makes playlist for pets - WTKR News 3
The ‘pawfect’ playlist: Spotify makes playlist for pets  WTKR News 3

Protecting Pets From the Bitter Cold - raccoonvalleyradio.com
Protecting Pets From the Bitter Cold  raccoonvalleyradio.com

Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

CAPA Pet of the Week: Blue - Lompoc Record
CAPA Pet of the Week: Blue  Lompoc Record

How to protect your pets in the winter - WGME
How to protect your pets in the winter  WGME

For some local shelter pets, the wait goes on - Richmond.com
For some local shelter pets, the wait goes on  Richmond.com

Bride, bridesmaids forego bouquets to walk down aisle with adoptable shelter pets - ArkLaTexHomepage
Bride, bridesmaids forego bouquets to walk down aisle with adoptable shelter pets  ArkLaTexHomepage

Are no pet restrictions enforceable? - Naples Daily News
Are no pet restrictions enforceable?  Naples Daily News

Pawjama Party program lets pets at the Humane Society spend the weekend with a Savannah family - WTOC
Pawjama Party program lets pets at the Humane Society spend the weekend with a Savannah family  WTOC

Naples pet parade and festival to benefit new education center at Naples Zoo - Wink News
Naples pet parade and festival to benefit new education center at Naples Zoo  Wink News

PETS OF THE WEEK | Lifestyle - Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
PETS OF THE WEEK | Lifestyle  Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Pets & People: Unlikely friendships | Pets And Animals - Frederick News Post
Pets & People: Unlikely friendships | Pets And Animals  Frederick News Post

How to protect your pets in winter — State — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine - Bangor Daily News
How to protect your pets in winter — State — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine  Bangor Daily News

Animal Welfare, Cub Scouts build doghouses for local pets - KRQE News 13
Animal Welfare, Cub Scouts build doghouses for local pets  KRQE News 13

Pets of the week: Jan. 19, 2019 - Yakima Herald-Republic
Pets of the week: Jan. 19, 2019  Yakima Herald-Republic

Local News Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter seeking seniors citizens to adopt seniors pets Jenny Fick 6 - KTVQ Billings News
Local News Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter seeking seniors citizens to adopt seniors pets Jenny Fick 6  KTVQ Billings News

"Take what you need leave what you can": Pet Food Blessing Box trying to fight animal hunger - WYMT News
"Take what you need leave what you can": Pet Food Blessing Box trying to fight animal hunger  WYMT News

P.E.T.S clinic and Wilbarger Humane Society team up for spay and neutering - KAUZ
P.E.T.S clinic and Wilbarger Humane Society team up for spay and neutering  KAUZ

First Ever 'Pet Detective' in China is on the Case, Reuniting Over 1000 Animals With Their Families So Far - Good News Network
First Ever 'Pet Detective' in China is on the Case, Reuniting Over 1000 Animals With Their Families So Far  Good News Network

KSBW Pet of the Weekend: Frittata - KSBW Monterey
KSBW Pet of the Weekend: Frittata  KSBW Monterey

Adoptable pets in Tucson - Arizona Daily Star
Adoptable pets in Tucson  Arizona Daily Star

Cheetah smuggling out of Ethiopia 'fuelled by exotic pets demand' - BBC News
Cheetah smuggling out of Ethiopia 'fuelled by exotic pets demand'  BBC News

The Activists Who've Saved 1000 Pets From Syria's War Zones - msnNOW
The Activists Who've Saved 1000 Pets From Syria's War Zones  msnNOW

Pet Talk: First Aid for pets - KBTX
Pet Talk: First Aid for pets  KBTX

You Can Create a Custom Playlist for Your Pet on Spotify to Keep Them Company While You're at Work - HouseBeautiful.com
You Can Create a Custom Playlist for Your Pet on Spotify to Keep Them Company While You're at Work  HouseBeautiful.com

Animal shelter shows off adoptable pets at Holiday Happy Tails - Frederick News Post
Animal shelter shows off adoptable pets at Holiday Happy Tails  Frederick News Post

Animal Welfare – adopt a pet - Stillwater News Press
Animal Welfare – adopt a pet  Stillwater News Press

New Tennessee law could ban animal abusers from owning pets for 2 years - WKRN News 2
New Tennessee law could ban animal abusers from owning pets for 2 years  WKRN News 2

'The Incredible Dr. Pol': The Pols Launched Their Own Line of Incredible Pet Food - Showbiz Cheat Sheet
'The Incredible Dr. Pol': The Pols Launched Their Own Line of Incredible Pet Food  Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Pet detective helps families track down lost pets as a community service - KGW.com
Pet detective helps families track down lost pets as a community service  KGW.com

Pet CPR and First Aid training class in East Longmeadow - WWLP.com
Pet CPR and First Aid training class in East Longmeadow  WWLP.com

Doggie Style Pets groomed 12-year-old Maltese pups, and one died. Then came the lawsuits. - The Philadelphia Inquirer
Doggie Style Pets groomed 12-year-old Maltese pups, and one died. Then came the lawsuits.  The Philadelphia Inquirer

Pets of the week: Pets want to play ball, walk with you - Burlington County Times
Pets of the week: Pets want to play ball, walk with you  Burlington County Times

Bellevue home uninhabitable, 2 pets die in fire - CIProud.com
Bellevue home uninhabitable, 2 pets die in fire  CIProud.com

Steve Dale 1/19/2020 Full Show: Legalization of marijuana and how it impacts your pets - WGN Radio - Chicago
Steve Dale 1/19/2020 Full Show: Legalization of marijuana and how it impacts your pets  WGN Radio - Chicago

LA County program helps homeless keep their pets as they seek housing - KABC-TV
LA County program helps homeless keep their pets as they seek housing  KABC-TV

Family's pets don't make it out alive after home catches fire in Evansville - WMTV
Family's pets don't make it out alive after home catches fire in Evansville  WMTV

Marijuana legalization could be leading to more pets getting sick from THC - WWMT-TV
Marijuana legalization could be leading to more pets getting sick from THC  WWMT-TV

Clay County using facial recognition to help reunited lost pets with owners - WJXT News4JAX
Clay County using facial recognition to help reunited lost pets with owners  WJXT News4JAX

Kentucky Bill Aims to Make Adoptable Animals the State Pets - womiowensboro.com
Kentucky Bill Aims to Make Adoptable Animals the State Pets  womiowensboro.com

14 Adoptable Cincinnati Pets Looking For Families to Snuggle With - Cincinnati CityBeat
14 Adoptable Cincinnati Pets Looking For Families to Snuggle With  Cincinnati CityBeat

Virginia lawmakers considering a range of bills on pets - WHSV
Virginia lawmakers considering a range of bills on pets  WHSV

Pet of the Week: Spirit - Times Record News
Pet of the Week: Spirit  Times Record News

7-year-old Frankfort boy inspires shelter pet legislation - State-Journal.com
7-year-old Frankfort boy inspires shelter pet legislation  State-Journal.com

Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Ivy, Kiki, & Angel - SweetwaterNOW.com
Adorable & Adoptable–Pets of the Week: Ivy, Kiki, & Angel  SweetwaterNOW.com

Fire ravages Waukesha home, 2 pets die from smoke inhalation - WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee
Fire ravages Waukesha home, 2 pets die from smoke inhalation  WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee

Spotify now has custom playlists for your pets. Here's how you can start streaming - Asbury Park Press
Spotify now has custom playlists for your pets. Here's how you can start streaming  Asbury Park Press

Woman wanted for stealing bearded dragon from Pets-n-More store in Lawrenceburg - WZTV
Woman wanted for stealing bearded dragon from Pets-n-More store in Lawrenceburg  WZTV

Speaking of Pets: The best bat for cat health in the winter is keeping them indoors - Vail Daily News
Speaking of Pets: The best bat for cat health in the winter is keeping them indoors  Vail Daily News

Meet Miami’s fat cat, a 35-pound Siamese. She’s part of a pet obesity epidemic - Miami Herald
Meet Miami’s fat cat, a 35-pound Siamese. She’s part of a pet obesity epidemic  Miami Herald

Chino Valley House Fire Claims The Lives Of Four Pets - KAFF News
Chino Valley House Fire Claims The Lives Of Four Pets  KAFF News

Pets of the Week: How shelter stress can affect a personality - yoursun.com
Pets of the Week: How shelter stress can affect a personality  yoursun.com

Nominate Your Pet For Scotch Plains-Fanwood Pet Of The Week - Scotch Plains, NJ Patch
Nominate Your Pet For Scotch Plains-Fanwood Pet Of The Week  Scotch Plains, NJ Patch

For Pet's Sake: Choosing the right breeder - Idaho News
For Pet's Sake: Choosing the right breeder  Idaho News

Bill would ban landlords from rejecting a renter because of pets - Concord Monitor
Bill would ban landlords from rejecting a renter because of pets  Concord Monitor

Pet of the Weekend: Meet Little Bisquit! - WBTW
Pet of the Weekend: Meet Little Bisquit!  WBTW

Pet of the Week: Choco - Times Record News
Pet of the Week: Choco  Times Record News

Meet Rosco and Misty; our Pets of the Week - KSTU FOX 13 Salt Lake City
Meet Rosco and Misty; our Pets of the Week  KSTU FOX 13 Salt Lake City

Pet of the Week: 2020 pets - WTOP
Pet of the Week: 2020 pets  WTOP

The IVC Pet and People Wellness Fair kicks off January 26 - - KUSI
The IVC Pet and People Wellness Fair kicks off January 26 -  KUSI

Time's Up: Pet, Business Licenses Must be Renewed by January 31 - TAPinto.net
Time's Up: Pet, Business Licenses Must be Renewed by January 31  TAPinto.net

Protect your pets: Foxes spotted in Philadelphia, Upper Darby neighborhoods - 6abc.com
Protect your pets: Foxes spotted in Philadelphia, Upper Darby neighborhoods  6abc.com

Resolve to be an even better pet owner - Fallbrook / Bonsall Villlage News
Resolve to be an even better pet owner  Fallbrook / Bonsall Villlage News

Spotify's personalised playlist for pets and other news - BBC News
Spotify's personalised playlist for pets and other news  BBC News

Questions pet owners should ask when seeking services - 10TV
Questions pet owners should ask when seeking services  10TV

CBS3 Pet Project: Ways To Say ‘I Love You’ To Your Dog - CBS Philly
CBS3 Pet Project: Ways To Say ‘I Love You’ To Your Dog  CBS Philly

Dumped: Deserted pets roam Dickinson in hordes - The Dickinson Press
Dumped: Deserted pets roam Dickinson in hordes  The Dickinson Press

Pet Project 2019: Animals available for adoption in Massachusetts on Jan. 18 - MassLive.com
Pet Project 2019: Animals available for adoption in Massachusetts on Jan. 18  MassLive.com

Old Trainer: Table scraps vs. store food for your pet - Merced Sun-Star
Old Trainer: Table scraps vs. store food for your pet  Merced Sun-Star

Letter from Birdland | Smiley-face sourdough | Pets - Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette
Letter from Birdland | Smiley-face sourdough | Pets  Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette

Truman State University to allow pets in dorms - khqa.com
Truman State University to allow pets in dorms  khqa.com

In brief: Time to license your pet in Montclair - montclairlocal.news
In brief: Time to license your pet in Montclair  montclairlocal.news

ARL of Iowa shares tips for keeping pets safe during wind chill advisory - KCCI Des Moines
ARL of Iowa shares tips for keeping pets safe during wind chill advisory  KCCI Des Moines

Legalization of marijuana could be leading to more pets getting high - KMOV.com
Legalization of marijuana could be leading to more pets getting high  KMOV.com

Licensing due March 15 for pets in Douglas, Sarpy counties - WOWT
Licensing due March 15 for pets in Douglas, Sarpy counties  WOWT

Adoptable pets at Santa Rosa County Animal Shelter - Navarre Press
Adoptable pets at Santa Rosa County Animal Shelter  Navarre Press

Valley animal shelter offering pet CPR training for teens - FOX 10 News Phoenix
Valley animal shelter offering pet CPR training for teens  FOX 10 News Phoenix

Pet-shop owner sentenced for smuggling endangered Florida turtles - Broward Politics
Pet-shop owner sentenced for smuggling endangered Florida turtles  Broward Politics

Get your car serviced, leave with new family pet - Antelope Valley Press
Get your car serviced, leave with new family pet  Antelope Valley Press

Pet Doc: New Year’s pet health reminders - WKRN News 2
Pet Doc: New Year’s pet health reminders  WKRN News 2

Students get hands-on experience with pet grooming during class - WIS10
Students get hands-on experience with pet grooming during class  WIS10

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