What does dog herding behavior look like? If you have ever noticed your dog chasing the cars or running at kids in the yard, that’s it. These acts are part of their herding nature. Even it seems pretty normal and part of a dog’s lifestyle, it sometimes might cause aggression issues in your dog. First, let’s discuss what is herding behavior in dogs exactly? How can you deal with it?
(Check our other articles at Loobani to learn more about your dog’s behavior)
Herding Behavior In Dogs
Herding is the activity when your dog tries to collect individual animals into a group, maintain it and move this group from one place to another.
Herding behavior includes a series of inherent predatory behaviors and dog acquisition commands. This may consist of following in the footsteps of others or trying to take away a herd of livestock.
The herding group involves dogs of various sizes, furs, and colors. All of them have the same herding instincts and power. These working dogs have been raised to help their human companions manage livestock on ranches and farms worldwide for generations. Herd dogs are intelligent and loyal dogs, eager to please, and favorite family pets.
Herding behavior is closely related to the DNA of our furry friends. It comes from dog psychology. Even the most spoiled puppies, when they bark at tourists and try to pinch the postman’s nails through the mailbox, will still reveal remnants of herding.
How To Deal With Herding Dogs
Herd dogs usually have a lot of unused energy. So, you will need to think of something else that will take up their energy for herding. Once you invest the herding energy of your pet into something, you will not have a hyperactive crazy dog but an intelligent breed that obeys the orders of family members.
In other words, you need to let your dog choose jobs that can take advantage of its herding behavior. It may be to drive the children to the table, bring the newspaper, collect toys, etc. They will enjoy doing it, and you will have less housework to do. Isn’t it a great deal?
If your pet’s herding behavior causes hyperactivity and leads to aggression, try to keep him more active and invested in some activities.
- Physical exercise
- Mental Exercise
- Involvement in sports
These beginning steps will help your dog use extra energy properly.
The first thing you need to do is ensure your dog gets enough exercise. Your dog feels happy and healthy when he is tired. The herding species are naturally energetic. Take your dog for a run, train them to run next to your bike, let them enjoy some unleashed time in the local dog park, or play daily catching games in the backyard. Let them move and release energy.
Second, you need to provide mental exercises to the herd behavior dog every day. In most cases, these dogs are highly trainable. This is the reason law enforcement, search, and rescue services use herd dogs.
They yearn for mental stimulation and time to combine with humans. Just like a smart kid who misbehaves during a call because of boredom, you have to challenge them. As I mentioned, direct their attention to the work you want them to do. For example, you can teach your dog to pick up and put away his own toys!
Involvement In Sports
Another option is to look for activities that can make the most of their athletic ability. For example, the flying ball is a favorite pastime of many herd dog owners.
Many communities have clubs that meet regularly for training and competitions. Dog behavior specialists are also another good choice for these intelligent and active dogs. Some owners are even looking for real herding opportunities, and rural areas are now hosting city doggs in order to have the chance to apply their intuition to real life.
No matter what you choose, if you provide your puppies with the mental and physical stimulation they need, you will see a decrease in unwelcome herding behavior.
Herding Dog Behavior Issues
Although herding has a practical purpose for working dogs that need to move livestock, the same instinct can work at home. Knowing some dog language will help you understand your dog better and determine their actions and act appropriately. They will express their herding spirit with anything available, including other pets, children, and even you.
Exercise triggers our dog’s deep-rooted herding instincts. So, herding is generally not what your dog intends to do. He’s not trying to attract attention or misbehave. It’s just the way he is. Does just to attract attention or deliberately misbehave.
When your dog herds your kinds, it does not mean they think kids are sheep. They are just doing it naturally. Of course, you can’t solve the problem by keeping your dog away from children.
However, pay attention to their actions, react adequately, and discourage bad behavior. However, please pay attention to the reaction to the problem. For instance, if your kid escapes after the dog bites their foot during “herding,” it will only stimulate his behavior for the future.
While teaching basic obedience, try to prevent your dog from herding unacceptably. Teaching training behaviors will help you redirect your dog’s attention when moving objects are nearby.
How To Stop Dog Herding Behavior
Teaching your dog self-control is very helpful. For example, grabbing and tug of war are great games to play with your dog. But before you throw a ball or provide a tugboat toy, ask your dog to do a calm behavior, such as lying down or sitting.
Our Interactive Pet Football Toys With Grab is one of the dogs’ favorite toys. If you’re tired of throwing the ball and prefer some feet kicks and football, try it. You’ll both enjoy it. Moreover, these balls are durable in water and can be played in swimming pools, lakes, and beaches. It is designed to keep your dog entertained, active and to help them stay engaged with their humans.
Examples Of Herding Behavior In Dogs
Herding behavior involves more than just following the livestock. For example, border collies are trained to maintain their dominance in front of a group of animals.
Their prolonged eye contact and deep and authoritative barking are enough to keep a group of livestock within the scope of surrender.
Victorian butchers used dogs to help control the flock, leading to them being called capture dogs.
The German Shepherd is probably the most famous shepherd breed. They are known for their intelligence and athletic ability, and their talents continue to play a role in human society. They are often used as police officers and guide dogs in contemporary life, but they have been used in rural environments for generations.
The German Shepherd is following you in the house for a reason he has been doing it for years through the generations. These canines are competent as shepherds and excellent, caring dogs, ensuring that livestock is not too close to fences or open highways.
What Are The Basic Commands To Train Herd Dog?
If you live in a rural area and want to train your dog as a herding dog, it won’t be difficult. You just need to get them used to your commands, and their instincts will do the rest.
In order for your shepherd dog to receive comprehensive training, it is essential to teach him some shepherding commands. For example, “go by” tells the dog to walk around the sheep clockwise, while “out” might mean to move in the opposite direction.
You can think of your preferred words as commands and teach your dog when to stop, pause, sit down, or stand up.
To conclude, there’s nothing bad in our dog’s herding behavior. Yes, it might sometimes lead to aggressive acts and sudden bites, but together with your dog, you can start working on it, invest their energy correctly, or give them a job to use their herding instincts.
Dogs are intelligent animals, and you can teach them to follow a set of herding orders. However, try not to teach the dog too much. This will overload their brain.
Follow our tips, use interactive pet toys, train them properly, and your dog will grow into a well-behaved, clever canine.