Features April 2010 Issue

Canine Sports: Herding Competitions

LOTS of training is required to compete in herding – but the result should be a very well-trained and happy dog.

Fetch. Drive. Flank. Come-bye. Go-bye. Way to me. Outruns. Flight zones. Pressure point. That’ll do! The sport of herding has a unique vocabulary that distinguishes it from all the other canine sports. In addition to basic obedience cues such as sit, down, stay, and come, dogs are trained to respond to cues that tell them when to start moving livestock, in which direction to move them, when to stop moving them, when and how to move them into pens, and how to use their physical presence to pressure the stock to move but not to scare them into running or stampeding. There is dirt, there is dust, there is livestock that can break bones and bruise a body, and there is livestock poop. And herding teams love it all.

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