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The natural instincts of herding dogs
Anyone who has owned a border collie, Swedish Vallhund or corgi knows that a herding dog's natural instincts do not go away when it is domesticated. From nipping your heels to cornering you, almost all dogs that were originally bred for herding retain a pinch of their original purpose, even if they are kept as house pets.
These dogs have a natural ability to control the movement of larger animals by nipping, barking or encircling them. They have high energy and great work ethic, which is why they are still used by sheep and cattle farmers all over the world today. Most of the time, the natural herding instincts of these dogs are so strong that they don't need any training. When they are placed in front of a herd of animals they know what to do. In addition, farmers who breed herding dogs alongside their other livestock can usually count on the older dogs to teach the younger ones what to do.
Other dogs never encounter a flock of sheep or herd of cattle in their lives. This may mean it takes out its herding instincts on its humans, or it could mean that when it encounters a herd of animals, it has no idea what to do.
The news source reports that there are ways to cultivate your pooch's natural ability, or to train a non-herding breed to herd. Begin by teaching your dog to stay when you throw its favorite toy like the Lamb Chop Dog Toy or Nubbin Heads Soft Dog Toy. Reward with praise and the occasional Gourmet Biscuit. You can then teach your canine to chase the toy on command. Once it has this trick down, it is time to introduce the pooch to livestock to see how it reacts. You can visit a farm or ranch for this. The American Kennel Club also offers an instinct test that helps you gauge your dog's interest, ability and trainability in this vocation.
As with any training, you will need to be consistent and be ready to reward repeatedly with treats like Greenies for dogs or Healthy & natural Liver Treats. Dogs that are being put to work in the fields are going to do a lot of running, so your veterinarian may also recommend a joint supplement such as Dasuquin for dogs or Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet. If you have a herding breed but are not using it for this job, remember that it will still need sufficient amounts of exercise to feel happy and fulfilled.