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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 Wed. January / 22 / 2020

Pet owners urged to bring pets inside for Tuesday night freeze - WCJB
Pet owners urged to bring pets inside for Tuesday night freeze  WCJB

Nationwide's pet insurance plans are getting more exotic - Columbus Business First
Nationwide's pet insurance plans are getting more exotic  Columbus Business First

PetMed Express Inc (PETS) Q3 2019 Earnings Call Transcript - Motley Fool
PetMed Express Inc (PETS) Q3 2019 Earnings Call Transcript  Motley Fool

Take steps now to provide for your pets in case you can't - MarketWatch
Take steps now to provide for your pets in case you can't  MarketWatch

Adoptable pets for Jan. 17-23 - Knoxville News Sentinel
Adoptable pets for Jan. 17-23  Knoxville News Sentinel

Domestic abusers could lose contact with pets - WJXT News4JAX
Domestic abusers could lose contact with pets  WJXT News4JAX

San Gabriel Valley pets of the week: Why get 1 kitty when you can have 5? - The Pasadena Star-News
San Gabriel Valley pets of the week: Why get 1 kitty when you can have 5?  The Pasadena Star-News

Resolutions for your senior pet | Vet Views - Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Resolutions for your senior pet | Vet Views  Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

Shelter pets could become Florida's official state pet - WCTV
Shelter pets could become Florida's official state pet  WCTV

Pet-friendly rentals keep people and pets together - Marin Independent Journal
Pet-friendly rentals keep people and pets together  Marin Independent Journal

8-year-old donates her birthday to P.E.T.S. - KAUZ
8-year-old donates her birthday to P.E.T.S.  KAUZ

Reminder: Protect Pets from Bitter Cold - Alabama News Network
Reminder: Protect Pets from Bitter Cold  Alabama News Network

A Lotta Love Pet Rescue helping keep pets and owners together - Your News Now
A Lotta Love Pet Rescue helping keep pets and owners together  Your News Now

Reminder: Leaving pets outside in frigid temps is a crime - wpde.com
Reminder: Leaving pets outside in frigid temps is a crime  wpde.com

Banfield Pet Hospital's 4th Annual Veterinary Emerging Topics (VET)® Report Reveals Pet Obesity Still on the Rise - NBC Right Now
Banfield Pet Hospital's 4th Annual Veterinary Emerging Topics (VET)® Report Reveals Pet Obesity Still on the Rise  NBC Right Now

Pets owned by homeless get care through Street Dog Coalition - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Pets owned by homeless get care through Street Dog Coalition  The San Diego Union-Tribune

Pets, house saved in Sevier County structure fire - WATE 6 On Your Side
Pets, house saved in Sevier County structure fire  WATE 6 On Your Side

Nationwide Unveils New Avian and Exotic Pet Insurance Plan - Yahoo Finance
Nationwide Unveils New Avian and Exotic Pet Insurance Plan  Yahoo Finance

Pet passports: EU to crack down on criminals abusing the system - KFGO News
Pet passports: EU to crack down on criminals abusing the system  KFGO News

As Temperatures Dip Tonight, Take Steps To Protect Your Home, Pets & Plants - CBS Miami
As Temperatures Dip Tonight, Take Steps To Protect Your Home, Pets & Plants  CBS Miami

Pets of the Week: Jan. 20 - White County News
Pets of the Week: Jan. 20  White County News

New ordinance would allow miniature pigs to be pets in St. Albans - WOWK 13 News
New ordinance would allow miniature pigs to be pets in St. Albans  WOWK 13 News

Philippines farm shelters pets rescued from volcano - Reuters
Philippines farm shelters pets rescued from volcano  Reuters

Six pets die in Sioux Falls fire - KSFY
Six pets die in Sioux Falls fire  KSFY

Lost And Found Pets In Metro Denver, Boulder: Week Of Jan. 20 - Patch.com
Lost And Found Pets In Metro Denver, Boulder: Week Of Jan. 20  Patch.com

Register for Mardi Gras Pet Parade - WKRG News 5
Register for Mardi Gras Pet Parade  WKRG News 5

Pets of the Week, Jan. 22, 2020 - The Advocate-Messenger - Danville Advocate
Pets of the Week, Jan. 22, 2020 - The Advocate-Messenger  Danville Advocate

Animal Tales: Lewiston woman keeps pets in style - Lewiston Sun Journal
Animal Tales: Lewiston woman keeps pets in style  Lewiston Sun Journal

WATCH: Fisherman pets mako shark to prove point - For The Win
WATCH: Fisherman pets mako shark to prove point  For The Win

Pets Rescued From Puerto Rico Up For Adoption At NJ Shelter - CBS New York
Pets Rescued From Puerto Rico Up For Adoption At NJ Shelter  CBS New York

If you're cold, your pets are cold, too. Give them the shelter they need - NOLA.com
If you're cold, your pets are cold, too. Give them the shelter they need  NOLA.com

Local search and rescue dog who helped find lost pets has died - The Cincinnati Enquirer
Local search and rescue dog who helped find lost pets has died  The Cincinnati Enquirer

Sterling: Advantages of having pets in college | Opinion - Oregon Daily Emerald
Sterling: Advantages of having pets in college | Opinion  Oregon Daily Emerald

Animal cruelty investigator: "Cold weather can be dangerous to pets" - WYMT News
Animal cruelty investigator: "Cold weather can be dangerous to pets"  WYMT News

Adoptable pets of the week: Roxy, Ebony, Chester, Josi - The State Journal-Register
Adoptable pets of the week: Roxy, Ebony, Chester, Josi  The State Journal-Register

PETS ARE FAMILY TOO - Marlin Democrat
PETS ARE FAMILY TOO  Marlin Democrat

NJ pets in need: Jan. 20, 2020 - NJ.com
NJ pets in need: Jan. 20, 2020  NJ.com

Law enforcement fighting to keep pets safe in the cold - newschannel20.com
Law enforcement fighting to keep pets safe in the cold  newschannel20.com

Bay Area preps plants, pets for cold snap - FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Bay Area preps plants, pets for cold snap  FOX 13 Tampa Bay

Standard Journal Pets of the Week from the Wednesday, January 22, 2020 edition - The Catoosa County News
Standard Journal Pets of the Week from the Wednesday, January 22, 2020 edition  The Catoosa County News

How Changing Demographics Can Offset Lags in Pet Ownership Growth - PetProductNews.com
How Changing Demographics Can Offset Lags in Pet Ownership Growth  PetProductNews.com

We Want To See Your Adorable Penn State Pets - Onward State
We Want To See Your Adorable Penn State Pets  Onward State

Person, two pets escape house fire in Westminster - Baltimore Sun
Person, two pets escape house fire in Westminster  Baltimore Sun

Over 100 Pets Airlifted from Overcrowded Shelters in Puerto Rico to Find Homes in U.S - 94.5 PST
Over 100 Pets Airlifted from Overcrowded Shelters in Puerto Rico to Find Homes in U.S  94.5 PST

Blind woman asks public, pet owners to be aware of service animals - WTOL
Blind woman asks public, pet owners to be aware of service animals  WTOL

Police: 6 pets killed in mobile home fire - KSFY
Police: 6 pets killed in mobile home fire  KSFY

Six pets died in Sioux Falls mobile home fire - KCAU 9
Six pets died in Sioux Falls mobile home fire  KCAU 9

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

Pet Programs Diversify Hospice Services and Boost Volunteerism - Hospice News
Pet Programs Diversify Hospice Services and Boost Volunteerism  Hospice News

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

New Clay County weed extremely toxic to humans, pets - Grand Forks Herald
New Clay County weed extremely toxic to humans, pets  Grand Forks Herald

Mountain Humane Animal Shelter creates happy environment for shelter pets - KMVT
Mountain Humane Animal Shelter creates happy environment for shelter pets  KMVT

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

New Bill Takes Aim At 'Puppy Mills,' Pet Stores, And Dog And Cat Breeding In Colorado - Colorado Public Radio
New Bill Takes Aim At 'Puppy Mills,' Pet Stores, And Dog And Cat Breeding In Colorado  Colorado Public Radio

3 Plus Your Pets - WRCB-TV
3 Plus Your Pets  WRCB-TV

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

Adoptable Alexandria Pet: A Gouda Companion - Del Ray, VA Patch
Adoptable Alexandria Pet: A Gouda Companion  Del Ray, VA Patch

’50 and 5′ program offering free pet adoption through Casper Humane Society - Oil City News
’50 and 5′ program offering free pet adoption through Casper Humane Society  Oil City News

Lafayette native’s passion paw-sitvely impacting pet lovers - Colorado Hometown Weekly
Lafayette native’s passion paw-sitvely impacting pet lovers  Colorado Hometown Weekly

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Britney - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Britney  KCBD

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

Ohio States veterinary social worker helps pet owners cope with grief, tough choices - The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio States veterinary social worker helps pet owners cope with grief, tough choices  The Columbus Dispatch

Frederick Uncut: Finding the purr-fect pet at the animal shelter - Frederick News Post
Frederick Uncut: Finding the purr-fect pet at the animal shelter  Frederick News Post

Great Kills fire, the morning after: FDNY still on scene, pets survived - SILive.com
Great Kills fire, the morning after: FDNY still on scene, pets survived  SILive.com

Disposable Colorful Pet Bowls are Now Available to Hotels and Retailers in the United States - Olean Times Herald
Disposable Colorful Pet Bowls are Now Available to Hotels and Retailers in the United States  Olean Times Herald

Make Your Own Pet Toys At New Tulsa Mother Road Market Boutique - News On 6
Make Your Own Pet Toys At New Tulsa Mother Road Market Boutique  News On 6

Freezing Weather — Protecting Pets, Plants, Pipes And Other Tips - NorthEscambia.com
Freezing Weather — Protecting Pets, Plants, Pipes And Other Tips  NorthEscambia.com

Coyotes endanger pets, children; hunts are necessary to control them (Your letters) - syracuse.com
Coyotes endanger pets, children; hunts are necessary to control them (Your letters)  syracuse.com

UPDATE: Two pets rescued in 2-alarm fire in Mobile, no injuries reported - WKRG News 5
UPDATE: Two pets rescued in 2-alarm fire in Mobile, no injuries reported  WKRG News 5

Adopt, don’t shop: New pet adoption center opens at Wilton Mall - NEWS10 ABC
Adopt, don’t shop: New pet adoption center opens at Wilton Mall  NEWS10 ABC

CBD for pets: does it actually work? - Health Europa
CBD for pets: does it actually work?  Health Europa

Pet Grooming Product Market Size Worth $14.5 Billion by 2025: Grand View Research, Inc. - Yahoo Finance
Pet Grooming Product Market Size Worth $14.5 Billion by 2025: Grand View Research, Inc.  Yahoo Finance

Frisco Adopts New Regulations For Pet Stores Designed To Protect Dogs, Cats, Prospective Owners - CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Frisco Adopts New Regulations For Pet Stores Designed To Protect Dogs, Cats, Prospective Owners  CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Meet the Pet of the Week: Atka - Channel3000.com - WISC-TV3
Meet the Pet of the Week: Atka  Channel3000.com - WISC-TV3

Family displaced, pets killed in Westmoreland house fire - The Keene Sentinel
Family displaced, pets killed in Westmoreland house fire  The Keene Sentinel

Bride, Bridesmaids Walk Adoptable Pets Down The Aisle - CBS Pittsburgh
Bride, Bridesmaids Walk Adoptable Pets Down The Aisle  CBS Pittsburgh

'Art in the Library' artist paints pet portraits for family, friends - WSU News
'Art in the Library' artist paints pet portraits for family, friends  WSU News

Local Search Dog, a hero who helped in over 500 searches for lost pets, has passed away - WKRC TV Cincinnati
Local Search Dog, a hero who helped in over 500 searches for lost pets, has passed away  WKRC TV Cincinnati

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

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

Meet Sheba, FOX8’s Pet of the Week - WGHP FOX 8 Greensboro
Meet Sheba, FOX8’s Pet of the Week  WGHP FOX 8 Greensboro

Meet the Outer Banks SPCA Pet of the Week, Toby - Island Free Press
Meet the Outer Banks SPCA Pet of the Week, Toby  Island Free Press

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

Cleveland APL Pet of the Week: Energetic and friendly young dog up for adoption - Cleveland 19 News
Cleveland APL Pet of the Week: Energetic and friendly young dog up for adoption  Cleveland 19 News

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

Adopt A Pet Tuesday: Buffy, Smokey & Braven - 9&10 News
Adopt A Pet Tuesday: Buffy, Smokey & Braven  9&10 News

Amber's Grooming Salon offers holistic approach to pet care - The Daily Evergreen
Amber's Grooming Salon offers holistic approach to pet care  The Daily Evergreen

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

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

Pet Health: Preparing for Euthanization - ArkLaTexHomepage
Pet Health: Preparing for Euthanization  ArkLaTexHomepage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How an innovative Los Angeles County program helps homeless people find pet-friendly housing - KABC-TV
How an innovative Los Angeles County program helps homeless people find pet-friendly housing  KABC-TV

Pets of the Week - Clarksville Now
Pets of the Week  Clarksville Now

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