Herding Terms and Commands
the correct positions of the dog, stock and handler relative to each other.
stock that is accustomed to being worked with dogs.
moving stock from behind and away from the handler.
bringing the stock to the handler from some distance away, preferably in a straight
moving stock towards the handler from the opposite side of the stock.
a nip or bite when needed or on command; used to move stubborn stock.
moving the stock off the fence or the initial movement of the stock towards the handler.
a dog that works upright and does not keep eye contact with the stock at all times.
a dog that works by staring at the stock.
when the dog is sent out some distance to the opposite side of the stock
to gather them to the handler. Usually the outrun is a semi-circular or pear shaped path.
moving the sheep into a pen or holding area.
separating one (shedding) or more (splitting) stock from the rest.
the direction the dog is to go: clockwise or counter clockwise.
the action of the dog moving side to side in a short arc to move the stock.
used as a stop command to drop the dog on a prone position. This may be replaced
later in training by "there", "stand" "stand, stay" or "stay" to have the dog stop on his feet in a standing position.
tells the dog not to move from its stopped position until a counter-command is
used to move the dog straight towards the stock. Other terms which may be used are: "Walk
in" and "Go in".
used to tell the dog to approach the stock or move around the stock more slowly.
which are used for this: "steady", "take time" or "time".
used to direct the dog to swing in a clockwise direction around the stock. The term "Go
bye" is also used for this action. This clockwise movement is also referred to
"off the left hand" of the handler (Holland, p.23)
"Away To Me:
used to direct the dog in a counter-clockwise direction around the stock. The term "Way to Me" is also used. This counter-clockwise movement is also
referred to as being "off the right hand" of the handler
If the stock has split and the handler wants the dog to go farther from the handler
to gather stock the dog may not see.
used to remind the dog to stay the proper distance away from the stock.
used if the dog is very close to the stock, splitting stock, diving to pull wool...
This command is considered a reprimand.
This is the last command and can be considered as "Good job, old boy; now come
here and we'll go to the house and get a treat for you". It should be
an absolute call off.
(Witte, 1991, p.38)
Holland, Vergil S. (1994).
Herding dogs progressive training. New York: Howell Book House
Taggart, Mari. (1991).
Sheepdog training an all-breed approach. Loveland, CO: Alpine Publications.
Witte, Ann Alder. (1991).
Huntaway herding (building biddable beardie bounce) .
Copyright © 1997 [Lois Gaspar].