How to Train Your Dog to Stop Herding Behaviors
Herding dog breeds were originally bred to herd sheep and other livestock. These dogs are natural workers and have a strong herding instinct. Unfortunately, this instinct can sometimes manifest in unwanted behaviors, such as nipping at people’s heels or chasing cars. If your herding dog is exhibiting these kinds of behavior problems, don’t despair! With a little patience and training, you can teach your dog to stop.
The first step is to understand why your dog is exhibiting these behaviors. In most cases, it’s simply because your dog is trying to do its job (i.e., herd). Once you understand this, you can begin to work on redirecting your dog’s energy into more constructive activities. Here are a few tips:
- Give your dog plenty of exercise. A tired dog is a good dog! Take your dog for long walks and runs, play fetch, or engage in other activities that will tire them out both mentally and physically.
- Enroll in a herding class. This will give your dog an outlet for their herding instincts while teaching them how to control their behavior.
- Play “herding” games at home. Games such as tug-of-war or keep-away can help burn off excess energy and teach your dog self-control.
- Use positive reinforcement training. Whenever your dog exhibits the desired behavior (i.e., not chasing cars or nipping at heels), praise them lavishly and give them a treat. Over time, they will learn that good things happen when they behave in the way you want them to.
Herding dogs are beautiful, intelligent animals that can make great pets–but only if their natural instincts are properlychanneled. If your herding dog is exhibiting undesirable behaviors, such as chasing cars or nipping at people’s heels, don’t despair! With a little patience and training, you can teach your dog to stop. By giving them plenty of exercise, enrolling in a herding class, playing “herding” games at home, and using positive reinforcement training, you can help your herding dog learn how to control their behavior and become a well-mannered pet that you can enjoy for many years to come.