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Old 09-09-2012, 12:05 PM
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Question German Shepherds on Sheep

Ok, running with the theme.

I just saw someone on a UK forum trying their GSD on sheep.

When people talk about working line GSDs I have NEVER heard one being used on livestock....

Thoughts?

Some vids (not the person's dog)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PHUj...F2Q&playnext=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmJ-T...user=Mirk4Work
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:57 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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GSDs are herders, so yah, I've heard it before quite a bit
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:00 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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They are herding dogs. Though he's never been tested, AJ appears to have herding instinct if his reaction to the chickens is any indication. His breeder does herding instinct tests on most of her dogs, and most if not all of them have turned out to have herding instinct.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:01 PM
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I am aware they are herders - the name is a bit of a give away

How many are used for purpose though??? Similar to the corgi question.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:30 PM
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Not many because not many have sheep. The type of herding they do is different from the type of herding most offered as something to do.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:48 PM
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We have a few locally that work sheep.

I doubt they're used a lot for "real, can't get by without you" work but I have seen them used for fun a fair amount at HICs and out on my coworkers field. I'll check her FB for photos.

I've found it's harder to find someone who'll allow malinois on stock than gsds.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:05 PM
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My understanding was the GSD was developed as a herder, but for the most part was more of a "moving fence" if you will. The supposed reasoning behind the big stride in the GSD is that they were expected to move back and forth around the perimeter of the herd to keep them contained.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:20 PM
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There is a woman at our local ASCA trials that trials her GSD's on sheep
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:05 PM
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not the question you asked, but the ONLY truly ranch GSD i have ever seen was owned by a great uncle and it worked cattle along w/ a BC. all others i've ever heard of were trial dogs.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pops2 View Post
not the question you asked, but the ONLY truly ranch GSD i have ever seen was owned by a great uncle and it worked cattle along w/ a BC. all others i've ever heard of were trial dogs.
The type of herding GSDs were bred for is not at all being a "ranch dog". There's very few opportunities to work GSDs the way they are really supposed to be worked, let alone opportunities for them to be "real working dogs". Most herding trials are pretty far removed from what GSDs were developed for as well and tend to be more modeled after BC style herding, except for the HGH which is recognized as a working title for breeding purposes by the SV.

AFAIK this is the only place in the US that offers HGH herding trials and that does the style of herding GSDs were bred for: http://www.whitecloversheepfarm.com/sh-kennel.htm

From the above website:


"To understand the idea of tending sheep in Germany one needs to know the sheep farming system in this country. The flocks are large (800 to 1200 sheep) and are usually not kept in fenced pastures.

A shepherd tends the livestock in open grazes. Those pastures are often beside fields with crops. To keep the sheep in the pastures and out of the crops, dogs are used. The dogs which are preferred for this work are those that stay on the borders (the natural line of definition) between what is a field with crops and what is pasture for the sheep and that work there independently and patrol these borders.

When the graze is eaten down the shepherd leads the sheep to the next pasture. This is very often done on roads and farm roads and pastures are often several miles apart. The grazes are often public areas where there is an interest to keep the landscape open and keep it from overgrowing. It is called landscape care.

Another reason for using tending dogs is the transhumance system. That means, the flocks of sheep graze in the hills during the summer and in the milder valleys in the winter. In the fall, on their way down to the valley or in the spring, going up to the mountains, harvested fields, including hay fields are used to feed the sheep. This journey is done every year by foot. The distance may range from approximately 20 miles up to 100 miles."


And this is a really interesting article about what GSDs are supposed to be in terms of a herding dog:

http://www.german-shepherdherding.co...pherd-herding/
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