Herding Dog Training

Here are some tips you can use for training your dog. Get some treats ready, you can do these right as I explain them!

Potty Training-

For this one you could get a bell at Walmart and tie a string on it and hang it on the doorknob, before you take your dog outside take his/her paw & have them ring the bell and say 'Gotta go potty? Gotta go outside?' After awhile of doing this they'll be ringing the bell to let you know that they need to go! But beware once they know they go outside when ringing the bell they might do it a lot just to go out & not have to potty. It'll be up to you to know when your dog has to go.

When your outside keep repeating 'Go Potty!' until your dog goes & when they do, wait until they're done & praise them & say 'You went Potty! Good girl/boy!'

*If your dog goes potty inside and you catch them in the act pick them up & take them outside and say 'Go potty outside.' If you didn't see them doing it call them or go find them take them to the spot & show them say 'NO! Outside!' & then take them outside; even if they don't have to go because they just did they will get the hint that you go outside for that.


For this I would recommend getting some treats and breaking them up into small pieces. Get in front of your dog and make sure they're facing you, say 'Sit' firmly and take your hand and push gently on her/his but until s/he are sitting then give them a treat. Have them get up again and repeat the process about 5-10 times.

Lay down-

Again I would recommend getting some treats and breaking them up into small pieces. Have your dog sit then pull their front legs outward until their in a laying down position and day 'Lay down'. Give them a treat and some praise & repeat the process. Keep this up and they should have this down in no time.


Get some treats! Have your dog sit and then grab their paw gently and say 'shake'. Give some treats and praise and repeat. This one is relatively easy, should pick up on it fast.


This trick is a bit more advanced your dog should learn how to shake before attempting this one. Have some treats ready. Have your dog sit and say 'shake' then when they bring their paw up don't shake it but take their paw and wave it up and down 2 times and say 'Bye-Bye'. Give them a treat and praise and repeat; after awhile leave out the shake. This is a bit more complicated but this is how it worked with my dog! Just do the motion with your own hand going up and down saying 'bye-bye'.

Stay or Wait-

Get some treats ready. This one is a bit more advanced also for some dogs just depends on what breed. Have your dog sit and hold your hand out like your halting something and say 'Stay' and back away a couple steps. This one is more advanced because their instinct is to follow you, and if they do you say no! have them sit again and say 'Stay!' take a couple steps back again and keep saying 'Stay'. If they stay give them some treats and praise & repeat. When they get good at staying you can walk into another room and trust that they'll stay right there. It takes work but it'll pay off.


Get treats. For this I recommend that your dog know how to stay. Have your dog sit & stay then back away and call his/her name & say 'Come!' & I like to point in front of me when I say it. If you dog just sits there when you say their name & 'Come!' take a treat and put it on the ground in front of you. The true test of this if your dog actually listens is if they can 'Come!' when called when around other people or dogs.

The benefits to herding dog training are very plentiful. Fencing for your pastures can be very expensive and requires consistent maintenance. Training a dog or a group of dogs for herding takes time and effort but not only is highly useful, it is rewarding as well.
Some dogs have a certain amount of herding dog training bread into them. This makes the training process easier but it still requires time and effort. Research on herding dog breeds will go a long ways. Once you have found a good pup you should start to familiarize the dog with the mechanics of sheep farming.
Simply taking the dog with you to the fields is a good start. If an older dog has never been around larger animals they can sometimes be frighted. Dogs which are frighted may lash out and become unruly to train. If you happen to be trying to train an older dog who is afraid at first you will need to do a bit more work to correct this problem.
While having a pack of dogs (two or three) is much more efficient when herding, only train one pup at a time. Trying to control, praise, and scold several dogs at once is not only frustrating for you but it will also be confusing for the dogs.
If you already have a dog who is trained for herding this can be very beneficial for a new pup to watch. Often times dogs learn from other dogs behavior. If you are training your dog for competitions you may already have friends with trained dogs. It may be possible to have training sessions with these dogs.
Herding dog training can be some what frustrating if you have never done it before. One thing you will want to make sure of is that you always correct your canine when he/she makes mistakes. It may get a bit tiresome after a while correcting the same mistake over and over again but if you do not your dog will develop bad habits. When a herding dog develops bad habits it can be dangerous for the sheep as well as the security of your flock. Avoid this at all costs.
While teaching one command at a time seems less confusing for your puppy it can cause them to become board. Try and alternate two or three commands at a time. Once your pup has mastered these commands you can start to work on more complicated commands.
Dogs are working animals. Their reward for commands well done should be praise but keep in mind that dogs just wants to work. When a canine is working you will notice that their posture changes. They are alert and focused. You will notice the changes in your dogs behavior right away. Once you can tell when they are in working mode it becomes much easier to teach them new commands.