Prerequisite: Performance Foundations I, Performance Foundations Equivalency Test, or Permission of the Instructor.
Course Cost: $99
Star Trainers: $95
Training dogs for something that they inherently or instinctively do can be the most rewarding thing you and your dog might ever do together. Because they are bred to herd, hunt, go to ground, pull a sled, or other natural drives that humans have selected for hundreds of years, this makes this kind of work natural or ‘easy’ for them. They are compelled to do this without traditional reward (food or praise) simply because they ‘feel it’ and enjoy the work for the work itself.
Why this can be so different from traditional dog training for sports such as obedience or agility or other great dog activities is that the dogs might very well know more than you already. It also requires little compelling and comes with its own source of motivation – the action itself, whether herding, hunting, tracking, is self-rewarding.
You as the trainer need to learn how to be a leader but also a competent team player. A partner in the act or sport, and how to control access to the reward – as this “access” is the big cookie.
Herding Foundations will discuss the basic concept of motivation as the foundation for any learning. We will cover basic herding obedience as it applies to the specific commands commonly used in herding with a strong emphasis on body language. Additional concepts will be covered regarding the purpose of herding, livestock management, instinct, and using pressure release techniques to communicate with dogs that often work at great distance from the handler.
The course is designed for people wishing to continue with herding in the off season who will have little or no contact with actual livestock. Many fun activities will be offered to work on basic herding commands at home making the transition into the herding season more productive.