Time To Train a New Dog

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What is cuter than baby calves, puppies and grandsons?  Out on the ranch chores still need to be done rain or shine. Chores are even more fun with kids and puppies helping out.

Grieb Ranch is training a new dog “Ace” to help herd the cattle and other animals. Connie has been hand-raising this puppy and now this new pup has stock dog commands to learn.

Some of the many commands we give our stock dogs are:

“Get around” – Used to send dog to the left to stop or direct the livestock (cattle, sheep or goats and sometimes chickens or ducks) from going that direction. This command can be used from horseback, Kubota or while on foot.

“Way around”– Used to send dog to the right then same as above.

“Sit” – Command for the dog to sit.

“Down” – puts on the brakes for the dog.

Then a “Down Hold” –  keeps the herded animals where they are.

“Walk-on” – Asks the dogs to follow and take the herd to a specific destination.

“Back” – Dog needs to be working close to the animals in the herd.

“Heel” – The dog has to get behind command giver.

“Load-up” – Command used to get dogs in vehicles.

“Run”– Sometimes when driving the RTV, the dogs slow to stop or play in front of the vehicle. It can be difficult to use the brakes, so the command “Run” gets the dogs to take off.

“Stay” – Used when the dogs are in a vehicle or pen and they are not to unload or leave their pen.

“That’ll Do” – Command used to let the dogs know they are finished with the task and to leave the herd animals.

“Look Back” – Used if the herd splits to send the dog to get the rest.

“Out” –  Used when we are working in a corral and we do not need the dog’s help.

As it was mentioned in part 2, to train a stock dog the owner/trainer must be calm, confident and consistent. The rules and commands must be clear and insistent.  If you have the right dog and put in the effort you will end up with a dog worth its  weight in gold. A well-trained working cow dog is especially useful when gathering cattle off the steep hills of Grieb Ranch.

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