Herding Styles

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Jdwest

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I have some questions about dog breeds like heelers and aussies. I know that BC and Hangin Tree dogs will gather cattle and bring them to you, but what about heelers and aussies. Someone told me heelers are driving type dogs, what does that mean? Also could I have different breeds of dogs working together even if one has a different herding style? Lastly, does anyone know anything about Texas Heelers or have experience them, I found something about one on google but haven't heard of them before.
 

Turkeybird

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Aussies are a little more hard headed than most, heelers are are as well but the best companion and gritty but don't seem to want to get to far from their master,they tend to push cattle away from you while collies and hanging trees tend to gather back to you. In my opinion Aussies have bred the brains out by focusing on color and eyes(blue eyes),hard to find good bloodlines.you can't go wrong w/ a collie or hanging tree
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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Australian Cattle Dogs (aka ACD, blue heeler, red heeler, Queensland heeler, ect) are mostly a driving breed. They tend to work off the back end of the animal. Good ones will also work the head if necessary, to get one that turns on them moving. A really good one will work out from the handler and read the handler's body language for cues. Hearing is not a strong suit for ACD's, so when training, I always recommend the audible command be followed by a visual one. I also train mine not to give up, thought they must have this in them naturally to an extent. Mine know if an animal tries to quit the herd, they will move them main herd, then go back and run the quitter in circles until they are tired enough to just go where the dog tells them to. I also expect a good ACD to be able to run sweep on a large herd, continuously moving back and forth between handlers/riders to keep any stragglers moving up into the main herd. Again, they should have a natural instinct for this, just trained to enhance it. I like the ACD for many reasons, one of those being that they can get angry and don't give up. Sometimes they need to remind the stock who is boss!

Texas heeler is a slang typically used for a ACD crossed with an Aussie, though it is also used for about any ACD mutt.

Mixing dogs with different working methods will probably not achieve successful results. I would expect you to spend more time communicating with the dogs then actually getting anything done. And I'm fairly certain whatever stock you are working would become equally as confused! Mixing breeds in a working pack is not an issue, but mixing working styles probably would be.
 

dun

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I always called them to you and from you dog. Aussies are to you, heelers are from you
 
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Jdwest

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Would a BC or Hangin Tree be able to help me work cattle through pens and such or are they limited to gathering, pen and system work seems more for a heeler from what I've heard.
 

midTN_Brangusman

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My favorite is a Texas heeler, on my second but he is a heeler type. A BC will bring them to you, Hanging tree will do the same but more aggressive than a bc. I personally like a sack of cubes rather than a dog getting them stirred up.

Like Gordon Hazard said, "Its a lot easier to pull a rope than to push it".

But I know there's times when you have to drive the cattle.
 
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Jdwest

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How many dogs would I one person need to work 30-60 pairs? I wouldn't think more than two, but maybe even just one, however I'm not really sure.
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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One good ACD will get the job done, but I personally use two whenever I'm working a group, no matter the size of the herd or the range covered. I like to use one of my males and one of my females at a time. They play off each other's weaknesses and strengths well, and I know they have got me covered if the shyt hits the fan! ACDs are notoriously one person dogs. We have several, and they all work for every one of us to an extent, but I know if my tail is in a jam, the little blue mottle that claims me will be there before any other dog I have. I think the trick to having more then one working at a time is two have the same working type dog, but have one that is a bit extra aggressive, to dumb to know better and can take a hit very well (usually the male) and to have another that is super sharp on commands and can work with more finesse (usually the female).
 

wbvs58

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Australian Kelpies are hard to beat as a working dog. They have very strong instincts right out of the box and will gather and head off cattle naturally but will also work from behind with a lot of force if needed.

Ken
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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wbvs58":1jjkrhiu said:
Australian Kelpies are hard to beat as a working dog. They have very strong instincts right out of the box and will gather and head off cattle naturally but will also work from behind with a lot of force if needed.

Ken

A Kelpie is a good bit harder to find in the US than the other breeds mentioned though. I have often considered adding one to my mob though...
 
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Jdwest

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Boot Jack, are any of your dogs fixed, does that effect their working ability or aggression? It seems the males would be affected more than the females.
 

Boot Jack Bulls

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Jdwest":1p3h6rc9 said:
Boot Jack, are any of your dogs fixed, does that effect their working ability or aggression? It seems the males would be affected more than the females.

I have seen it have a negative affect on the drive/motivation of both, and have seen it not have any impact on males and females too, if that makes sense! We had a little heeler mix female when I was a kid that was fixed because we found her as a stray, and she was sharp as a razor until her last breath. We now have a very old heagle (heelerxbeagle) that was fixed because we bred them strictly for pets, and she is as lazy as can be. She used to hunt bunnies, but even in that was not terribly motivated! I personally prefer not to have my working dogs fixed. We do sell puppies, so that makes sense too, but overall, I don't want to risk taking the drive out of a really good dog. :2cents:
 

pdfangus

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I have had Australian Shepherds for over thirty years...don't use dogs on the cows any more..but they are still for my money the smartest dogs out there...we have one now that was a rescue from a local rescue....he came to us as a high energy dog who had no education....he has quickly learned our ways.....I swear that dog can tell time...he knows when I am supposed to get up to put wood in the stove and often wakes me ten minutes before the clock goes off ...he knows when it is time for his nightly cookie with ice cream....he knows when it is time for my wife to get home from work and sets by the window watching for her....he comes and gets me when he sees her turn into our long driveway....and just howls to tell me that mama is home....great watch dog and great protection for my wife....

while the breed has been diminished by AKC recognition and popularity as pets....there are still some good strong working lines. Apache is just not from those lines...

I had a little gal named Loreal (she cost more but she was worth it)....we got her as a weanling pup.
She was born knowing more about working cows than I have ever learned....
did some basic obedience on her and she already knew how to work the cows...she could gather and move 40 pairs as fast as I could drive the truck across the fields and open and close gates. and she commanded those cows...she did not chase them...
Her sire was a working dog and won high level championships in stock working.

I have had nine Aussies over the years and will have one as long as I am able to care for it....
 

Stocker Steve

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Got a male border collie from a sheep operation. Dog was really high strung and somewhat scared of cows. Actually a bit of a nut job...
The wife likes a dog that barks when someone comes into the yard. I need a dog that can guard an open gate. Shepard suggestions?
 

pdfangus

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Stocker Steve":l39y9pl3 said:
Got a male border collie from a sheep operation. Dog was really high strung and somewhat scared of cows. Actually a bit of a nut job...
The wife likes a dog that barks when someone comes into the yard. I need a dog that can guard an open gate. Shepard suggestions?

border collies are smart but they are just a little too obsessive or psychotic for me....

all of our Aussies except Loreal were always pretty protective of the place and the wife....

We had a mother daughter pair once that we called the Gator girls....they would eat your ass up.....
 
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Jdwest

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Would a Heeler and an Australian shepherd be able to work together? My neighbor has an aussie and two heelers and they seem to work well together, is that just luck of the draw and he got really lucky in finding dogs that'll work together or is that a combination that is known to work?
 

pdfangus

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Jdwest":29gltwt7 said:
Would a Heeler and an Australian shepherd be able to work together? My neighbor has an aussie and two heelers and they seem to work well together, is that just luck of the draw and he got really lucky in finding dogs that'll work together or is that a combination that is known to work?

I think it would depend upon the skill of the handler and how he taught them....
 

Caustic Burno

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Jdwest":3kfdvz8h said:
How many dogs would I one person need to work 30-60 pairs? I wouldn't think more than two, but maybe even just one, however I'm not really sure.
Bag of range cubes is the best thing ever invented. A well trained dog is priceless a poor one will cost you till the day you get rid of it.
 

TexasBred

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Caustic Burno":1uepdd6s said:
Jdwest":1uepdd6s said:
How many dogs would I one person need to work 30-60 pairs? I wouldn't think more than two, but maybe even just one, however I'm not really sure.
Bag of range cubes is the best thing ever invented. A well trained dog is priceless a poor one will cost you till the day you get rid of it.
One of the few times I've ever been kicked hard by a cow a damed half trained blue heeler decided to nip at a cow's foot after she was already in the chute and I had my hand up her rear. Dang near killed me and I dang near killed him after I got up off my knees and quit puking. :lol2: :lol2: No more dogs !!!!!
 

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