Ideas to catch "wild" cows

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Rafter S

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No comparison between Border Collies and any other herding breed. If not a Border Collie, you’re wasting your time.

My father had a border collie about 40 years ago. That was the smartest dog I've ever seen. He slept under the corner of the house where he could see the back door. When Dad stepped out of the house the dog (his name was Jim) would jump up ready to get on the truck . . . unless Dad was wearing church clothes. If Jim saw he was wearing his good clothes he'd stay laying there.
 

CowboyRam

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Dad had a Australian Shepherd back in the 60's that he could send out of his sight that dog would gather everything and push them to him. He just had to ride a straight line. One time the other cowboy decided to strike for higher wages; dad fired them right on the spot. him, and one old cowboy and the dog moved those cows down along the highway. Old Red rode the front, dad in the middle, and dog in the back; every once and awhile Hap the dog had to check out dad, and would tell him to get back to the back. With two cowboys and the dog the had those cows marching like solders. When dad got aggressive, the dog would get aggressive. One day dad was pulling up to the pump, it was slick and the dog ran out in front of the truck and got ran over. I don't remember that dog, because I was just a little shaver then, not even knee high to a grasshopper. He never did get another dog like that one, maybe you only get one good dog in a lifetime, well that is dads theory.
 

RDFF

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Lots of "border collie breeders" (notice I didn't capitalize that) out there that are into this breed because of it's "agility/energy/performance abilities", like to run, jump, and catch frisbies in agility competitions, etc. They'll pick them for color, and about everything else under the sun, with NO consideration in the least for "herding ability". Jack Knox was the fellow that I bought mine from (very, very well known in the international Border Collie herding competition circuit, https://thehomesteadpress.com/jack-knox-clinic-schedule/ ). He absolutely hated that that was happening in the breed, and insisted that the ONLY qualification there ought to be for breeding selection is an incredibly strong instinctive ability to herd. If they can make THAT cut, they're a keeper, if not, they should NEVER be considered for breeding at all. He was very concerned that the "agility competitions" and AKC registration would destroy the breed... and I suspect that he was right............ eventually, it'll catch up to them. However, I also suspect that there will always be the purists like him that will keep those amazing bloodlines going for what they were intended for. Just have to remember that just like in any other species, not all in the breed are created equal, just because they're "purebred". Add into that all the "cheating" on pedigrees that takes place, and it can get difficult to know what you're getting, unless you've got DNA tested stock.

My Dad always used to say, you can't ride papers! I think he knew what he was talking about.
 

RDFF

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Dad had a Australian Shepherd back in the 60's that he could send out of his sight that dog would gather everything and push them to him. He just had to ride a straight line. One time the other cowboy decided to strike for higher wages; dad fired them right on the spot. him, and one old cowboy and the dog moved those cows down along the highway. Old Red rode the front, dad in the middle, and dog in the back; every once and awhile Hap the dog had to check out dad, and would tell him to get back to the back. With two cowboys and the dog the had those cows marching like solders. When dad got aggressive, the dog would get aggressive. One day dad was pulling up to the pump, it was slick and the dog ran out in front of the truck and got ran over. I don't remember that dog, because I was just a little shaver then, not even knee high to a grasshopper. He never did get another dog like that one, maybe you only get one good dog in a lifetime, well that is dads theory.
My Dad had one of those too... and his stories about his Border Collie were what inspired me to seek out the one I got from Jack Knox. It was about a mile out to the back end of the cow pasture, which was WELL out of sight and maybe 3 or 4 valleys over, with a fair amount of woods (dairy)... Come about milking time, Buff would be waiting up by the cow lane for the signal to go out and bring 'em home. I'd send him, he'd head out at a fast sprint, and on normal temp days, he'd have 'em back to the yard in about 25 minutes, would never run them........... but on HOT days, he would never show up with them................ they'd make it as far as the pond, where the cows AND Buff would stay and wade/swim, till I finally showed up and got 'em out of there. As soon as I'd show up, Buff would start circling around those cows while swimming, just like if he was out on the ground in the pasture, herding them! He really didn't want to leave that water though on a hot day!

We used to shoot ducks and geese on the pond, and then we'd send the dogs out to get 'em. Our German Shepherds loved doing it........... and Buff was really EAGER to do it too................ but apparently he just hated the taste of those birds........... he'd regularly beat the Shepherds to 'em, take one in his mouth and spit it right back out, and let the Shepherds bring 'em in. But he'd still always try to be the first one to get out there to 'em.

Good times!.............
 

Dave

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Lots of "border collie breeders" (notice I didn't capitalize that) out there that are into this breed because of it's "agility/energy/performance abilities", like to run, jump, and catch frisbies in agility competitions, etc. They'll pick them for color, and about everything else under the sun, with NO consideration in the least for "herding ability". Jack Knox was the fellow that I bought mine from (very, very well known in the international Border Collie herding competition circuit, https://thehomesteadpress.com/jack-knox-clinic-schedule/ ). He absolutely hated that that was happening in the breed, and insisted that the ONLY qualification there ought to be for breeding selection is an incredibly strong instinctive ability to herd. If they can make THAT cut, they're a keeper, if not, they should NEVER be considered for breeding at all. He was very concerned that the "agility competitions" and AKC registration would destroy the breed... and I suspect that he was right............ eventually, it'll catch up to them. However, I also suspect that there will always be the purists like him that will keep those amazing bloodlines going for what they were intended for. Just have to remember that just like in any other species, not all in the breed are created equal, just because they're "purebred". Add into that all the "cheating" on pedigrees that takes place, and it can get difficult to know what you're getting, unless you've got DNA tested stock.

My Dad always used to say, you can't ride papers! I think he knew what he was talking about.
Here you will see ads for Border Collie pups. Some just advertise registered pups. The advertisements to look for are the ones that say both parents are working ranch dogs. I don't know about papers but I do know that my neighbor has sold pups to big name working dog trainers. I had a real good Border Collie who at 14 years old I had to put down last winter. About 2 weeks later the neighbor showed up with this pup in hand. Never said a thing about the pup. Just general BS. He and the pup went home. The next day I called him and said OK what do you want for the pup. He said for you nothing. Anyone want a Border Collie/Idaho Shag pup. They had another litter and there is one female left unspoken for. They are weaning them later this week.
 

RDFF

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Video on Border Collies...

When I went to Jack Knox's place to see his dogs work, before purchasing Buff, he had about 200 ewes in the flock, with a number of rams. He never entered the pen, had the dog go in the barn and bring the sheep out into the barnyard/pasture... maybe 2 acres or so. He asked me which of the rams I wanted "Craig" to "shed" out of the flock and hold. I picked one, and Jack proceeded, with nothing but various whistles, to work Craig through the sheep, letting some go, and holding some, until finally Craig understood which of the sheep was his target. He then very quickly got that ram separated off and held in a far corner. All the rest had gone back into the barn. Then Jack told me that he was going to pull Craig back toward us, which would allow that ram to go running at full speed to get back with the other sheep in the barn... barn door of course is open. Then Jack said that at the last possible moment, he'd signal Craig back in to head off that ram, and put him back in the corner. On command (whistle only), Craig spun around and came back to us immediately........... the ram figured he was free to return, and headed at a full on dead run to get back in with the others. Jack let out a little whistle, and Craig spun on his heels and full tilt ran out to cut off that ram... but that ram was pretty determined to beat Craig back through that door........... In what certainly appeared to be a single swift aerobatic move, Craig flew through the air at full tilt right into that ram's head, spun him around, and landed on all fours in front of him between him and the barn door, leaving no room for escape to safety but for him to head back to that far corner of the pasture, which he promptly did, escorted by this amazing dog.

I was impressed, to say the least, and Buff was soon on his way back home with me!
 
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anewcomer

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Rdff, I started to challenge you in your earlier post when you spoke about a pup from “top international breeder”. Glad I didn’t. If you have a dog bred by Jack Knox, you have the best you can find in America, bred by the greatest stock dog man in America. That’s all this forum needs to know.
 

Lucky

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Border collie and Blue Heelers are both great ranch dogs. My neighbor is getting older and his Border Collie really helps him out. That dog keeps the Cows backed off the gate so he doesn't have to hurry going into the pasture and keeps the Cows back so he can get the strings off the bale and a hay ring back on. It'll head a cow off that gets out when needed too. It's also his best friend, just an all around good dog. For an everyday dog Ole Jake is perfect. Last year when he had a dozen or so Cows get in to a 600 acre thicket and couldn't get them home he didn't use Jake, he called the cowboys to bring their dogs. You have to know which tool to use and when to use it for any job.
 

wbvs58

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In Australia there are basically two breeds of Border Collie, the show and agility ones that will work if required but basically they have moved away from the working dog and are bred more on type for the show ring. Then you have the Working Border Collie which selection is purely on their working ability with livestock, they tend to be a bit longer in the leg than the show dog. I have a Border Collie and two Kelpies. The BC is the oldest at about 41/2 years, I bought her as a pup but gave her to my BIL as a 2 yr old as she was the most disobedient dog I had owned and was disruptive to my older male Kelpie at the time. My BIL died early this year so I took Millie back and since returning she has been great, just today I had her helping me in the yards as I worked 81 head by myself, she was very sensible and applied just the right amount of pressure on the cattle. The breeder did tell me at the time that they went close to shooting her mother and she didn't come good until about 3 years of age and was then their number one dog with working sheep for the agents at the saleyards.

Ken
 

KS KELPIE

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No comparison between Border Collies and any other herding breed. If not a Border Collie, you’re wasting your time.
Don't forget Australian Kelpies. I raise and.compete in cattle dog trials with them. They are head dogs so work in the same manner as Border Collies. I used to be a Border Collie guy myself but switched over a couple years ago.
 

Named'em Tamed'em

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My border collie is so smart I told her to go to the far pasture bring the sheep and round them up! When she brought them back to the barn I asked her how many there were, she said 30. I asked her how can there be 30 we only bought 28? She looked at me and said "you said to round them up "!
 

Ky hills

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Border Collies are smart and determined, but a lot of difference between them as to whether they will work cattle or not.
I've got a little fat ornery moody Blue Heeler that takes a lot of steps off of me when it comes to driving cattle. One of her pups out a Border Collie has the mind and drive for it too, even though his BC sire didn't.
In regard to the comment about Heelers and barrel racing, I don't think our Heeler would be needed there, unless the goal was to keep the horses in their area or to make sure the barrels didn't move. If them barrels move they getting bit.
 
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Warren Allison

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Border Collies are smart and determined, but a lot of difference between them as to whether they will work cattle or not.
I've got a little fat ornery moody Blue Heeler that takes a lot of steps off of me when it comes to driving cattle. One of her pups out a Border Collie has the mind and drive for it too, even though his BC sire didn't.
In regard to the comment about Heelers and barrel racing, I don't think our Heeler would be needed there, unless the goal was to keep the horses in their area or to make sure the barrels didn't move. If them barrels move they getting bit.
Most of those gals think they have to have Heeler with a bandana on, in order to go to a rodeo or horse show.
 

Warren Allison

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Here you go................ I WANT one!!!!!

The only thing better than watching a cutting horse work, is riding one. Al of my horses are, and always have been, cutting gred horses. My rope horses, my penning and sorting horses, even my timed event and CMS horses.. are always cutting bred. They just have more sense than other lines.
 

gcreekrch

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Been there, got some money, got a trophy, still got the old horse that is fourth generation raised here in the sticks. We went to semi finals in 17th spot among 278 colts at the 99 Pacific Gold Coast Futurity. Only thing I found out for sure was that cutters are only higher classed a holes than team ropers.
 

Ky hills

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Most of those gals think they have to have Heeler with a bandana on, in order to go to a rodeo or horse show.
The Heelers I’ve had would have something like a bandana on for about 2 seconds. 😀That’s if you could get one on them without getting bit. 😂 The one we have now, tore up a lead harness that my wife got for her when she was a half grown pup. I have seen folks put those on their dogs mainly Australian Shepherds.
 

wbvs58

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Don't forget Australian Kelpies. I raise and.compete in cattle dog trials with them. They are head dogs so work in the same manner as Border Collies. I used to be a Border Collie guy myself but switched over a couple years ago.
Yep, I love my Kelpies, currently have 2 but have had 5 all told. I lost my good bitch several years ago believed shot on a neighbour's property after going off after a roo. I thought I would replace her with a BC as I was told they were supposed to be more obedient than Kelpies, well Millie didn't read the instruction manual and was the most disobedient dog I have owned so Kelpies are my favourite.

Ken
 

Hippie Rancher

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I've not had to build one so far. Hope I never have to!
we have a couple, one hasn't ever been used, but the other makes gathering a really big pasture a little easier when short handed. one thing I do to try and keep them from getting shy of the gate is to set it occasionally and then next day feed them real good and just let them out so they aren't worked and stirred up the only times they go in.
 

skeeter swatter

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I doubt I'm telling all you cattle guys on here anything that you don't already know, but if you understand HOW to work animals, and pressure points, and can read 'em, you can pretty much work them gently regardless. One might have a pressure point of only a foot or so (or the worst ones........... 0............ those that have become "pets" are the most difficult), and another might have a pressure point of a half mile or even more!

True story that's relatable.........I was out working my ground with my articulated 4WD Steiger with a deep ripper on it... 320 acre parcel of open ground between roads. We don't let others hunt our ground. Fellow I knew that seems to do some "road hunting" (drive around the block seeing if they can spot a deer to go after, hoping he'll lay down in a thicket they can surround) chased a nice 8 pt. buck out onto it.......... I was about a half mile from the deer on the far end of the farm when he crossed the road onto our ground, and he was headed for the far end where I was at a pretty good clip, away from the road (and the "road hunters").......... I pulled my ripper up, and headed across the farm into his path... I doubt I ever got within 1/4 mile of him, but I was able to turn him around with my big, slow, clumsy 4WD cutting horse, and get him worked back up toward that road (remember, he WAS aware of the hunters back there when he crossed onto our farm). Walked him right between the hunters that had hidden themselves in the ditch on the far side of the road... (they did give him a pretty wide berth of a couple hundred yards). They missed him, but did catch up to him again a mile over and bagged him.

Point is, deer are pretty rangey critters................. but if you understand "workin' em' gentle", you can accomplish alot.

I doubt that I'd be able to do THAT again!
So you herded a deer to hunters with a motorized vehicle? Highly illegal in
I doubt I'm telling all you cattle guys on here anything that you don't already know, but if you understand HOW to work animals, and pressure points, and can read 'em, you can pretty much work them gently regardless. One might have a pressure point of only a foot or so (or the worst ones........... 0............ those that have become "pets" are the most difficult), and another might have a pressure point of a half mile or even more!

True story that's relatable.........I was out working my ground with my articulated 4WD Steiger with a deep ripper on it... 320 acre parcel of open ground between roads. We don't let others hunt our ground. Fellow I knew that seems to do some "road hunting" (drive around the block seeing if they can spot a deer to go after, hoping he'll lay down in a thicket they can surround) chased a nice 8 pt. buck out onto it.......... I was about a half mile from the deer on the far end of the farm when he crossed the road onto our ground, and he was headed for the far end where I was at a pretty good clip, away from the road (and the "road hunters").......... I pulled my ripper up, and headed across the farm into his path... I doubt I ever got wit
I doubt I'm telling all you cattle guys on here anything that you don't already know, but if you understand HOW to work animals, and pressure points, and can read 'em, you can pretty much work them gently regardless. One might have a pressure point of only a foot or so (or the worst ones........... 0............ those that have become "pets" are the most difficult), and another might have a pressure point of a half mile or even more!

True story that's relatable.........I was out working my ground with my articulated 4WD Steiger with a deep ripper on it... 320 acre parcel of open ground between roads. We don't let others hunt our ground. Fellow I knew that seems to do some "road hunting" (drive around the block seeing if they can spot a deer to go after, hoping he'll lay down in a thicket they can surround) chased a nice 8 pt. buck out onto it.......... I was about a half mile from the deer on the far end of the farm when he crossed the road onto our ground, and he was headed for the far end where I was at a pretty good clip, away from the road (and the "road hunters").......... I pulled my ripper up, and headed across the farm into his path... I doubt I ever got within 1/4 mile of him, but I was able to turn him around with my big, slow, clumsy 4WD cutting horse, and get him worked back up toward that road (remember, he WAS aware of the hunters back there when he crossed onto our farm). Walked him right between the hunters that had hidden themselves in the ditch on the far side of the road... (they did give him a pretty wide berth of a couple hundred yards). They missed him, but did catch up to him again a mile over and bagged him.

Point is, deer are pretty rangey critters................. but if you understand "workin' em' gentle", you can accomplish alot.

I doubt that I'd be able to do THAT again!

hin 1/4 mile of him, but I was able to turn him around with my big, slow, clumsy 4WD cutting horse, and get him worked back up toward that road (remember, he WAS aware of the hunters back there when he crossed onto our farm). Walked him right between the hunters that had hidden themselves in the ditch on the far side of the road... (they did give him a pretty wide berth of a couple hundred yards). They missed him, but did catch up to him again a mile over and bagged him.

Point is, deer are pretty rangey critters................. but if you understand "workin' em' gentle", you can accomplish alot.

I doubt that I'd be able to do THAT again
 
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