Working dog question

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I would say a blue heeler will go out and work but will stay close and won't back down or a border collie will work around the outside and they will still protect you it really just depends on what you want, sometimes people will have a german shepard to they will stay by you and still defend if they have to, then the border collies/blue heelers will go and do the work.
 

Dave

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I had a chocolate lab who was good at staying where I put her. I would sit her down 50-60 feet from the cow and calf. The cow would keep a close eye on the dog. I would circle around and come at the calf from a different direction. The cow would stay fixed on the dog and would slip in and tag the calf. I worked for me.
 

76 Bar

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Dave reiterates how a well trained obedient dog is an asset regardless of the circumstances. My cattle are gentle & taught to appropriately respond/respect the directives of both humans & dogs. I've no qualms about using a dog amongst calving cows and consider them a decided asset and especially when processing newborns. YMMV.
 

TCRanch

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I used to make my husband play goalie. Now, he just stands there & keeps mama occupied with cubes while I work the calf (preferably on the other side of the Polaris).
 

Silver

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I would say a blue heeler will go out and work but will stay close and won't back down or a border collie will work around the outside and they will still protect you it really just depends on what you want, sometimes people will have a german shepard to they will stay by you and still defend if they have to, then the border collies/blue heelers will go and do the work.
It has been my experience that a Border Collie losing a battle with a cow will come and hide behind me for protection.
 

Nutmegger

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Our experience is close to what Dave and 76 describe. This is what works for us:

1. Use trained dogs (border collies) year around to keep the dogs fresh and the cows accustomed to them.
2. If you’re just getting started, wait until after you wean to introduce the dogs. The cows won’t have junior to fret over.
3. “Well trained” means dogs that you can down a respectful distance from the new momma and they’ll stay there. (I’ve occasionally got distracted and looked back to see the dogs watching me from a quarter mile away where I downed them)
4. When moving pairs, use 2 dogs. A momma cow will fuss with a single dog. When she sees the second dog she’ll grab junior and hit the trail.
5. A few times a year somebody will need to get near a newborn calf with a very protective momma. We send a reliable dog to the opposite side of the pair, down him, then walk him up in increments of 3 or 4 steps. When the cow takes after the dog we jump off the horse and deal with the calf while the dog keeps the cow engaged. Just remember to never run to your horse when you’re done. And be sure to clamp down hard on the calf’s muzzle to prevent him from calling momma.
6. For cows that sneakily hide their calves, we ride increasingly big circles around the cow - with a pair of dogs right behind the horse- and watch for a reaction from the cow. Even the most clever cow will have her maternal instincts trump her attempt to be coy.

Our terrain makes the sxs impractical. We use horses. I love to ride to the top of a bluff or knob overlooking the young pairs at first light, watch the cows scurry to find their calves because they see the dogs with me, then ease down and start them to the next pasture.

I hope you find this helpful.
 

76 Bar

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Nuttmeger nailed it...obviously a savvy stock & dog man. (y)
And be sure to clamp down hard on the calf’s muzzle to prevent him from calling momma.
And riling up her cohorts as well. 😉
My dog experience was primarily with Working Kelpies but have used BC's as well. Was graced with a Kelpie bitch years ago that was a sterling worker and adept in finding hidden calves in big/rough pastures. Commanded to "find the baby" she'd take off meticulously scouring the area & when she found the calf would stop "on point" without disturbing it. She's long gone and still sorely missed.
 

Silver

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Seems to me that range cattle that spend a good part of their lives fending off wolves can pose a challenge that not even a "strong" stock dog will always be prepared for. They generally figure it out if they don't get busted up too bad.
 

Dave

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My old dog was a good one. Then she went deaf. She still does work good with hand signals. The trouble is she has to look at you to get the hand signal. And I have yet to figure out the hand signal for "that will do."
 

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