You need a trainer for sure. Herding training can be really complicated and requires a knowledgable person to help you learn how to do it correctly. If you do it wrong, you could ruin your dog, so do find a suitable trainer.
Where are you at? If you share the state you are in, it might be easier to refer you to some good trainers in your area.
Herding training takes a lot of time to get to a level of success, so be prepared to be in it for the long haul. If you have any questions about herding in general, feel free to email me thru YA and I’ll be happy to help in any way I can. It’s a fun activity to do with your dog!
ADDED: Okay, you should definitely contact your GSD breed club and see if there is any information there that can direct you toward trainers in your area. They should have a list of ones that will accept GSDs, as not all will. Here is a list with some trainers listed in Wisconsin……
Be prepared to possibly travel for this tho. There are not a ton of trainers out there and many of them won’t do all breed (many will only work with Border Collies).
At the facility I train at, there is a great looking GSD that trains and she just earned an HCT after only a couple of months of training. They are a lovely breed to do herding with. If there’s anything you’d like to know specifically, you can contact me via YA email.


  1. Shadow's Melon

    First you need to find a place where your dog can take the instinct test, its for all herding dogs. Its actually a ton of fun. It allows your dog to be introduced to livestock and be evaluated by a knowledgable trainer/shepherd. Its the coolest thing in the world to see a dog do something based completely on instinct. Not every dog is a natural herder, even if it is of a traditional herding breed though.
    Where ever you take the test you can likely take classes. Herding is the hardest dog ‘sport’ there is to learn. Regardless of wether you are planning on competing, using it on your farm, or just for recreation, classes are important for YOU to learn what to do
    Do a google search, check out local breed groups, and sites for traditional herding breeds. They will likely list places in your area where you can take classes or put you in touch with owners in your area who can be of help.
    Good Luck and have fun!

  2. Desoto

    You need to go to a trainer to help you. Herding is not like other dog events where you can learn a lot from a book. It’s more like learning to dance -which you can’t do from a book! Also, while dogs do have instinct they need training to do it right and you need to know what correct herding looks like in order to help the dog be correct.
    This is a list of some herding trainers in wisconsin…
    Keep in mind that finding a herding trainer is not as easy as many other events and you generally have to travel further for help.
    There are several yahoo groups that can help you with questions such as herders-l
    Also, if you’d like something now, i recommend Lynn Leach’s video on all-breed herding:
    Also, Vergil Holland’s book on training is great:…

  3. SC

    what type of dog do u have??
    collies naturally herd they pickit up so easily but if you have sheep (a good thing to start with) and your dog is well trained in the ”lye down” then this will be quite easy i had a lab who could herd sheep but she was very clever
    once they get the idea of listening to you and then the idea of moving them u can introduce hand signals the dog will work out the sheep have to stay together
    its a tedious process but really rewarding once u have done it

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