Herding Corgis

For those of us who love to watch our corgis doing what they were bred to do. Anyone with a corgi in herding, or anyone interested in herding, come join. We can share anecdotes and advice!

Members: 80
Latest Activity: Aug 22, 2013

Discussion Forum


Started by Michael Jackson Dec 16, 2010. 0 Replies

Video of Shelly herding, need advice

Started by Nichole and Shelly!. Last reply by Nichole and Shelly! Feb 11, 2010. 2 Replies

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Comment by carolyn matassa on May 29, 2013 at 11:43am

Hi Liz, We're taking our 10 month old corgi, Sonny, there to Magic's next Saturday (June 8th). We're really looking forward to it! I would love to do lessons if he likes it, but it's kind of far (we're in Carol Stream, IL). Do you know of any place to sign up for herding closer in the Chicago suburbs?

Comment by carolyn matassa on May 29, 2013 at 11:42am

Hi Liz,

We're taking our 10 month old corgi, Sonny, there to Magic's next Saturday (June 8th).  We're really looking forward to it!  I would love to do lessons if he likes it, but it's kind of far (we're in Carol Stream, IL).  Do you know of any place to sign up for herding closer in the Chicago suburbs? 

Comment by Liz on November 23, 2011 at 4:45pm

This is a late reply to your post, Jane, but I just took my cardigan for a Herding Instinct Test at Magic's Legacy in Genoa City, WI, which is south of Lake Geneva close to the Illinois/Wisconsin border.  It was an awesome experience and really a fun morning.  Here is a link to his test on Youtube.  (I'm not sure if that will work or not, but you can go to youtube and type in the search - Max cardigan herding and it will come up.  The link to the website of the herding trainer is  I'm going to start taking Max there for lessons in the spring.  She does a really nice demo and explanation first, and then tests the dogs that have signed up.  My little cardi put the first 4 border collies to shame!  It was really a fun day, and I know she does the test twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.


Comment by Jane on August 26, 2011 at 10:42am

Long shot here, but does anyone by chance know of any places in Wisconsin you can take herding lessons or have your dog instinct tested? I'm in Oshkosh and it seems like most of the tests are done waaaay across state and generally at fairs and things like that, which I'd kind of like to avoid.


I did find a place online that isn't too far from me, but I'm a little nervous about going to some person's farm I've never met and without knowing their training style. I realize herding isn't all clickers and chicken bits, but I don't want anyone too crazy lol. Anyone ever heard of this place or John Wentz? Thanks!

Comment by Elise Huffman on June 20, 2011 at 6:06pm

Thanks again Kelsey. I'm working on more consistency with command response. 

The most fun I've ever seen Ranger have, aside from the sheep, was following a cowboy on his horse at a canter. Through the dirt, big circle, on and on, Ranger couldn't get enough. When he has to sit with me and watch a horse on a lunge line he just whines. He is content to just follow my horse around while I ride so I'm building on that. I'm feeling better about my sheep herding plan and thank you for your help on this. Hope to get to Paicines this Saturday with Ranger and this time I was told I could start doing some work with him. First lesson the trainer worked alone.

Ranger found the goat pen yesterday at the horse barn and I could tell he was thinking "do I get to work with that goat?!" I let him watch, gave him a "that'll do" and got him out of there.

I believe Ranger prefers large animals, cattle, like your guy and horses. He would love to assist with roping cattle. He liked to try and help "Mark the Cowboy" load horses into the trailer...he was pretty civilized about that. 

(I see there's another "Ranger" in this interest group.)

Anyway, off to the barn, thank you again! Elise

Comment by Kelsey Baker on June 20, 2011 at 1:48pm

The key is just to work with Ranger and teach him to follow your commands.

It's difficult for a herding dog with strong instincts to learn not to run after animals when they're moving. But they can learn to.

I got my male corgi, Gus, when I was still in college and started him working cattle right away. He got lots of practice since I worked for our rodeo coach and was the one that was responsible for hauling roping calves to practice every day. After a few months I could stand in the middle of the pen and let Gus do all the work of loading the calves himself. He was very effiecient and loved it.

But I remeber once when I was packing up to leave for a rodeo and watching a group of 3 or 4 boys trying to load the team's roping steers into a trailer. Gus was pacing and whining beside my pickup and trailer as I was packing, just dieing to go down and help the boys "do it right". Which, they were having a lot of trouble, but I wouldn't let Gus go down and help since none of those guys had worked with Gus and knew his commands.

It darn near drove Gus crazy not being able to go help, but he listened and stayed with me.

So my point is, you can teach Ranger not to chase after animals just becuase they are running. But it will take some work to make sure he knows who's the boss and to work only when you tell him to.

Like everything, it just takes time and practice.

Comment by Elise Huffman on June 17, 2011 at 3:41pm
Thank you Kelsey for your message. It's helpful.
I think, maybe unfortunately, Ranger has been "freestyle" herding, herding on his own terms, since he was young...sheep and horses.
He KNOWS what he likes to do and that he's effective at it. He doesn't know,yet, that it is something the boss has to ask for first.

"That'll do" is this trainer's "stop work command."
Didn't listen for the "start work command." I think he was letting him just try it out and have some fun to start, more discipline to come. It would have been hard to stop Ranger from going after those sheep. The trainer established some control and got to know the dog. By the end Ranger was sitting and watching the sheep without going to them...however they weren't running. That's the key. Can this dog NOT chase moving animals? I want him to learn that.

Today he followed me as I rode my horse, at a boarding facility. (He goes out there about 5 days a week) I wait until late in the day when few people are there and then ride alone when I'm with the dog. He's getting pretty good at leaving the horse's heels alone and staying in touch with me...sit, stay and come. I'm just at a walk now, but think this summer he'll be able to follow us around at a trot safely. That's one of my goals.

Anyway, thank you, I know very little about sheep and herding, almost nothing.
I just don't want to screw up my very sweet, very smart, and very special doggie!
Comment by Kelsey Baker on June 16, 2011 at 8:35pm

@Elise Huffman: As with any dog that is new to herding, the key is to teach them to follow your commands. Any herding bred dog is going to have some natural instincts to herd and chase (some more than others). But if you want to use your corgi for herding, you just need to teach him to only starting working and herding when you give him the command to. I'm currently working with my own new pup (about 3 1/2 mo. old) trying to teach her to hone her herding instincts.

It can really help a young/new dog to have them work with an experienced herding dog. My male, Gus, is a great cattle dog, so I work giving him commands and count on him to do most of the work while trying to get my pup, Lori, to follow him and call her back if she get's too far in front of the cattle/horses.

One of the biggest things is to teach them a stop command to signal that the work is done as well as a command to start working. Then don't even let them try herding until you've given the command to go.

A lot of people use different commands, and the truth is it's not a huge deal what command you use as long as you're consistent. The common comand to start working is "get'em up" and the common command to stop working is "that'll do". There are a lot of books and websites out there were you can learn what some of the other commands are and more tips for training your own herding dog.

The biggest key is just to teach them that they can't start herding until you give the command.



Comment by Elise Huffman on June 16, 2011 at 3:31pm
Does anyone want to comment about how getting their dog involved with sheep has, or has not, changed the way he behaves in other situations? My only concern about sheep herding is that it might "bring out" more of the "herding" behavior in unwanted situations. I mean Ranger already likes to try and herd horses and other dogs. I'm hoping to get a little more control of him around moving animals. There is NO question that he LOVES being around moving livestock and seems to have an idea about what he's supposed to do. (I posted some photos of Ranger's first "lesson" in sheep on my page)
Comment by ♥Deborah on May 3, 2011 at 6:48pm
My Hanna is quite the natural at herding ~ there's a pair of geese in my neighborhood that she totally enjoys herding all over her yard! It's hilarious to watch and I've even taken to video taping her in the act...she'll get nailed every so often, but it in no way discourages her from her "duty"! LOL

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