Tending Style or HGH sheep dog training that involves German Shephers for sheep herding, has become quite popular these days. Also developed has the controversy that the GSDs are biting sheep.
HGH vs. Sheep Herding in U.S.
HGH training took form in European countries where sheep are free to graze because the only fences that exist are the ones that keep the flock out of a neighbor’s field. In America, Border Collies have been used to herd sheep since the sheep are kept in fenced pastures. While the Collies are completely capable of gathering the sheep into a flock at the master’s call, GSD are not! Since the Tending style trains the sheep to follow the shepherd, the dog is only present there to police the sheep and keep them sheep within the borders defined by the shepherd.
Caveats in HGH being applied in the U.S.
• Not enough dogs for a large flock
• Sheep starved overnight
• Dog can control only through grip or bite
• Often not taken into consideration, sheep’ stubbornness
An HSH trained dog:
• Will only bite the wool and not a sheep’s legs or head
• Will not shake their head while biting
• Will select an adult over a kid sheep to grip!
When the American dogs, trained to stay away from gripping try to control a flock, the sheep do not recognize their authority. Completely eliminating gripping from the HSH program will only result in its failure. I hope AKC take this factor into account when sanctioning trials.