Herding Concepts

Herding Concepts – Introduction




Herding concepts are general notions, or a plan, or intention to help explain what is happening or how things are intended to function.  Often the newbie herding person is baffled and mystified by some of the terms or concepts we hear discussed at clinics or during our lessons with instructors who are more experienced.

By definition Wikipedia defines Concepts as “… abstract ideas or general notions that occur in the mind, in speech, or in thought. They are understood to be the fundamental building blocks of thoughts and beliefs. They play an important role in all aspects of cognition.”


Some of the concepts in herding are simple terms which require definition while others are a little more like “magic” and why and how they work requires a little more explanation.

Located on the Member Resources section (under Free stuff) there is a list of terms and definitions to help you better understand.  Since concepts aren’t really “lessons” but more abstract ideas, they are fundamental in the understanding of what makes a solid foundation training approach in herding.  If you grasp these concepts, you are better prepared to assist the dog and yourself in herding working situations.

In the Herding Concepts article series we discuss some of those terms and where possible, describe the “concept” with a written explanation, video, or pictures to clarify.

Some of the terms/concepts that will be covered in the articles are; Balance, Fetching and Driving; Pulling and Pushing, Sense of Group, Trainability/Biddability, Dog Broke Sheep, The Three P’s, Flight Zones, Using Eye vs Loose Eyed Dogs, and Rating stock.  Pressure will also be described since understanding Pressure is the basis for positive herding training with clear corrections and rewards. Pressure is covered in greater detail within almost all of the courses you can take at The Talking Dog, including our Herding Foundations course.