Herding is a really fun activity to do with your Samoyed and most of them love it. It’s both a mental and a physical workout for them!
If you are interested in doing this activity with your Samoyed you can start training them as young puppies. For instance you could play fetch with them but have them stay by your side until you tell them it’s ok to go fetch the toy you just threw. This will teach them that you are in charge and they cannot just chase things as they please which will be an important element of herding later. But don’t forget to make it a fun and positive experience for them!
You can also take your puppy to a livestock facility and teach them to listen to you and remain focused amid all the excitement. Most Samoyeds get very excited when they see livestock.
Once your dog is 9 months old you can enter them into their first herding test – the Instinct Test. The dog doesn’t need any previous training or experience to do this test and can be handled by either the owner or the judge. What the judge will be looking for is the dog’s ability to move and control livestock by fetching and driving.
You can find an Instinct Test near you by going to the AKC event calendar and doing a search. Also check out the AKC Herding Regulations booklet to familiarize yourself with the rules of various AKC trials.
If your dog passes his Instinct Test and you would like to do more with them talk to the people at the trial to find out where you and your pooch can train in your area!
- Getting Started in Herding
- AKC Herding Regulations
- Herding Trials in the United States by Joel Levinson and Cindy Mendonca