February 1, 2016

New Zealand farming. Farm working dogs – Glossary of terms

Dr Clive Dalton

Approach: Action of a dog when it comes up to sheep.

Backing:  Action of a dog when it jumps up and walks along the back of sheep to encourage them to move.

Bark:  To bark on command to frighten stock and make them move.

Beardie:  Breed or type of Huntaway dog with long hairy coat. 

Beardie X Huntaway
Bitch:  Female dog.

Biter:  A dog that bites sheep after chasing them. A serious fault.

Bolt:  To  run away in fear and out of control from stock or handler. 
Brace:  A pair of dogs that are worked together.

Cast:  Action of dog when it leaves the handler to encircle or gather sheep.  The handler controls the direction (right or left cast).

Collie: General term for working dog breed of British descent.  Main  type is the Border Collie, but this breed and other collies (e.g long haired or Lassie collie and Sheltie) are now pet dogs and have lost the ability to work stock. 

Dingo:  Australian native wild dog. Genes believed to be incorporated into Australian Cattle Dog.

Dog dosing: Practice of treating dogs to purge them and see if they are infected with internal parasites, especially diseases like true Hydatids which can infect humans.  Dogs are now treated at regular intervals by veterinarians.

Eye: Ability of dog to stare with intense concentration at sheep to control their movement.  Dogs may be ‘strong-eyed’ or ‘plain-eyed’ depending on the level of concentration they show.

Heading dog showing plenty of eye approaching sheep
Eye dog:  Dog with plenty of ‘eye’ to work sheep.  Same as heading dog.

Facing up:  A desired trait needed in a Huntaway where it always looks and barks directly at stock, and not at the handler.

Gun shy: A dog which is very afraid of gun fire and will run away.

Handy dog:  General purpose dog for working both sheep, cattle, goats and deer.  It will head, hunt, and back sheep and be used to move sheep in yards and woolsheds. Usually is mixture of heading dog and Huntaway.

Handy dog used on dairy farm
 Heading dog:  Dog used for gathering sheep by going around the head of a mob.

New Zealand heading dog

Heel: To move in close to the ground and bite the heel of cattle to make them move.  Can also be a command to come to the side of the handler.

Heeler:  Australian working dog bred to handle cattle.  Also called the Queensland Blue Heeler or Australian Cattle dog.  A small tough hard biting dog that will bite both the heel and nose of cattle. 

Holding:  Where a dog will chase and catch a sheep (and especially a lamb) and hold it down with it's open mouth, without biting and injuring the animal. 

Hunt: Ability of dog to drive or hunt stock away from the handler under direction of handler. In dog trials Huntaways have to drive stock in both a straight or zig-zag direction generally up a steep hill.

Huntaway:  Dog used mainly for driving stock under the direction of the handler, and working in yards and woolsheds. Many will also gather stock.  Huntaways vary greatly in physical type and are not recognised as a ‘breed’ by any organisation.

Typical huntaway dogs
Kelpie:  Australian dog for working both sheep and cattle.

Leader:  Dog used to go in front of a mob to control their progress and stop them breaking or stampeding.

Lift: Action of dog to move sheep from a stationary position.  In dog trials it’s the dog’s ability to move the sheep after they have been gathered and held after the dog’s cast.

Long head: Part of a dog trial where a heading dog has to gather sheep a long distance from the handler.
Night barker: Dog that barks or howls when chained up at nights.

Novice: Young dog that has only completed a limited number of trials.

Pull:  Action of dog to bring sheep up to the handler.

Pup:  Young dog of either sex up to weaning (6 weeks old).  Also used for dog up to 12months old.

Outrun: Where a heading dog goes away from the handler to gather sheep.

Point of balance: The position of a dog holding a group of sheep, where it stands directly opposite the handler, and as the handler moves right or left, the dog also moves to the point of balance – and then ready to move in any direction under command.

Ringing sheep: Fault in a dog which keeps doing complete circles around a mob of sheep and has not been taught commands to stop or mover right or left.

Shed: To cut off or separate one or more individual sheep from a group and hold them so they don't return to the main group.

Short head:  Part of a dog trial where a heading dog has to gather sheep only a short distance from the handler.

Heading dog helping to pen sheep after short head.

Speak:  To bark under the command 'speak up'.

Sundowner: Dog that leaves its work, especially when hot and noisy. 

Australian cattle dog taking an afternoon nap in his kennel

Team:  A group of dogs each of which has a different job to do.  Normally made up heading dogs and huntaways, with maybe a handy dog in the team.

Trucking dog:  Dogs used by stock truck drivers to load sheep and empty them from the individual pens on truck, up and down the loading race.

Turning tail: A fault in a dog where it turns away from a group of sheep rather than facing up to them.  A dog that will back off from a confrontation with a sheep.

Weaning:  Removing pups from their mother, done at around six weeks of age.

Whelp: The act of giving birth to pups.

Whip shy: A dog which is very afraid of a cracking stock whip used on cattle and will run away.

Wing header:  A dog that works on the sides or wings of a mob to keep them together and moving forward.

Worrier:  A dog that chases, attacks and will kill sheep or goats.

Yarding: Working sheep in yards or woolshed aided by a huntaway or handy dog.

No comments:

Post a Comment