Will my herding breed dog like herding sheep?
Probably! While not every dog with herding breed heritage is interested in bossing livestock around, most show quite a bit of interest. Even mild-mannered dogs tend to light up when they realize they have the power to make the sheep move. Not every dog is ready for a full-length 45-minute herding lesson right away though, so we offer a 15-minute instinct test to let you see what your dog does with the sheep.
What breeds are allowed to participate?
On the Lamb offers all-breed herding, and we are happy to let your golden retriever, poodle, or chihuahua try herding sheep! While you'll see plenty of border collies and Aussies around, we regularly see non-herding dog and mixed breeds for instinct tests. However, for the safety of the sheep, there are a few breeds we do not typically allow. Bulldogs, pit bulls, Dogo Argentinos, bullmastiffs, and similar breeds were developed for the purpose of subduing livestock or wild game, and can inflict severe injury when following their instinctive drives.
Is my dog too old or too young for an instinct test?
We can test your pup as soon as they have received all of their vaccinations, but many aren't really ready until five or six months. We think six months is a great age to begin herding lessons. Senior dogs may not have the stamina for an entire lesson, but we're happy to do an instinct test with your older dog as long as they are sound and healthy. They don't ever outgrow their desire to move sheep.
Does my dog need to pass an instinct test in order to have a herding lesson?
No! Most young, healthy, active herding breed dogs can skip the instinct test and start with a full 45-minute lesson. If your dog has plenty of drive for toys, food, agility, flyball, or any other activity, they are likely to have enough herding instinct to enjoy a real lesson.
What do I need to bring to our instinct test or first lesson?
Just bring your dog and yourself, and wear closed-toe shoes. We have plenty of water, shade, and places to sit. You can print out and sign the site waiver before you get here, but we have extra copies in case you forget.
Does my dog need to have all the vaccinations listed on the waiver?
Most of the vaccinations on the waiver are recommended, but not mandatory. We do have coyotes, raccoons, snakes, and other wildlife in the area, as well as plenty of dogs from all over the country, so most regular visitors have all the recommended vaccinations. Please have your dog's DHLP-P, rabies, and bordatella vaccinations up to date before visiting.
Do I have to have an appointment, or can I just come out and visit?
On the Lamb Ranch is a private ranch, and guests do need to make an appointment before visiting.