Friday, September 10, 2010

Sheep Dogs That Don't Shed? What?

I was taking a break Friday enjoying the wonderfully warm San Francisco weather reading at the local Huntington Park, when a rather cute brown sheep dog approached with its owner.  I somehow lured the shy dog over to pet her beautiful high quality coat. According to its owner, the dog doesn't shed its coat.  I asked how that could be, and according to her apparently they've developed breeds that don't shed hair. 

How perfect is that, a sheep dog that doesn't shed hair?  That's really the only reason why I've never considered having an indoor dog, because I can't stand dog or even cat hair inside a dwelling.  I think it's kind of gross in fact.  I don't care how clean the pet is, if it's hair is laying around everywhere on the furniture I don't like it. 

This was n Yahoo answers as the only thing I could really find about sheep dogs and shedding:

What is a herding (cow and sheep) dog without shedding problems?

I need a herding dog with minimal to none maybe average, preferable medium sized I don't want it to shed because it will live inside but work my cows.Any ideas?

Responses:

ROFLMAO!!! a herding dog with no shedding...funny....

Australian Cattle Dogs (or blue/red healer) does not shed THAT bad...

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The Puli is a sheep herding dog with minimal shedding http://www.akc.org/breeds/puli/ However, their corded coat requires specialized care to keep it looking good and I do not believe they would be suitable for herding cattle. They are the only herding dog I am aware of that is minimal-shedding. Even the short-coated herders (like the Australian Cattle dog, and Corgi) shed, often to excess. There are few herders in any case with the ability to be good with both cattle and sheep, since sheep require a light touch and minimal/ no physical contact, while cattle require a different approach on the part of the dog.

Add: Lindsay, I said FEW herders, not no herders. Most can not work both species well.

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This response was really hilarious because apparently she thinks the person intends on unleashing an untrained dog on the cows or sheep:


You cannot just get a herding dog and expect he/she to work for you. You will need to work with a sheepdog trainer. You cannot just turn a dog in with livestock and expect them to know what to do, they need to be trained as well as yourself. Turning an untrained dog in with livestock is asking for disaster. Both livestock and dog can be injured seriously, especially by cattle. You need to contact a breeder who breeds working line dogs. They hopefully can refer you to a reputable trainer in your area.

I've been working with trainers for years and will continue to do so. I own 4 working Border Collies, and the training is never ending. In the past I've worked with someone who has won the World Championship 3 times, am currently working with a Canadian National Champion and worked with another Canadian National Champion in the past as well as the last winner of the North American Sheepdog Championship.

So, as you can see, you cannot just turn a dog in with livestock without any training.

All dogs shed to some extent. My dogs are indoor dogs as well.

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I looked up info on the Internet and there really isn't any about sheep dogs that don't shed hair.  It must be a well kept secret.  I can say that some of these breeders are doing amazing things with various breeds, merging all kinds of species together I never thought was possible.  I see them in the park all the time. 

On another pet note, a customer service rep at Wells Fargo was telling me about her Maltese and how she had to pay $2,000 surgery for bladder stones. Dogs don't get kidney stones, but bladder stones instead.  The lady also told me she had to put it on her credit card and couldn't afford it.  It made me feel so bad for her especially when she said her dog has already lived half its life at 5 years old.  I didn't know the smaller dogs only live 10-12 years. I thought they lived longer.  It must be all the special breeding that reduced the dog's natural age.