Guild of Shepherds & Collies

5 Tips for Bringing Home a Herding Breed Puppy

herding breed puppy

Bringing Your Herding Breed Puppy Home

Are you planning the exciting step of introducing a new member into your family this spring? A herding breed puppy is a bundle of energy, mischief and joy … wrapped in fluff. When you’re expecting a baby (herding pup or otherwise!), it is always helpful to be as prepared as possible before their arrival. This will free up your time and allow you to get to know them, without worrying so much about the details.

Here are some practical tips to help you make preparations for your new herding puppy.


It may seem like a no-brainer, but it is very important to find out ahead of time what brand and variety of food your puppy is accustomed to eating. You may choose to stick with whatever he’s been eating, or slowly change him to a new food. Sudden changes in diet can cause some pretty uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms that, if not carefully watched, can turn into dehydration and malnourishment. Remember that herding breed dogs, due to their high energy, require a more energy-dense food. Do your research and talk to your vet when choosing a food that will provide your active herding puppy with the energy and nutrients he’ll need to grow properly.

Transitioning to the new food is vital. A good rule of thumb is to use to ratios below. This is a general guide and your particular pup may transition more rapidly or slowly. If, at any point during the transition, your puppy seems to be having problems with the changeover, consult your veterinarian.

Days 1 – 2: Mix 20% of your puppy’s new food with 80% of the old food

Days 3 – 4: Mix 40% of the new food with 60% of the old food

Days 5 – 6: Mix 60% of the new food with 40% of the old food

Days 7 – 8: Mix 80% of the new food with 20% of the old food

Days 9 – 10: Transition onto the new food completely


Herding puppies, just as with any dog, will need regular checkups as they grow. Prior to bringing your dog home, establish a relationship with a veterinarian you trust. Your puppy very well may be seeing the vet you choose for his lifetime.

It is of the utmost importance that you keep your puppy on his inoculations schedule. A lapse can open him up to infection from potentially lethal diseases, such as parvovirus, corona virus, leptospirosis and distemper. Considering how active and into everything herding breeds can be, this is doubly important. Your veterinarian will be able to help you establish a schedule to ensure your herding puppy’s immunity against dangerous diseases.


For the first four months or so, your puppy shouldn’t venture into areas that are regularly traversed by other dogs. His immunity will not be built up against diseases that can live dormant in the soil. Creating a controlled area for your active and energetic herding puppy to get adequate outdoor exercise will help keep him safe from unseen infections. Herding dogs are not only high energy, but also very intelligent. Offer fun, challenging toys and other means of entertainment to keep your herding puppy from getting bored.


If you won’t be able to be home with your puppy during the day, line up a reliable dog sitter that can come in a couple of times a day while you’re at work. To establish good potty habits, your puppy is going to need to be taken out for exercise and potty breaks. Once he’s able to be around other dogs, you can enroll him in doggy daycare. Many people with active dogs, such as herding breeds, find this to be a lifesaver. It allows them to enjoy life with a working dog, while ensuring that the pup receives all of the exercise his breeding demands. Look for a program that will give him plenty of interaction with other dogs and people. Socialization is essential for a well-adjusted dog.


All of the above are important parts of raising a healthy puppy, but none of these can be truly effective without love and attention. Puppies thrive and do their best when they receive positive attention and reinforcement. Herding puppies require a little extra attention and training to reach their full potential. With a proper training regimen and plenty of interaction, your herding puppy with grow up to be a happy, responsive and loyal companion or working dog.


Article By:
Jennie Eilerts


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