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I don't need any fancy commands on a farm dog

A lot of people come to me for help with training their farm dog to help with basic chores. They are adament that their dog doesn't need to know any fancy commands to do a job. Which is true, most dogs are extremely intelligent and learn patterns and how to help

without an owner really saying much of anything. However, if you ever have to take that dog out of its routine or something out of the ordinary happens that dog may not respond the way he has in the past (or on its own turf) as he/she never learned any set commands to direct him/her.

You can take a dog that knows commands just about anywhere and once he knows them they can piece together fairly quickly what you need done other than just reacting to the same routine and livestock.

I recommend putting the commands on your dog not just for safety but also to build confidence in you and your dog. You both will know how to move livestock together if you have trained on commands and you won't just "hope" the dog will remember things.

You do not want a dog that you have to micromange at every step, however, so I do encourage the dogs to think and respond appropriately. The goal is to have a dog that can handle livestock at your farm without a multitude of commands but also can be pulled off of their everyday routine and still get the job done without a lot of chaos, confusion, or the dog just refusing to work because it doesn't know the job.

You want to foster appropriate behaviors and make sure the dog understands that it is to take care of the stock as long as the stock is not fighting or balking at movement. It is not to harrass the livestock just because the dog feels like it is an adrenaline rush.

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