How to train a Basque sheepdog

A Basque shepherd is a strong, robust and very loyal dog, so it is a perfect companion for those who want an energetic animal that enjoys outdoor activities. However, their high sense of independence can play against their training, so it is necessary to teach behavior guidelines to ensure optimal corporal and social management inside and outside the home. The good news is that they are such intelligent dogs that their learning can begin quietly in adulthood, although it is not advisable.

If you have a dog of this breed or are considering having one, we will show you how to train a Basque sheepdog so that you can succeed teaching your pet.

Steps to follow:


The Basque shepherd, as the name suggests, comes from this Spanish region and his name in Euskera is Euskal Artzain Txakurra . This type of shepherd is a guardian animal, so it has traditionally been used in farm work as the protection of livestock and property.

There are two variants of this breed: Iletsua and Gorbeiakoa and their most common colors are white, cinnamon and black. The males can reach up to 61 centimeters tall and weigh up to 36 kilos.


Although they are very territorial dogs they can be very friendly and affectionate, especially with the master, whom they respect and follow very loyally. In fact, they enjoy being by your side and feel useful helping you in your tasks, especially if they are outdoors. They do not occur so easily with other dogs at the beginning, but once they establish the hierarchical order with the other dogs they are very sociable.


To know how to train a Basque shepherd, the first thing to keep in mind is that they are not dogs for small or closed spaces . Their energy and work capacity are best used in large houses, preferably in the countryside or with extensive gardens, as they enjoy running and playing a lot. Keeping it in an inadequate space could cause it to accumulate too much energy that could eventually make it aggressive and drain its energy by barking incessantly, biting objects or making holes in the ground, which will prevent it assimilate the training received or pass it by as a way of claim

If the dog is already in a small space, the best way to counteract the situation is with daily walks and outdoor games, so you have to consider a daily time for these activities.


As they are so intelligent animals and that they enjoy being busy they can be very good at receiving the right training . Of course, you have to program varied activities, since they are often bored quickly with repetitive tasks, which could make them abandon their teaching process.

We must also bear in mind the importance of teaching that it is the master who commands, because with their dominant character they could try to impose themselves during the training and, once they understand this, the rest of the process becomes simpler.

Keep in mind that the best way to make them understand this and that, in fact, it is an important part of training a Basque sheepdog is that of positive reinforcement . Rewarding him for the goals achieved and for his good behavior will encourage him to continue learning, instead the punishments can provoke unwanted reactions and future problems in the behavior. So a cookie, a toy or an intense game session can be good rewards for him.


As Basque shepherds are guard dogs, their response to certain stimuli can be alarming or even aggressive. You have to teach them to socialize with other animals and with strangers to avoid behaviors that endanger their integrity or that of other people or pets. Once they become accustomed to the presence of others, they are very affectionate and sociable.


As your taste for digging is instinctive, you have to train it to moderate this behavior, as it can open holes in the ground very quickly and this can be problematic if it is a task that is not required on the ground. It is very important that, being an active and energetic dog, perform the daily exercise you need, so, if possible, allow him to run and play until he gets tired. In this way you will avoid unwanted behaviors such as the one we have just discussed.


In addition, if during the education and training of your pet you think you need help, do not hesitate to contact a professional of the ethology or a dog trainer, in this way you will avoid errors in their education and future problems.

If it has been useful to know how to train a Basque sheepdog, you may also be interested in learning how to train a German shepherd.