AskDefine | Define herding

Dictionary Definition

herding adj : (of birds and animals) tending to move or live together in groups or colonies of the same kind; "ants are social insects"; "the herding instinct in sheep or cattle"; "swarming behavior in bees" [syn: herding(a), swarming(a), social]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. present participle of herd

Extensive Definition

Herding is the act of bringing individual animals together into a group (herd), maintaining the group and moving the group from place to place—or any combination of those. While the layperson uses the term "herding", most individuals involved in the process term it mustering, "working stock" or "moving".
Herding can be performed by people or trained animals such as herding dogs. Some animals instinctively gather together as a herd while some predators, such as wolves and dogs have instinctive herding abilities. Herding can also be done using wire through which electricity is sent.
Herding is used in agriculture to manage domesticated animals. The people whose occupation it is to herd or control animals often have herd added to the name of the animal they are herding to describe their occupation (shepherd, goatherd, cowherd). These -herds may use dogs to assist them and a competitive sport has developed in some countries where the combined skill of man and dog is tested and judged in a Trial.
Reindeer husbandry is also practiced by Sami people.

See also

Herd behavior is an excessive collective behavior, for example in stock market bubbles, riots, and cults. There is also Nomadic Herding, one type of subsistence agriculture.

See also

herding in German: Hut (Weide)
herding in Norwegian Nynorsk: gjeting
herding in Finnish: Paimentaminen
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