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  1. Several suggestions. Does the town own any land that they keep open – not playgrounds or playing fields of any kind, but land in an open space program, or perhaps there is a land conservancy in your area. Either will do. We had a 47 acre field here, owned by the town and they take hay off it once a year. I reached out to the town council by letter and was turned down several times, but kept at it. And in that letter I described sheepherding as a passive use of land. In fact sheep on a field is the personification of open space. Now I have permission except for the few months the hay is growing. On a private parcel, Mark’s idea of contacting your hay dealer is excellent. Or if you see a field you like, a letter might work as well. I got my first field by putting something in someone’s mailbox. However, I would also knock on the owner’s door. I would like to meet them and have them understand that I value their property as much as they do. That I am not moving there and when I come, anything I bring with me, leaves with me. In both cases, you may be asked how often you will be on the property, for how long, how many people. Assure them that the endurance levels of dog and sheep keep the sessions short, that you are not coming in inclement weather as you do not want to damage the field (rain, snow), and that you will not be there when the grass is long because you can’t see the sheep or dogs anyway. If they ask for insurance, check with your homeowners insurance company. You are looking to get a certificate of liability on your homeowners policy naming the property owner and releasing them from any liability due to your actions. Having done all this, I do not take dogs to these fields that are not under complete control and I do not take challenging sheep. I want sheep to work and sheep that will load. My challenge is an open field. Hope this helps.
  2. Excellent information - thank you for your insightful response. Barbara
  3. Amanda, I just finished reading your article on the finals blog. Enjoyable and well written as usual and you brought up an interesting point where you use your dogs during lambing season and it tells you alot about the individual. How do you determine when a dog is 'ready'or 'capable' to use on ewes and lambs? Age, attitude, ability? Thanks you. Barbara
  4. Most parks, if they allow dogs, have a sign indicating dogs must be on leash and its probably an insurance thing. I have multiple dogs and do not want to cause any problems, nor do I want to run into anyone so I go in the very, very off hours. It is not likely that anyone will be in the park at dark, lights or otherwise, if it is snow covered and cold. Or very early in the AM. By the same token, I was stopped once by the park police (in the middle of the day) for not having a leash. I downed the dog(s) and walked over the officer and explained I had virtual leashes. Ha!
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