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Trainers in Tn ?

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Hey everybody I'm new on here I just got 3 border collie puppies wich will hopefully be the new addition to our working dog herd (we have 3 blue heelers ) and I was just wondering what age should they be started i have heard to start them at a year but I have had blue heelers that start work at 6-7 months ? and do you know of any good trainers ? I was going to start looking now

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Welcome! Three puppies is quite a jump into the deep end of the pool. Many people start youngsters on sheep at 6-7 months, depending on the pup's maturity, and then start them on suitable cattle a bit later as they show the development they would need for that.


Perhaps you could be a little more specific about your general location. There are some excellent Border Collie cattledog trainers in VA and other neighboring states, plus some good clinics that are available within a reasonable drive.

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Welcome. Tennessee has a couple of active sheepdog groups, and the folks who belong to them could probably point you to someone suitable for getting your pups started on sheep or goats and then cattle. What age to start a pup depends entirely on the individual pup. I had a youngster I was trialing by the time she was a year old, but I have a couple of 11 month olds now who are still very much at the beginning stages of training. I also have a 17-month-old who's ready to trial at the P/N level and may be ready to try to run nursery in the fall. So just make sure that you treat each pup as an individual when it comes to tailoring a training program--as all pups, even those who are closely related, mature at different rates and therefore vary in the amount of training pressure they can take.


Bill Reed is a nationally-ranked cattledog handler who lives in Germantown, TN. I don't have contact information for him, but you should be able to track him down if he's anywhere near you. I don't know if he takes in dogs for training or gives lessons, but if not, he should be able to point you to someone competent who does.


I did a quick check of the USBCHA website and didn't see any upcoming trials listed for TN (trials are often the best way to meet potential trainers and other stockdog folks).


Hope that helps some.



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The major video I am familiar with that addresses cattle work is "Starting Your Border Collie on Cattle, Sheep, and Ducks" which you can get through Border Collies in Action and probably through other vendors. There may be others.


As for understanding the Border Collie and its training, I like Derek Scrimgeour's "The Shepherd's Pup" which is very comprehensive. Also. Aled Owen's "Time Well Spent". These are both dealing with starting training on dog-broken (but not sour) sheep rather than cattle. Elvin Kopp has a series of three videos that are excellent at presenting his training methods but I believe he may be revising them in the next few years.


For books, I like Derek Scrimgeour's "Talking Sheepdogs" best for its simple. uncluttered look at the basics. Vergil Holland's book, "Progressive Training" (or that's at least part of the title) is a good, all-breed book that may also address cattle work (I'm not sure - I lent mine out so can't check it right now). Bruce Fogt has a well-thought-of book, "Lessons from a Sheepdog".


Julie is absolutely correct at treating each dog as an individual and understanding that each will physically and mentally mature at its own rate and time, and also will progress in training individually.


I've only seen Bill Reed running his dogs on cattle once, and was very impressed at his quiet, calm style that was reflected in his dogs' excellent work.

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