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Looking for a place to herd


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Perhaps you might want to give a bit more information so that people can understand better just what it is that you want to accomplish. Are you looking to train your dog (and yourself) to be competent at working stock? Are you looking for an enjoyable activity to share with your dog? Are you looking to train to participate in trials? In other words, knowing your goals will help people to better direct you towards a trainer.


One bit of advice that you will get on these boards is to go to a good USBCHA (United States Border Collie Handlers Assn) Open level handler (or equivalent, in someone who may not trial but trains to that level and competency) to get a solid foundation on your dog and yourself, and not (generally) to an all-breed or AKC-style "herding" instructor, whose training will often (not always) be a dumbed-down version of the real thing. Not everyone who labels themself as an instructor or trainer is really competent enough to do so. Some do more harm than good.


Find a trainer with whom you are comfortable, whose relationship with their own dogs is the type of relationship you want to emulate. Best wishes at finding someone!


Edited to add: I did visit the website of the facility where I assume you have been training. I have to say that that is not the type of trainer or approach to stockwork that I would recommend as it is totally AKC, ASCA, and AHBA oriented. That's "hobby herding" and it seems that, no matter how well the stock are cared for, it is a mindset where the stock really exist for the dogs' and handlers' pleasure and entertainment (and achievement measured in "titles") instead of the dogs being trained to assist in managing stock in an improved, reduced-stress manner. Papillions and Pomeranians are just two of the breeds mentioned as welcomed to find something akin to their "inner herding instincts".


You will find a number of references on these boards that will explain why I am saying this. I am not meaning to be hurtful, just honest with my own personal opinion.

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There are good places to work your dog in in Langley, Arlington, Olympia, and Eatonville, just to name a few... Coming clinics are Kathy Knox, Jack Knox, Norm Close, and I'm sure Scot Glenn and Don Helsley. Patrick Shanahan will be in Arlington in a few weeks for Privates as will Karen Child in Olympia. Don is in Washington everynow and again for privates also. Not to mention quite a few fine open handlers in the area that are available for lessons. We are pretty blessed in the Pacific Northwest when it comes to first class instruction and training. All within about an hour or so from Des Moines. Some much less.

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I am about an hour away from you in Carnation. I give lessons on a limited basis.


Dave (red russell) is having Norm Close come out in March and it is a clinic for new handlers and dogs and I suggest going to that. If you are interested, email Dave.


Also here is the local USBCHA hering club website:




We have over 80 members in the club.



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Hey, Diane! I bookmarked that page. I didn't know such an organisation existed. I should become a member. I'm bummed I'll be gone for Pat's clinic in Feb, nevermind that I'll be up to my ears in very small sheep right around then, too (I swear next year I will check ALL the lambs, even the ones I'm SURE are ewes...). I'd really like to get Nick out to some clinics.

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