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kylebrk

Have you heard of Dogwood Farm Herding?

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That's where Piper and are starting our training. The handler's name is Mary Lou Hayden. You can see her stuff here: www.dogwoodfarmherding.com. She was amazing with Piper the first time we went. I just mentioned her name to someone on these boards and they showed concern that Mary Lou trains other breeds.

 

Mary Lou has a border collie that is trained, so I know she's worked with border collie's before. Any ideas? Has anyone heard of her? Does anyone have experience with a trainer that has handled other breeds?

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This is very obviously (from the website information) a facility that is into AKC big-time, including being very comfortable with (bragging on) dogs that are also shown in conformation. For that reason alone, I would prefer to find another trainer.

 

My first choice trainer would be someone who has trained multiple Border Collies to compete successfully at the USBCHA Open level, who is a good communicator (teaches clearly and well), and whose relationship with their dogs is something I would like to emulate.

 

All-breed trainers that are AKC-oriented would be my last choice. Just my opinion.

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Hello Everyone,

 

"kylebrk" asked for input about the Dogwood Farm Herding facility and the trainer, Mary Lou Hayden, so here are my thoughts. As I have no first hand experience with either the facility or the trainer, I viewed the website given (thanks for including the link!). The website clearly states that they "enjoy training teams to trial in the different recognized venues: AKC, ASCA, and AHBA." The website also announces a litter of puppies, which are Belgian Tervurans, and the calendar of events lists many AKC herding events. The captions under the photos of the dogs on the website show that they have accumulated numerous titles, and in my opinion, the dog pictured on the home page is the showing what I consider to be prey drive, not correct stockwork.

 

All of these things are indicators that I would definitely not recommend this trainer and facility to someone interested in learning about proper stockwork and in training their Border Collie. Even if this trainer owns a trained Border Collie (and it would be interesting to learn if she trained the dog) and trains other Border Collies, I would only recommend a trainer who has personally trained numerous Border Collies to the highest level of stockwork and competition at USBCHA events.

 

Sorry to let the wind out of your sails, klyebrk, but if you are serious about training your dog for stockwork, I would suggest that you find another trainer. The biggest problem with trainers who have not trained dogs to the highest level is that they simply do not realize what they do not know. There is a huge difference between training dogs to earn titles in the venues listed on the website and training dogs to be the best sheepdog that they can be.

 

Regards to all,

nancy

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Sue is absolutely right. The website states that they work with "all recognized herding breeeds"--recognized by whom? AKC, of course. While the trainer may have had a BC or two along the way, the pups that are bragged about on the site are Tervs, and the accomplishments are all AKC and AHBA; in fact, they specifically state that they train for those venues (ASCA may have been included, as well--same thing, essentially). Nowhere is there a mention of the USBCHA.

 

I am at work at the moment, and don't have time to fully explain WHY it is so important to seek out a trainer who trains to the USBCHA level, but perhaps Sue (who I believe had firsthand experience?) or someone else can elaborate.

 

A

 

I see Nancy and I were posting at the same time!

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I actually just searched the USBCHA's website for information on someone close. There is actually a director that lives in the same city I do. Has anyone heard of Judy Thaer?

 

Does anyone know of any USBCHA handlers that also train in the Lafayette, IN area?

 

Thanks for all of the help.

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I have attended both one-day clinics and events (I choose not to refer to them as "trials") geared towards the AKC/AHBA/ASCA participant. I can simply say that generally I have not been impressed with the level of work I've seen, the type of training that goes into the work, or the results - except for a very, very few animals that were talented, well-trained, and well-handled.

 

I am not aware of anyone in your area, although something is niggling at the back of my mind that there was going to be a clinic in IL. Jack Knox, maybe?

 

One thing about a very good trainer is that they are not just teaching "novice" at the novice level, but laying the foundations for more advanced work - even when you do not realize what they are doing or why they are doing something a particular way. That (along with experience, skill, "dog knowledge", stock-reading abilities, and so on) is something that really differentiates the quality trainer from somebody who's just trained a dog to some degree.

 

I think you will be far better served by looking for and waiting for the chance to get quality training that will help you and your dog in the long run, rather than to settle for less (which, thankfully, you already seem to understand).

 

I am not familiar with Judy Thayer but if she is a Director of USBCHA, I assume she would be capable and respected, and would contact her. I hope someone can give you better advice than I can.

 

edited to add - before anyone gets offended, none of my remarks are intentionally directed towards any particular trainer or training facility that may in any way be even remotely connected with these boards

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Hello again,

 

I actually just searched the USBCHA's website for information on someone close. There is actually a director that lives in the same city I do. Has anyone heard of Judy Thaer?

 

I do not know Judy Thayer, but as Sue wrote, being a USBCHA director would say a lot about her credibility as a Border Collie handler and trainer. I suggest that you do contact her, and if she doesn't take on students, she could probably put you in touch with qualified people in your area. Good luck in your search!

 

Regards,

nancy

 

PS...the Jack Knox clinic in IN was last weekend...lousy timing!

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The biggest problem with trainers who have not trained dogs to the highest level is that they simply do not realize what they do not know.

 

That sums it up. She maybe wonderful with your dog and other dogs, but she isn't working to the level that USBCHA trainers work for in everyday life.

 

To me, that doesn't mean she's a bad person or trainer, but probably not simualr to the goals you have in mind if you are wanting to get the most out of your dog.

 

I know Judy Thaer, I didn't konw that's how she spells her last name. She is a lovely woman who only works in the USBCHA trialing and that quality of dogs. I think she would be a wonderful person to get some insight helping you to find a trainer in your area.

I'm almost positive she is the person I know, and I don't think she's into training other people or dogs, but I could be wrong. Definatly a great place to get some info from.

 

Good luck

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Hello all, I visited the website referenced and found a link to the AKC website and an article about Dogwood Farm that was published there. Here is what it said:

 

Central Indiana Shetland Sheepdog Trial

by Carol Delsman

 

"Imagine 40 Shelties in a 12 acre field, running, chasing, socializing and all playing. This was the scene following the inaugural Central Indiana Shetland Sheepdog Club's 2 day 4 Herding Test/Trial event. The trial was held in Williamsport, IN at Mary Lou Hayden's Dogwood Farm on Sept. 11th and 12th.

 

There were 97 total entries for the weekend and the passing rate was about 90%. Handlers came from as far away as Tennessee and New Mexico. On Saturday all Herding Tested entries passed at both trials for titles and all moved up to PT the next day. All but 1 of the move ups also finished their Pre Trial titles also!!! "

 

Hmmm...87 out of 97 dogs "passed," and "moved up." 96 out 97 finished "their pre trial titles also!!!"

Hmmm...Could there ever be a better example of a meaningless title then handing them out for not being good enough to trial?

 

OK, well it's not meaningless to the evil empire. According to the AKC September, 2008 Chairmans' report, Mr. Ron Menaker states that entry fees are a major revenue generator during these tough times. Further he states that the AKC must "reach out to the retail sector" in order to stay in business. In case you're wondering the "retail sector" are the ones keeping the puppy mills in business. Wretched operations like this one.

 

While I was on the AKC site, I found this interesting article from 2003.

 

The Search for Moderation in the Herding Dog

by Dana Hasemeier

 

"In my breed, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, the big winners in the conformation ring are often extreme examples of the breed and their exaggerated features lead me to believe they wouldn't be capable of doing a day's work. This situation isn't limited to just one breed however.

 

The lack of moderation seen in today's conformation dogs is an overall increase in substance, length-to-height ratios being governed by style rather than purpose - in my breed, if long and low is good then longer and lower must be better!

 

The Cardigan standard states that 'oversize and undersize are serious faults' yet group winners are commonly at least an inch or two over the allowable maximum for their gender and sometimes 10 pounds over the limits! Undersize is rarely seen. Having shown a 45 pound male I know just how hard it was for him to propel his bulk on his short legs. He had lots of herding instinct and want-to but would fatigue easily and was clumsy so he never got to do much herding."

 

Hmmm...a 45 pound Corgi on 4 inch legs. N i c e.

 

OK, so Kylebrk, how does this answer your question? I've never heard of Mary Lou, but would run, not walk away. Admittedly, it's convoluted, but by supporting her, you are supporting the evil empire that supports puppy mills and genetic faults in dogs that cause wretched suffering.

 

I've never had the pleasure of meeting Judy Thayer, but she and her dogs are highly regarded in USBCHA circles. I would strongly urge you to start there.

 

Cheers all,

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I took lessons at Dogwood and they are VERY AKC oriented. Heck they let a sheltie come to walk around a pen with sheep in it for 2 YEARS to see if he would show any instinct for pete's sake! The all breed people are great if you have a mix like I do and just wanted to see what she was capable of, but not great if you're looking to trial outside of the AKC type stuff.

 

That being said, I had a TOUGH time finding people within a 2 hour drive of Lafayette when I was at school there and that's why I went to Dogwood vs. a USBCHA person.

 

eta: I do have to add that Mary Lou is good about respecting the animals she works with and works hard to avoid over stressing or mishandling them and she teaches students to read them and to respect them as well. She had a flock of about 40 sheep last time I was there - about 2 years ago now.

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"Imagine 40 Shelties in a 12 acre field, running, chasing, socializing and all playing. This was the scene following the inaugural Central Indiana Shetland Sheepdog Club's 2 day 4 Herding Test/Trial event. The trial was held in Williamsport, IN at Mary Lou Hayden's Dogwood Farm on Sept. 11th and 12th.

 

There were 97 total entries for the weekend and the passing rate was about 90%. "

 

That's freakin' awesome! At Zamora, many of the dogs get letters instead of even a number score after their names (see the thread now running, or consult Sheepdog-L for more info). We sure could learn a lot from those folks, I bet. Sounds to me a little like Lake Woebegone, where "all the children are above average."

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I know Judy Thayer, I have one of her pups. I don't know that she gives lessons, but I'm sure she would be willing to give some advise. She is a well respected open handler that wouldn't steer you wrong.

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Central Indiana Shetland Sheepdog Trial

by Carol Delsman

 

"Imagine 40 Shelties in a 12 acre field, running, chasing, socializing and all playing

 

This sounds to me like a circle of Hell so severe that Dante didn't even envision it. There are probably goats there, too.

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Last time I talked to Mike Neary he wasn't giving lessons. He's also pretty hard to catch in terms of getting info ime.

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This sounds to me like a circle of Hell so severe that Dante didn't even envision it. There are probably goats there, too.

 

:rolleyes::D

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You guys are awesome! I searched all day yesterday for info and couldn't find anything. I just got an email back from Judy. She doesn't train :rolleyes: However, I maybe be able to talk to her about the training we're receiving and have supplemental time with her at her facility. Thoughts?

 

I'm not pushing to use Mary Lou, it's just that her rates are excellent and I can't afford to drive for hours to go get a USBCHA trainer. Does it make me less of an owner to use non USBCHA?

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I originally started at an AKC facility before i knew better. I will tell you not to get sucked into going into the lower classes like HT & PT or JHD just to get started trialling. It is better to get the fundamentals in place, if you have to stay at the current trainer, and try and go to some clinics hosted by a USBCHA herding person. If you start practicingfor trialling in those lower classes you won't strive for bigger and better things

 

cynthia

 

You guys are awesome! I searched all day yesterday for info and couldn't find anything. I just got an email back from Judy. She doesn't train :rolleyes: However, I maybe be able to talk to her about the training we're receiving and have supplemental time with her at her facility. Thoughts?

 

I'm not pushing to use Mary Lou, it's just that her rates are excellent and I can't afford to drive for hours to go get a USBCHA trainer. Does it make me less of an owner to use non USBCHA?

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If you start practicingfor trialling in those lower classes you won't strive for bigger and better things

 

I think this is worth repeating.

 

I have not competed in any of those venues but have trialed against dogs/handlers that have, many of those dogs/handlers are stuck there, the foundation of training was based on a low requirements as opposed to building a foundation on a high requirements which would make those lower classes a breeze.

 

Does it make me less of an owner to use non USBCHA?

 

I don't think so, but, there's a good chance that your not going to even remotely develop the abilities of your dog and you may not be shown training and handling methods that would lead to the ability to develop the true abilities of your dog. Now maybe Mary Lou does understand how to develop a properly working stock dog but has choosen to work within the AKC/AHBA/ASCA ranks so she can continue with her Terv's not having USBCHA aspirations, I think many here will say it's unlikely, but it is possible. Problem is, how do you know? I really feel sorry for new border collie owners trying to get going and trying to find the right path, it's not easy to stumble upon the right start, I think more luck. Some people get lucky and meet up with the right people to get started due to living in the right place, many others are not so lucky.

 

The best advice I can give would be to take a step back, your dog is young, try to meet with some of the USBCHA members in your area and get used to seeing what proper work and handling looks like. Once you do that you could then go to most any facility in your area and have a better chance of recognizing whether or not they are training to a level that you expect. Also remember, if you go to a trial, don't be fooled into thinking that the work displayed is right, depending on the calibur of the trial and handlers/dogs in attendence the event can go from being a great demonstration of good work to an aweful one, there's always a winner, but it does not mean that the winner is the best of the best, sometimes the winner can be the best of the worst.

 

Deb

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Personally I think that you will get stuck at a level you don't want to be at if you go ACK. Could you wait and network with Judy (I knew her name was spelled differently) She is activily trialing and can surely lead you in a better direction.

I got started without knowing anything about USBCHA or ACK, I didn't even know trialing exsisted till after I got started. It was for love of dog not venue. That being said, I went though quite a few dogs back then, I still own most of them but they burnt out with the training that I was thrusting upon them not knowing any better. These were caring people who were trying to help, who didn't konw any better either. They were helping me to trian my dog to "work" in a manner that didn't suit my BC's nor do I think it would suit any decent BC. I didn't have quality "working" dogs back then but still, I often find myself wondering the big "what if" I had been training them in the correct manner. NON ACK.

Good luck and keep yourself open to learning what you need to know to get started correctly. If I could go back and do it again, I would NEVER go the same route. Not only did I have to retrain/untrain robot wannabe dogs, but the retraining myself part was the hardest thing I've taken on in a long time.

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it's just that her rates are excellent and I can't afford to drive for hours to go get a USBCHA trainer. Does it make me less of an owner to use non USBCHA?

 

Compare the pictures in the "Zamora" thread now running with the picture of the 12 acre field with the 40 Shelties and goats. Most of us will not make it to the Open field at Zamora. Most of us (hopefully) will not make it to the Shelty field, either. But where do you want to aim???

 

I seem to remember Bev. L -- a lady with one of the largest hat sizes in the country -- once writing that a key to becoming able to eventually win trials was a willingness to drive long distances (The other, if memory serves, is the willingness to make a fool of yourself in public.) If you want to be good at this, then you can't afford not to go w/ USBCHA handlers. So gas up the truck and drive right by that 12 acre field!

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Judy Thayer is very good with dogs. So is Terri Kirk who is also from Lafayette. Lisa Greene lives about 40 to 50 miles south of Lafayette, she is also good. They are all friends, i don't know if any of them give lessons.

 

As far as me giving lessons, I have on occasion, but the dog needs to be at least started enough to be out of a round pen. I don't have a round pen and don't have the desire to chase other peoples dogs around a field. If the dog is started enough to come off stock and keep itself reasonably under control, I can work with you. Erin is right though, my schedule is very full with work, family and farm obligations.

 

If you are really serious about this, then you should join one of the regional clubs in the area. The one closest to you would be the Land of Lincoln club. It has people from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin primarily in it. I belong to it, as do the aformentioned ladies.

 

You should also get to a quality training clinic. The clinician should be a USBCHA handler that trains their own dogs to a high level (by high level I mean someone that runs open and is a threat to win or place high). The person should have a good livestock background also, not just a "dog person". Denice Rackley has sponsored a couple of high quality clinics in the last year. She is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours south of here near Cincy. I think she is on these boards.

 

Do I understand your pup is only 5 months old? If so, she's probably too young to get meaningful good out of lessons. Closer to a year would be better. Save your lesson money each month until your pup gets older. Use it to go as a spectator to attend a weekend training clinic.

 

One last thing, take lessons from someone that will be brutually honest with you about your dog and your propensity to make a handler. If you actually get into this you'll find there are a number of people that hang out a training shingle that will tell you what you want to hear and not the truth (this includes some USBCHA folks). This usually means repeat customers. Everyone wants their ego stroked, and people get weird about their dogs, but what they usually need are honest answers. Every dog has strengths and weaknesses, one needs accurate information to get the best out of each dog. I don't believe 5 months is old enough to have a high level of accuracy on the merits and weaknesses of a young pup.

 

BTW, where did you get your pup and what is the breeding?

 

Best- mneary

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Judy Thayer is very good with dogs. So is Terri Kirk who is also from Lafayette. Lisa Greene lives about 40 to 50 miles south of Lafayette, she is also good. They are all friends, i don't know if any of them give lessons.

 

As far as me giving lessons, I have on occasion, but the dog needs to be at least started enough to be out of a round pen. I don't have a round pen and don't have the desire to chase other peoples dogs around a field. If the dog is started enough to come off stock and keep itself reasonably under control, I can work with you. Erin is right though, my schedule is very full with work, family and farm obligations.

 

If you are really serious about this, then you should join one of the regional clubs in the area. The one closest to you would be the Land of Lincoln club. It has people from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin primarily in it. I belong to it, as do the aformentioned ladies.

 

You should also get to a quality training clinic. The clinician should be a USBCHA handler that trains their own dogs to a high level (by high level I mean someone that runs open and is a threat to win or place high). The person should have a good livestock background also, not just a "dog person". Denice Rackley has sponsored a couple of high quality clinics in the last year. She is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours south of here near Cincy. I think she is on these boards.

 

Do I understand your pup is only 5 months old? If so, she's probably too young to get meaningful good out of lessons. Closer to a year would be better. Save your lesson money each month until your pup gets older. Use it to go as a spectator to attend a weekend training clinic.

 

One last thing, take lessons from someone that will be brutually honest with you about your dog and your propensity to make a handler. If you actually get into this you'll find there are a number of people that hang out a training shingle that will tell you what you want to hear and not the truth (this includes some USBCHA folks). This usually means repeat customers. Everyone wants their ego stroked, and people get weird about their dogs, but what they usually need are honest answers. Every dog has strengths and weaknesses, one needs accurate information to get the best out of each dog. I don't believe 5 months is old enough to have a high level of accuracy on the merits and weaknesses of a young pup.

 

BTW, where did you get your pup and what is the breeding?

 

Best- mneary

 

She was born is September so she's a little closer to 6 months. I totally understand though, a puppy is still learning so much about just being in my family and doing everyday life. It's a lot to throw in herding.

 

I got her from an ABCA breeder. He has a farm in Lebanon, IN. His name is Kevin Grissom. He seemed to really respect the dogs and the facility was really nice. However, like most everyone else, I didn't really have a clue about what to look for. I can't really speak to the quality of the breeding.

 

When I look at her heritage, I don't see any championship markings.

 

Mr. Neary,

 

It would be great to get together. I have no kids and a very supportive wife. I can work around your schedule. :rolleyes:

 

Once again, I appreciate all the input. I'm eating it up. Let me know if you guys have any other thoughts.

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When I look at her heritage, I don't see any championship markings.

 

 

Mike is right... save your money for now, or go and observe some clinics. Your pup is too young to do much except see sheep from the outside of the fence unless you put her into experienced hands.

 

You won't see 'championship designations' on an ABCA pedigree. If you list the parents and grandparents (including owners) from the pedigree, many of us might have seen some of the dogs, and be able to get a feel for what you have. Being an ABCA registered dog by no means insures that the dog was bred to work sheep. Simply saying that the dog is out of Missy by Roy (for example) will be no help, but if it goes back to Pulfer's Dan, (for example) that means something.

BTW, welcome to our obsessions.

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Does it make me less of an owner to use non USBCHA?

 

I wouldn't think of it that way. What I would say is this. If you want to train your dog because you need a dog to work your livestock, then you need a better trainer than one who just trains all breeds to get AKC or AHBA titles. If you don't need a dog to work livestock, but are doing this because you want to do something interesting or competitive with your dog, then I would choose a different activity rather than go to this kind of a trainer, if those are your only choices.

 

At six months, your pup is really too young for regular lessons now, so you have time to explore your options. I agree with those who say to attend trials and clinics as a spectator before you make a decision.

 

And always listen to Mike Neary when you get the chance. :rolleyes:

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