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Sheepless/Duckless In Northern Minnesota


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I love reading all the forums and topics! I moved from Illinois where I drove 3 hours roundtrip to do herding with my dogs to now living in Northern Minnesota about 3-4 hours one way from the closest herding trainer. I found a wonderful trainer and her methods (which come to us from very experienced handlers/trialers) are exactly what I needed as my obedience, agility and field dog background cause me to micro-manage. I have learned to keep quiet and let my dogs figure it out-also using my body more instead of yelling or downing my dog for control.

My problem lies with the fact I cannot PRACTICE anything since I have no livestock. I have a hard time even locating farmers that would have sheep or fencing for what I need. I have a wonderful area for keeping ducks for the winter but can not even find them.

I am signed up for a winter clinic in January south of the Twin Cities, can use an indoor area to train and take lessons all winter but it's a 4 hour drive one way. I may have access to some non dogged sheep close to my home. I am apprehensive as my dog is expereinced but not pushy and my young dog wants sheep to fly! This may be a bad combo coupled with my limited stock sense which I am working on. This is the one sport that frustrtaes me due to lack of practice time. I envy those that have sheep on their property to use whenever.

Thanks in advance,


Virginia, MN

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Hi Missi:


Have you contacted anyone from the USBCHA? Go to the web site, usbcha.com, and look for the directors in your area (region 5). I suggest that you email the director and ask for a recommendation for a trainer or Open handler in your area. Also, I do think that there are a few people on this board that are in MN, too; maybe one of them will be able to help you find someone.


There is also the Wisconson Working Stock Dog Association (wwsda.com) that probably has some members from MN- you may want to contact them, as well.


Best of luck,


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