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ideas for working dog demo


RoseAmy
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Hi all,

 

A friend of mine has been asked to do a "herding" demo with her border collies at a pet fair. There will be obedience/flyball/agility demos going on also through out the day.

 

She has some pretty good ideas of things she's going to do, but she asked me for more ideas (in turn I'm asking all of you) on things to do that would really WOW them, make it fun and most of all be informative.

 

Also they are giving her a booth where she can set up information etc. Of course she wants to push the fact that these dogs are bred for their instincts not looks. And show case the working bred border collie. Anyone know where she can get pamphlets or other such imformation to hand out. I think the booth has her more stumped then showing off the dogs.

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At the demo I helped with at the Dixie Classic fair, the demo person set up PVC jumps along the perimeter and used the dogs to send sheep over the jumps. That was probably the most exciting sheep thing we did. We put them in a chute and moved them around and held them in corners and that's what we were limited to because of space. Outdoors, she could set up a small trial course and include things like chutes or anything else that would mimic work on the farm.

 

If it's an arena situation, then it's more difficult to do interesting stuff with sheep, but ducks or geese allow more flexibility. You can send ducks up a teeter (with sides, so they don't go overboard), through tunnels, and so on. You can let agility courses give you ideas of things that can be done with ducks. Ducks are always real crowd pleasers, probably because they're just plain funny, and they like to "complain" while they're being worked. They do require a dog with more finesse if you're going to do any sort of tricky obstacles.

 

As for the booth, maybe ABCA has something?

 

J.

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A friend of mine has been asked to do a "herding" demo with her border collies at a pet fair. There will be obedience/flyball/agility demos going on also through out the day.

 

She has some pretty good ideas of things she's going to do, but she asked me for more ideas (in turn I'm asking all of you) on things to do that would really WOW them, make it fun and most of all be informative.

 

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A really cute idea I saw recently with ducks was to run them around a course and have 2 wire crated end to end that are covered with a sign saying "duck wash" Black ducks were being worked and white ducks came out the 2nd crate after teh black ducks went inside

 

I find that the public is often amazed when you shed and hold sheep-but that depends on the dog's skill level.

 

If you have calm stock, we have done figure 8 around 2 people who are standing still.

 

Turnbacks are also interesting to the people.

 

Getting 3 scared sheep off the flatbed trailer loaded with antique oilcans/jars and not breaking anything ! Then catching the one lamb that split off and ran into the crown and then into the mini train area, finallly being penned in a gazebo is a REAL crowd pleaser!

(a real life occurance from a trial at a Threshing Bee)

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A really cute idea I saw recently with ducks was to run them around a course and have 2 wire crated end to end that are covered with a sign saying "duck wash" Black ducks were being worked and white ducks came out the 2nd crate after teh black ducks went inside

Yep, the duck washing machine is always a hit with the demo folks around here. They have a box that looks like a front-loading washer, but has space for a second set of ducks in the back. Load the dark runners in the front, pretend to add detergent and bleach in the top, and white runners come out the back....

 

J.

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thanks everyone. I love the duck washing idea..but I don't think my friend is going to invest in ducks!!!

 

There is a big field that they get to use so they will be able to get a real outrun in.

 

Still trying to come up with ideas for the booth..

 

Something we did a few years back was to take a small colored TV with a DVD player, a good laptop works well to. Slides shows and videos of dogs working with a good soundtrack would stop people in their tracks, it's also a great place to show dogs working different types of stock then what will be used in the demo. For some strange reason when people see a demo on sheep they assume that the dogs and the handler only understands sheep, if the spectator has cattle they walk on by, videos and pictures showing other stock helps to catch those interested in using dogs for other livestock. The ones that just loved to watch the dogs work would watch for a while and move on the ones with questions would watch until something triggered a question and then ask. We placed the TV way over on the corner right on the aisle so that spectators did not clog the booth and had the booth set up so that people with questions could step in and talk. Most of the time when you go to expos you see the table out in front with people sitting behind, we always put our table against a side with litature and have high stools to sit on that way we are on the same level when talking and answering questions.

 

We would also set up grid wall (helps that we have it for our old leather shop displays) and hung some great pictures to look at. On the table we have litature, I have a one page "Herding Terms" handout, alot of the info taken from the back of Glenn Jones book, maybe contact Francis to see if some ABCA glossy brochures can be secured.

 

Also a table cover that will go all the way to the floor so that personal items can be store out of sight, or even a crate can be under there giving a dog a break for people if needed.

 

Another thing for a booth is to make or have something that you can sell to benefit a club or rescue, custom dog collars, home made treats maybe even see if the coordinator of the expo is against inviting a rescue into the booth with, it will depend if they charge the rescues for other booths, it would be a good way to have someone man the booth and answer questions when away for bathroom or food breaks.

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