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Finding an Instructor in Central MN


GroomerHasIt
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Hey all, I'm hoping there's some other Minnesotans on here that could possibly help me out!

I have 2 BC's that we previously worked with on out dairy cattle, however, with milk price tanking again, we decided to sell out. I want to keep my dogs working stock, but I can't find anyone who does lessons inside a 3 hour drive! I would love it if anyone could point me in the direction of someone a bit closer.

I'm located in West Central MN. Please help! I'd appreciate it so so much.

Thanks!

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I have friends who train in the Minneapolis area and I'm considering driving there for training (3/3+ hours). I live near La Crosse, WI -- right on the MN/WI border -- so if anyone has suggestions for my area, I'll gladly hear them. I would consider Eau Claire, Madison & Rochester (MN) all very reasonable driving distances from where I live.

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If you can't find suitable instruction within a reasonable drive, you might want to consider travelling to a clinic given by a top trainer. It will cost more than a few lessons, and your dog will only be worked (usually) a couple of times a day for a few minutes at a time, but it will provide 2-3 solid days of instruction as handlers and dogs of all levels are worked, questions can be asked at any time, and you will have a variety of experiences with an expert, as well as being able to converse with fellow handlers.

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WWSDA has some clinic options coming up, although they are in Wi. which would be quite a drive, but worth it! I believe a one or a couple of the members on the board live in MN and do lessons or could at least give some sudjestions.

 

A clinic is a good option, it's best if you can find a knowledgable instructor or mentor willing to take the time with you to help get your feet wet and really learn and understand the concepts involved in stockwork. And to help you get your dog started to. Once you get started, more options can become available.

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I take lessons in WI. I go to John Wentz in Portage. I make it a point to go at least once a month, when time and weather permit I have gone twice a month. Here is a link to his webiste:

 

http://www.bigyellowboots.net/

 

Here is a link to the WWSDA:

 

http://www.wwsda.org/

 

And here is a link to another place that I believe gives lessons. (I personally have not gone just because that is a 5 hour drive for me one way! Although I have heard positive things.)

 

http://www.kensmuir.com/index.html

 

I am relatively new to stock dog training. I have been going for about a year now to John. I went to the Jack Knox clinic as just a spectator last summer and plan on attending the Scott Glen clinic this June at John's.

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Well I am the farthest thing from an expert, I can only attain to how I started out and what helped me. I think it obviously largely depends on how fast you and your dog learn. Someone I know compares this to putting a brand new rider on a green-broke horse, neither of you know what you are doing!!! If the dog is talented and picks up on things fairly quickly, and you find a knowledgable person willing to maybe work you dog to help him get the basics down, then the pressue is on you to get caught up to the dog.

 

There area alot of "instructors" out there that basicly throw you in there with you green dog and let you guys kinda "figure it out", with some verbal instruction. I am sure alot of successful handlers have starting out stories similar to these! LOL! And if you have a natural knack for working with dogs/livestock, etc. than you might be able to progress at a reasonable rate? I am sure more experienced trainers/handlers will have better advice than I!!!

 

I had a pretty good handle on how to train a dog in general, but working my dog on stock and learning all the in's and out's of it was mindlblowing!! It's by far the hradest thing I have ever done!! And I still have a TON to learn!!! It helped me to find an experienced/succesful trainer/handler who was willing to really mentor me and wanted me to learn. And to get out on sheep as much as possible!! This person was even willing to work my dog, help him get some basics and let me work her seasoned dog so I didn't have to worry about getting run over by sheep and could learn where I needed to be and how to help the dog, learn about sheep, etc.

 

Once me and my dog had the basics down it was just a matter of getting out onsheep as much as possible!!! We attended quite a few clinics, and still took weekly to bi-weekly lessons to have things to work on and set goals!!

 

SO, the more the better I guess?

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