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I really don't know where to post this, so please excuse my ignorance!

 

I have been on the hunt to find a local trainer to help me with Dash, and so far I have only found one person. He is a very nice person, runs in cattle dog trials and has offered me the chance to go up to his ranch and see him work. I told him I have a puppy and for right now I would only be observing him before making my decision as to whether he can help train me.

 

Well, he has Hangin Tree Cowdogs. I had never heard of this breed until he mentioned them and have no idea how they work. I'm thinking they are a harsher breed as they are bred for cattle..am I right? He also has sheep and would be training Dash on sheep. I guess I'm just asking if he would be able to train a Border Collie?

 

Also, when evaluating a potential trainer..what things should I be looking for? I would love to be able to travel to a top notch trainer but right now I don't have the time. Herding will be a hobby, and I'll most likely dabble in trials when one comes close...but I really have no plans on making it to nationals.

 

Here is a link to the gentleman's recent trial. CLICK. His picture is the one on the lower left.

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Oops, hopefully I didn't give the impression that this was HIS trial, I just meant it was one he ran in.

 

 

Where exactly are you located ?

 

From the Central Cali reference - you might try Suzy Applegate.

If you are near Sacramento you might try Tom Spenser; Slightly North of Sacramento - Bill Berhow.

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I have been on the hunt to find a local trainer to help me with Dash, and so far I have only found one person. He is a very nice person, runs in cattle dog trials and has offered me the chance to go up to his ranch and see him work. I told him I have a puppy and for right now I would only be observing him before making my decision as to whether he can help train me.

 

Well, he has Hangin Tree Cowdogs. I had never heard of this breed until he mentioned them and have no idea how they work. I'm thinking they are a harsher breed as they are bred for cattle..am I right? He also has sheep and would be training Dash on sheep. I guess I'm just asking if he would be able to train a Border Collie?

 

CLICK. His picture is the one on the lower left.

 

I have two Hangin Trees and one Border Collie. The HTCs generally have less eye and work closer to their stock (necessary for working cattle), but they are a gathering dog like the Border Collie. They are 3/8 to 1/2 Border Collie in their breeding. Fred Todd has been successful in training and breeding his dogs, so he is certainly capable of training a Border Collie. Even if you decide to go with a different trainer, I would take him up on the invitation to visit his ranch and see him work his dogs, surely an educational experience.

 

I'm not sure of your definition of 'harsher', but the Hangin Trees generally have more bite and push than a sheep bred Border Collie, but a cattle bred Border Collie can have just as much bite and push. The HTC certainly isn't all bite, I have trialed mine on ducks, sheep and cattle with success.

 

Good luck in your search,

Glenn

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I have two Hangin Trees and one Border Collie. The HTCs generally have less eye and work closer to their stock (necessary for working cattle), but they are a gathering dog like the Border Collie. They are 3/8 to 1/2 Border Collie in their breeding. Fred Todd has been successful in training and breeding his dogs, so he is certainly capable of training a Border Collie. Even if you decide to go with a different trainer, I would take him up on the invitation to visit his ranch and see him work his dogs, surely an educational experience.

 

I'm not sure of your definition of 'harsher', but the Hangin Trees generally have more bite and push than a sheep bred Border Collie, but a cattle bred Border Collie can have just as much bite and push. The HTC certainly isn't all bite, I have trialed mine on ducks, sheep and cattle with success.

 

Good luck in your search,

Glenn

 

I figured they (Border Collie and HTC) couldn't be that much different...basically comes down to their breeding (like you said). Fred told me he has handled many Border Collies and feels confident that he could help me out. He has been nothing but welcoming in his emails. I figure it can't hurt to go out there. :)

 

ETA: When I say that they are 'harsher' than a Border Collie, I just meant more aggresive and in your face...basically what a cowdog should be.

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Hi Brittany ~

 

Whereabouts in central CA are you? If you're in the Sacramento area, I will second the recommendation for Suzy Applegate. I live in Nevada but I've been going to her for "tune-ups" once a month. She's a good trainer - and she just won the Meeker Classic with her dog, Buzz. :) Here's her website: http://www.hoofandpawfarms.com/

 

I've also heard good things about Tom Spenser and Bill Berhow. I just don't have contact info for them.

 

If you're further south, Amelia Smith is out of Valley Center. Her website is here: http://www.bordersmith.com/

 

Hope this helps!

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

P.S.

We see quite a few of those Hangin' Tree dogs out here on Nevada cow outfits. Tough dogs, good workers. :)

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ETA: When I say that they are 'harsher' than a Border Collie, I just meant more aggresive and in your face...basically what a cowdog should be.

I think this is something of a myth. Yes, dogs who work cattle have to stand up to cattle (i.e., be willing to bite), but that doesn't automatically mean that the dogs have to be more aggressive (despite the whole macho cowboy image that seems to perpetuate the whole rip-and-tear cowdog thing) than any other working border collie (the exception could be for dogs who are, say, rounding up wild cattle out of the swamps of Louisiana and the like).

 

To be registerable, Hangin Tree Cowdogs have to exhibit head and heel bites, but having a head and heel bite doesn't necessarily make a dog more "aggressive and in your face." Lots of good dogs who work cattle can also work sheep, and these are the kind of dogs that are the best, IMO. They aren't all bite, but instead are capable of notching it up as needed and dialing it back down when not needed.

 

Frankly, I wonder about anyone who breeds dogs who require shock collars for training.

 

J.

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Frankly, I wonder about anyone who breeds dogs who require shock collars for training.

 

J.

I'm not sure if you're refering to the person or the dog requiring a shock collar. I assume the person, because I think few if any dogs require a shock collar. I think the collars are used as a short cut and a crutch. I would agree, not something you want to see in your breeder. Time and patience pay off far better in the long run (in breeding and training).

 

Glenn

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I think this is something of a myth. Yes, dogs who work cattle have to stand up to cattle (i.e., be willing to bite), but that doesn't automatically mean that the dogs have to be more aggressive (despite the whole macho cowboy image that seems to perpetuate the whole rip-and-tear cowdog thing) than any other working border collie (the exception could be for dogs who are, say, rounding up wild cattle out of the swamps of Louisiana and the like).

 

To be registerable, Hangin Tree Cowdogs have to exhibit head and heel bites, but having a head and heel bite doesn't necessarily make a dog more "aggressive and in your face." Lots of good dogs who work cattle can also work sheep, and these are the kind of dogs that are the best, IMO. They aren't all bite, but instead are capable of notching it up as needed and dialing it back down when not needed.

 

 

What I meant was, that I thought they were a more aggressive breed due to them being bred specifically for cattle. Most breeders who breed them do so for cattle work so they would need a more aggressive breed in general (according to google searches).

 

I don't know this breed at all, so I can't say what their personalities are like.

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Hi Brittany ~

 

Whereabouts in central CA are you? If you're in the Sacramento area, I will second the recommendation for Suzy Applegate. I live in Nevada but I've been going to her for "tune-ups" once a month. She's a good trainer - and she just won the Meeker Classic with her dog, Buzz. :) Here's her website: http://www.hoofandpawfarms.com/

 

I've also heard good things about Tom Spenser and Bill Berhow. I just don't have contact info for them.

 

If you're further south, Amelia Smith is out of Valley Center. Her website is here: http://www.bordersmith.com/

 

Hope this helps!

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

P.S.

We see quite a few of those Hangin' Tree dogs out here on Nevada cow outfits. Tough dogs, good workers. :)

 

Thanks for the recommendations! Sacramento is about 2 hours away from me. Not that far of a drive in general but just out of my reach for now.

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Brittany,

The point I'm trying to make is that aggressiveness in and off itself does not make a cattle dog. But the whole aggressiveness thing fits in with the macho types out there who think that agressiveness = good cow dog and then breed accordingly (these are the folks who are often referred to as "rip and tear" types). While a dog needs to be able to bite when working cattle and certainly can't be the type to give up in a tough situation, the dog shouldn't be using bite as its first and only tool for working cattle. I know that many of the dogs I've seen working cattle, from stockers to cattle at trials, don't do a whole lot of biting to get the job done and don't appear particularly aggressive while working (yet they can be *when* it's needed). IMO people who are breeding solely for aggressiveness are likely missing the bigger picture, that's all.

 

My advice to anyone seeking a trainer has always been to go out and watch that trainer work dogs and train dogs (his/hers as well as dogs that belong to others). If the trainer's style and methodology is one that you are comfortable with and think you can successfully apply, then the trainer is probably suitable for you. If there are things the trainer does that make you uncomfortable and the trainer can't give you a satisfactory explanation for why those methods are being used, then you're probably better off going elsewhere.

 

Glenn,

My point about breeding was simply that some breeders seem to be creating dogs that are hard enough that they require shock collars for training. I think they are doing such breeding in the mistaken belief that it takes a really hard dog to be able to work tough cattle, but I'd be willing to bet that folks like Anna and others who work cattle all the time would agree that the type of toughness being bred in that then requires a shock collar for training (aside from the whole short cut/expediency issue) is not necessarily the type of toughness that will serve well in the long run when it comes to working with livestock. JMO of course.

 

J.

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The point I'm trying to make is that aggressiveness in and off itself does not make a cattle dog.

 

 

 

I know it doesn't but when I first heard about these dogs I was wondering if they were a bit more of an aggressive breed. I didn't want to take my sheep bred Border Collie out to someone who was used to working with a "cow bred, aggressive breed". Even though it's apparent that my thinking was wrong, it's the whole reason I made this post. I wanted people to help me get a feel for this breed.

 

As a newbie to herding you have to know that I am very inexperienced so I have a whole lot to learn, which is obvious as to how little I know regarding cow bred/sheep bred. So thank you for taking the time to educate me and not just write me off as another city slick, herding wannabe. ;)

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The point I'm trying to make is that aggressiveness in and off itself does not make a cattle dog. But the whole aggressiveness thing fits in with the macho types out there who think that agressiveness = good cow dog and then breed accordingly (these are the folks who are often referred to as "rip and tear" types). While a dog needs to be able to bite when working cattle and certainly can't be the type to give up in a tough situation, the dog shouldn't be using bite as its first and only tool for working cattle. I know that many of the dogs I've seen working cattle, from stockers to cattle at trials, don't do a whole lot of biting to get the job done and don't appear particularly aggressive while working (yet they can be *when* it's needed). IMO people who are breeding solely for aggressiveness are likely missing the bigger picture, that's all.

This bears repeating. The whole idea of a cow-bred dog is one who, as Julie says, will readily bite either end when needed, but can also back off when appropriate. I like to see a dog use a bite as a last resort, only when walking up and eye don't get things moving. Now, on fresh cattle (never seen a dog), a bite or two on the heels (or often the nose, as fresh cattle will probably be looking at the dog wondering what it is and why it's there) is probably a good thing on the lift, as the cattle have no clue that they are supposed to move off the dog, and are generally not inclined to do so without some incentive. But, unfortunately, the idea of "super tough" "rip 'em up" kind of dogs working cattle gives working cowdogs a bad name. And it's too bad, there are many who are sheep trial folks who think all cowdogs are like that (without ever having seen a GOOD cowdog work).

 

Off my soapbox (for now) :rolleyes:

A

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This bears repeating. The whole idea of a cow-bred dog is one who, as Julie says, will readily bite either end when needed, but can also back off when appropriate. I like to see a dog use a bite as a last resort, only when walking up and eye don't get things moving. Now, on fresh cattle (never seen a dog), a bite or two on the heels (or often the nose, as fresh cattle will probably be looking at the dog wondering what it is and why it's there) is probably a good thing on the lift, as the cattle have no clue that they are supposed to move off the dog, and are generally not inclined to do so without some incentive. But, unfortunately, the idea of "super tough" "rip 'em up" kind of dogs working cattle gives working cowdogs a bad name. And it's too bad, there are many who are sheep trial folks who think all cowdogs are like that (without ever having seen a GOOD cowdog work).

 

Off my soapbox (for now) :rolleyes:

A

 

Was this aimed at me?

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Charlie Trayer has been a big promoter for Hangin' Tree Cowdogs. He is also an Executive Director for the HT association and an authorized dealer for Tri-Tronics.

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Was this aimed at me?

Absolutely not! It's just that there's a common misconception about dogs working cattle (that all that goes on is a bunch of chasing and biting (first one end then the other), and cattle going through fences, and so forth, and I hear it a LOT, most often from folks who have never seen a good one work. As Julie pointed out, once cattle have been schooled *properly* by a dog (which can happen as quickly as a few minutes), the cattle learn to bend off the dog, and often, no biting is necessary at all. So this whole thread sort of struck a nerve with me...and I guess you just happened to be "standing" in the fray B)

 

...and an authorized dealer for Tri-Tronics.

Not surprising. Don't know the guy mentioned here, but it strikes me as more of the same mentality--"cowdogs have to be super tough, and, by golly, ya gotta use an "ecollar" on 'em."

:huh:

A

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Brittany,

 

As far as what to look for in those folks who are training I will give you some of my criteria.

1. They are calm, quiet, confident when working all the dogs, their dogs and others.

2. The dogs understand what they are being asked and some progress is being made in each training session.

3. they have high expecations of themselves and the dogs

4. they are able to communicate to you how to train, where you should be, why the dog is doing this or that, where the dog needs to be to accomplish a certain task.

5. They understand and admit they do not know it all and are still learning

6 They want the best for each dog and handler

7 They treat each dog as an individual and adapt the training method to suit each dog.

8. The dogs comes away happy and still wanting to work 95% of the time.

9. They see the big picture and end result they are aiming for and accept small steps toward that goal, each session doesn't have to be perfect, they allow the dog to work and learn using its natural ability, step in to Help and show the dog what they want and leave some things alone picking the battles to fight.

 

Big turn offs to me are - all the dogs are treated the same, this is the 'method' and the dog needs to figure it out, big egos, and they can't explain (or show me how it works) why they do such and such. I go the other direction when I see these things. Just because someone trains, is paid to train or gives clinics doe not mean they Should be doing those things. Stock work is a Team effort so I want a trainer who is part of the team.

 

These are things I have seen and come to understand in my journey with these dogs. I hope you find it helpful. There are some great folks who train and give clinics out there and there are scary ones as well so choice wisely.

 

Denice

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Brittany,

 

As far as what to look for in those folks who are training I will give you some of my criteria.

1. They are calm, quiet, confident when working all the dogs, their dogs and others.

2. The dogs understand what they are being asked and some progress is being made in each training session.

3. they have high expecations of themselves and the dogs

4. they are able to communicate to you how to train, where you should be, why the dog is doing this or that, where the dog needs to be to accomplish a certain task.

5. They understand and admit they do not know it all and are still learning

6 They want the best for each dog and handler

7 They treat each dog as an individual and adapt the training method to suit each dog.

8. The dogs comes away happy and still wanting to work 95% of the time.

9. They see the big picture and end result they are aiming for and accept small steps toward that goal, each session doesn't have to be perfect, they allow the dog to work and learn using its natural ability, step in to Help and show the dog what they want and leave some things alone picking the battles to fight.

 

Big turn offs to me are - all the dogs are treated the same, this is the 'method' and the dog needs to figure it out, big egos, and they can't explain (or show me how it works) why they do such and such. I go the other direction when I see these things. Just because someone trains, is paid to train or gives clinics doe not mean they Should be doing those things. Stock work is a Team effort so I want a trainer who is part of the team.

 

These are things I have seen and come to understand in my journey with these dogs. I hope you find it helpful. There are some great folks who train and give clinics out there and there are scary ones as well so choice wisely.

 

Denice

 

Thanks Denice, that's really helpful! I'm going to print this out and take it along with me..

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One more thing I'd add to Denice's list is to observe how the stock is being treated. That they're not being abused, mistreated, etc. The trainer takes measures to ensure that dogs are not hurting or unduly stressing the stock.

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One more thing I'd add to Denice's list is to observe how the stock is being treated. That they're not being abused, mistreated, etc. The trainer takes measures to ensure that dogs are not hurting or unduly stressing the stock.

^^This is very important. If the trainer shows disregard for the welfare of the stock, I'd be running in the opposite direction.

 

J.

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Also, a trainer that disregards the welfare of the livestock is not teaching a dog how to read and rate the stock reliably.

 

I wouldn't say a cowdog has to be more aggressive, because a hard-hitting dog isn't necessarily more authoritative with stock. But, cowdogs definitely need to be tougher than the average sheepdog. Not tougher in their approach toward stock, but tougher in that they aren't easily dissuaded from hard knocks that come from working cattle. A tough dog doesn't automatically have a hard temperament that requires a firm hand in training either.

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Interesting. My Aussie has lots of HT in her breeding. Thanks for the discussion; very informative.

Gary Ericsson's Hangin' Tree Aussies were outstanding dogs. Gary had a stringent breeding program - dogs work and work well, or they are not going to contribute to the gene pool. You can find lots of Hangin' Tree bloodlines in a number of good working Aussies. His Hangin' Tree Black Bear is the only Aussie he utilized in developing the Hangin' Tree Cowdog. I watched one of his offspring working at a clinic/cattledog trial weekend - he was an amazing dog.

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