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Herding training in eastern sc/nc?


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Perhaps I should specify what I'm looking for. I do not own my own sheep. I have attended one of the closest herding clinics to me (about 5 1/2 hrs away), and am certainly looking to attend more. But, my concern is being able to have acess to livestock between clinics; a few times a week hopefully. The goal with my dog, who is a foster failure and has turned out to have herding potential, is to start a goose dog service in my area. She is a fine dog, and as with all bc's (but maybe more so with this one), she needs a job. I hope that this can be both a hobby, in training for competitions (not to get ahead of myself, it depends on how we do, of course), and as a side job for the two of us.


Any suggestions?? Is keeping runner ducks, and training on them, a good option??



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I'm surprised you haven't gotten more feedback on your question. If Julie P had still been located near Eliz City, she would have been a good resource. I personally am not aware of anyone in eastern NC or SC (I'm assuming that you must be located towards southeastern NC or northeastern SC.


Some people like ducks but I've also heard that dogs trained on ducks can pick up the habit of working too close to their stock, but I couldn't say anything about it with any certainty.


You might want to check out at www.usbcha.com and go to the trials page, and see if you can find any trials that you might be able to attend (or even to volunteer - rank beginners can often do jobs that need doing). At a trial, you can meet people, see whose handling skills and relationship with their dog you like, and maybe make some contacts that might be able to help you or point you in the right direction.


Best wishes at finding some good help!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sigh... So, still no luck on finding a trainer nearby. I am making plans to travel this weekend to attend another clinic. My dog has picked up SO much in just two clinics, but there has so far been little we can do at home (with no livestock) to aid her training. We've been working on lie down, walk up and steady when playing frisbee. But, all the lie down progress seemed to fall out of her pretty little dog head when she got near the sheep last time....


I'm wondering a few things about the future of our herding training and practice. What is the proper etiquette on looking for and asking local farmers for help? When/if I feel comfortable handling my dog without the presence of a trained professional, is it even an option to ask them for access to their sheep?? I've spoken with one local sheep farmer to ask about trainers in the area, and he mentioned that he had his own bc's for the farm, but did not compete, and of course, he didn't know anyone who offered training. Is it out of line to ask this man for help in the future??

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I would think that if you had the chance to watch this man working his sheep with his own dogs, and if his handling of his dogs and their work is good and something you'd like to emulate, it shouldn't hurt to ask if he might help you learn and train your dog - in exchange for your helping him with his stock.


Learning in exchange for your work would benefit both of you. Plus, working with his stock (without your dog) will help teach you a lot about livestock and they respond to pressure.


It could be a win-win situation for all concerned. But, first, I would see if I could watch him working his dogs and see if his handling and training approach is compatible with what you would like to accomplish.


Just because someone does not compete doesn't make them less of a handler or trainer - it just may mean they have different priorities for their time and efforts. And, just because someone competes, and perhaps quite successfully, doesn't mean they are necessarily someone you want to emulate. Not all that seems to glitter is gold, if you get my drift.


Good luck!


PS - I doubt I would ever consider asking someone if I could work/train my dogs on their stock if that person is not already interested in using dogs on stock. I know people who have asked that very thing and there are folks that might say "yes" but I just think that's too dicey a proposition - and a real stockperson (who doesn't also use dogs) most likely won't want anything to do with your training/working your dog on their stock. The stock are, after all, production animals.

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