Jump to content
BC Boards

Unique inquiry

bc soul sista

Recommended Posts



Not sure if this is a good place for this question...but since it's related to sheepdog training thought I would start here!!!


Practicing stockwork for me and my dogs consists of going to my two good friends farms, who also train/trial border collies in USBCHA trials....the two farms are maybe 15 acres of seperated pastures...which is ok most of the time for training...


We are all kind of suffering the same problem of not having any BIG areas to practice long outruns!!!


We solve the problem now by having to drive 2-4 hours one way to someone who has some larger areas...I recently made a 6 and 10 hour drive one way just to get to some bigger fields!!!


I know that others have there ways of dealing with shortage of big land, usually they can find a near by farmer who doesn't mind them using there hay fields/etc...


We unfortunatly DON'T know anyone who owns such land within a oneour drive....so we had the idea of making some kind of Want Ad...sending it out on vartious lists and posting it at local feed stores in hopes that someone wouldnt mind us trailering sheep to there pasture for a few hours here and there....we have course would compensate them..


Any ideas on what to say that wouldnt over whelm people with this idea?? I asked a few people in person and they were like "what?!"


Thanks for any suggestions!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hm ... Maybe keep it kind of light-hearted but concise. A friend and I have actually talked about doing something similar, since her fields are only so big, and they go under hay for a good part of the year. ;)


Perhaps something like:


"WANTED: Wide-open spaces for training border collies!


We have the sheep, we have the dogs, but we don't have fields big enough for our dogs to really practice their out-work. Do you have an empty field or pasture we can borrow X times a week/month?


We are prepared to recompense you for the use of your property, and we will close all gates and leave no sign of our presence, when we leave. If you can help a couple sheepdoggers and some hardworking border collies, please give us a call at: XXX-XXXX."


Anyhow, that's my attempt! ;)


Good luck, let us know how it goes!


~ Gloria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like Gloria's plan, and to it I would add a few pictures of the dogs working so that people were clear on what you were talking about. Besides which, it seems to me that people do love to watch the dogs work. Around here, it's a rare work session that doesn't involve at least one car, walker, or biker stopping for a while to watch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just a question.


do you want the big field to work on for you or for the dogs?????


Lin Yutang once said, "The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach."



Just a thought.


bill virginia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Several suggestions. Does the town own any land that they keep open – not playgrounds or playing fields of any kind, but land in an open space program, or perhaps there is a land conservancy in your area. Either will do. We had a 47 acre field here, owned by the town and they take hay off it once a year. I reached out to the town council by letter and was turned down several times, but kept at it. And in that letter I described sheepherding as a passive use of land. In fact sheep on a field is the personification of open space. Now I have permission except for the few months the hay is growing.


On a private parcel, Mark’s idea of contacting your hay dealer is excellent. Or if you see a field you like, a letter might work as well. I got my first field by putting something in someone’s mailbox. However, I would also knock on the owner’s door. I would like to meet them and have them understand that I value their property as much as they do. That I am not moving there and when I come, anything I bring with me, leaves with me.


In both cases, you may be asked how often you will be on the property, for how long, how many people. Assure them that the endurance levels of dog and sheep keep the sessions short, that you are not coming in inclement weather as you do not want to damage the field (rain, snow), and that you will not be there when the grass is long because you can’t see the sheep or dogs anyway.


If they ask for insurance, check with your homeowners insurance company. You are looking to get a certificate of liability on your homeowners policy naming the property owner and releasing them from any liability due to your actions.


Having done all this, I do not take dogs to these fields that are not under complete control and I do not take challenging sheep. I want sheep to work and sheep that will load. My challenge is an open field.


Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. Virginia... I don't understand your question or what you are suggesting. If one is going to trial in UBSCHA trials, one is going to have to work their dog in big fields at some point. I get working at hand and do the vast majority of our work within 40 yards but a dog has to learn how to find sheep. Hate to have my dog's first 500 yard outrun be at a trial. Lots of things to learn on an outrun, lift, and fetch at a distance that need to be worked through at hand but you have to get your dog at the distance sometimes to see where your holes are.



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...