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Novice Prep Camp Clinic

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Many of you know my situation at this point, but for those of you who do not...


I am completely new to the world of herding. I'm a first time dog owner and my border collie is going to be two years old in just a few short months. We instinct tested him at 6 months and started weekly training lessons not long after. We've been on and off a lot, due to injury, but have been able to get back into it these past few weeks. This is something I'd really like to pursue with him so long as he's healthy to do so.


I was looking for clinics in or around my area and found this interesting clinic being offered up in idaho. http://www.patrickshannahan.com/pdfs/Novice%20Preparation%20Camp%202014.pdf


It's not exactly close by but if it would benefit us I'd be more then happy to travel the distance. I'm curious if this is the type of clinic perfect for someone like myself (i.e. super-novice with a young dog who shows very beginner ability on stock... nowhere near trial ready) or if I should maybe work with our trainer for another season before getting into a clinic like this.


I guess I could also call them and ask, but I figured I'd follow up here first and get feedback from the boards. I'm not sure if this is a type of clinic that's commonly offered and who exactly it's best for. Thanks!


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I think you can not go wrong. Both are well known and there should be plenty of info. I assume they offer auditing as well?


But I would talk to your regular trainer to make sure the approaches line up somewhat. I found that too much differing opinions were confusing. Obviously it is in the implementation of any approach where you can decide how they will work for you.


If you do decide to go, keep us up to date. It should be very fun.

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Dear Aspiring Sheepdoggers,

Interesting concept. If you go (and you should) I'll be interested to hear your report. I have seen Ms Deal's excellent work but don't know her well, Patrick is a splendid coach at all levels. Banning open handlers should reduce the white noise outside the ring/field and let novices ask ALL the questions they want to.


Donald McCaig

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I drove over to idaho last year, for Patrick and Diane's clinic. It was a great experience and have since done other clinics with Patrick. You would learn a lot and most likely enjoy yourself.

The atmosphere is very relaxed and there were people from all over the country and at all stages. Since I do not trial, but own a ranch I was unsure if it was what I was looking for in improving my partnership with my dogs, but I also needed a vacation.

Bottom line is if they are not full and you have the time, go!

I would do it again, but this year am planning on going to South Dakota to attend one of Patrick's clinics. It is a good way to see the country and learn from a wonderful instructor.


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Thanks everyone for the feedback on this clinic. I have heard/read wonderful things about Patrick Shannahan but was not familiar with Dianne Deal. Sounds like she's great, too!


I am worried we might be a just a little too green for this clinic. I have no doubt I'd learn a lot but we'd probably be in over our heads. I'm going to talk to our trainer this Friday and get her thoughts on it. Depending on her response I'll follow up directly with Patrick and Dianne just to make sure we're a good fit for this clinic.


It sounds like they offer this clinic every year so, at the very least, it's a serious consideration for 2015. If we do end up going this year I'll be sure to post an update!

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