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herding events in PA?

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I am in NE Ohio and can tell you, there is really nothing as far as sheepdog trials go in this area. There is a facility in Nova, Ohio where they hold all breed trials and give lessons, but for working border collies---this area is a wasteland.


Once things settle down for me, I'm hoping to go into Michigan or central Ohio for lessons. (There are a couple of people in NE Ohio---have other breeds and call themselves trainers, but I'd stay far away from them).


So I would say, if you're serious about starting to work your dog, be prepared to drive a distance.

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That's what I was afraid of. I found one in NY that's only 2 hrs away. That's the closest. But, like you said she's an all breed trainer. I'll have to go get a demo. I think I'll just order the videos and do it myself. Maybe go to a trainer once or twice a month. Thatks guys. I appreciate the info and no criticizm. I've had a little problem from a couple people w/ cirticizm and it's starting to really get on my nerves.

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Some all-breed trainers are just useful for AKC, AHBA, and ASCA venues. Some are really good trainers. If you can't find anyone else nearby, you might want to check the all-breed trainer out.


If the trainer is primarily concerned with training dogs (including Border Collies) for AKC, AHBA, ASCA, and BCSA events, then I would avoid them. If the trainer trains and runs dogs successfully in the Open level of USBCHA, then I would surely consider them.

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I took a look at several of her pages.


I don't believe I would choose her for training my Border Collies. She may be just fine for training Aussies and other loose-eyed breeds (especially since most of these breeds retain rather little of their original herding instincts and talents), and maybe even conformation-bred Border Collies, that will be tested through AKC, AHBA, ASCA, and BCSA venues.


However, I think that to really train a working Border Collie well, you need a trainer that truly knows how to train working Border Collies. That means, in my limited opinion, that they work with real working Border Collies, not just AKC conformation-bred Border Collies.


As I said, a competent trainer may be an all-breed trainer, but the trainer should be training and trialling Border Collies to USBCHA Open level or equivalent farm/ranch work.

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Hi Sue,

Jean's a very nice lady but she doesn't have a lot of experience with border collies. She does have Larry Painter and Cappy Pruett down quite often to give clinics. Again, both these individuals are great guys but tend to use techniques which in my opinion are more suited to all breed arena-type trialing.

In any case, you are probably wasting your breath on someone not willing to drive even a couple of hours. I've travelled across most of the eastern half of the United States to take lessons and clinics with the best and it's well worth it, but you gotta wanna, eh?


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Casey - I never said "top-notch". I said "competent". Perhaps "suitable" would have been a better word. I was simply trying to give you my opinion of what type of trainer would provide good training for you and your dogs.


There are people doing training who are not competent or who are not suitable for training working Border Collies. I was just trying to help by giving you a sound answer to your question.



Hey, A! Well, it rhymes, doesn't it?


I admit I am not as dedicated as you and it certainly shows. I do what I can afford. I manage to go three hours each way every 3 weeks or so to Susan Rhoades, and enjoy her very much. I've been to a couple of Gary Ericsson cattledog clinics in Ohio, and learned a lot there, too.


Mostly, when I can swing it, I run down into VA to spectate at a trial. I have run Celt in a few Nov/Nov classes - we have a lock on the bottom of the scores, you understand. Although, I must admit, he won his one and only Beginner Goats (arena) class he's been in, in spite of me.


Trialling is not my goal - good farm work with our cattle is. Bit by bit, we are coming along, the dogs and I. Too bad I didn't come with as much instinct to get the job done as they did.


Like you say, you gotta wanna - I guess that goes for all of life. I sure hope to meet you someday on one of your travels down to the states. I admire you and all the folks I like to consider my friends on the boards (and off them).

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Kevin - I would absolutely LOVE to be able to go but I just can't.


I took my Celt there just when he turned one year old, because we have cattle, not sheep. We had a great time and learned a lot.


Six months later, my hubby and I took both our dogs. Ed got sick part way through and I was feeling a lot of stress, so I didn't enjoy it quite as much.


I do hope to be able to go again, in the fall or next year if I can swing it. I hope you have a great time if you go.

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Concrete... what and where is the "Gary Ericson Clinic?. I am looking to go to and or observe tournaments, trials whatever. I don't mind driving.

I am brand new at anything but obedience training. I want to get my 5 mo. old BC trained in herding, agility and flyball (all for fun competition).

Any info you or anyone can share would be great. I live in Southern, Md.

I am hoping to go to the flyball tournament being held by A Click Above, this weekend in Va.

JoeAnne Mirra, Sitka, Phoenix and crew

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Gary Ericsson is a stockdog trainer, previously from Idaho and now from Oklahoma. He has been doing cattledog clinics at Lavelle Farms in Ohio about twice a year. Here is the info for the clinic later this month:


GARY ERICSSON STOCK DOG CLINIC-Rain or shine at the new heated Rafter L Bar Arena at Lavelle Farms. Friday-Saturday, February 25-26, 2005.

LAVELLE FARMS 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


General ranch, farm and trial work with stock dogs for beginners and experienced trialers alike. Trailer loading, driving, fetching, sorting, shedding, and outruns will be covered on dog broke stock. Sheep will be available, but the emphasis will be on cattle. Only a limited number of dogs allowed each day to provide for multiple sessions for each dog and handler. $150.00/dog for both days if enrolled and paid by the deadline of February 10, 2005. $175.00 afterwards. Discounts for a second dog. Spectators $15.00/day; $25.00 entire clinic.

You can download a reservation form from our web site. www.lavellefarms.com.


Please contact me with any questions you may have.


John P. Lavelle

Lavelle Farms

Rafter L Bar Arena

3078 Fox Lake Road

New Marshfield, OH 45766







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I haven't checked where Mechanicsville MD is, but Susan Rhoades is located near Berryville VA (just east of Winchester VA). She trains sheepdogs (all breeds) and holds events at her farm.


She will have an AKC event in May, I think. On the 4th of July weekend, she has an AHBA event, and also another one of these in January. She has a USBCHA trial in November on Thanksgiving weekend.


My friend and I go down there (three hours each way) to train with Susan. Wink Mason also trains sheepdogs at Susan's farm - she was trained by Wink.

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Joe Anne,


Berryville is about 30 min from Leesburg VA. BTW we are about 20 min from Leesburg, just over the Potomac near Harpers Ferry.


I believe Jack Knox has done (does) herding clinics near Annapolis MD; Eileen may know where and when.


There are a few trials near Orange VA which is about 2.5 hrs from you. There is a novice series (one day each month) this spring at Longshot Farm in Church Hill MD (Eastern Shore about 2 hrs from you) and a full trial later this spring.



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I'm going to the US Border Collie Club clinic with Jack Knox the first weekend in April. That's a great one for beginners - Jack is super with young dogs. Your five month old would be seven or eight months by the clinic, just the right age for a first "go" on sheep. I think it's filling fast but it would definitely be worth it to audit if it's filled. It doesn't cost much for a weekend, and you will meet a ton of people in your area who do the sort of things you are interested in.


I'd highly recommend the Novice series trials too, for that reason. The atmosphere at these sort of things are casual and easy for a newcomer to meet new people and learn a bunch. Steve used to do a Novice series in North Carolina and that's where I finally got in touch with the local working/trialing dog folks. I think sometimes Roy Johnson in the Lynchburg area does a single Novice trial in the spring or early summer. http://www.virginiabordercollieassociation.com/ offers a whole bunch of Virginia working Border Collie events.

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