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I have two BC's Jenny 4 and Mac 12 weeks. I just met a man kinda well known wont say his name but he owned "Rob Roy".

Who gives private lessons on sheep he is so nice and knows a bunch, I made an appt. for my Jenny to have a lesson in two weeks, Mac will have to wait till he's older. I am so excited for them and can't wait to see how Jen likes it. After lessons we would be able to go rent his sheep for a very reasonable price and work her at least once a month. My question is could there be any downside to exposing them to this if we don't live on a farm or have instant access to one? It seem's like I read here before that people felt there dog's were ruined by this am I crazy or is this something to worry about. LIke I said I am so happy for them to have this chance to do what they were born to do , I just want them to be happy.

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Katherine, There are a lot of people here that can give you lots of insight on this subject, I am no expert trust me. But I can say from my own experience that my Rob and I love it. We took lessons in Calif weekly, then when moving here it took me a while to find a place but we have started up again. After more than a year off, Rob got back in the swing of it pretty quickly. Like you said the joy of watching him do what he was meant to do is enough. If he didn't enjoy it so much we wouldn't go. If anything it has strengthened our bond and made him a much better dog in the obedience area of the training (taking commands).

 

See what Jen thinks of the whole experience and take your cues from her. If she has a blast keep going, if she doesn't don't go anymore. But I have to say look out because you will get hooked!!

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This issue comes up time and time again. Some people will tell you that, unless you can do it a lot, never ever put your bc on sheep. It will change your dog--and maybe not for the better. I've seen posts from other people who say it settled their dogs down and gave them a better sense of purpose. I would be interested in hearing both sides of this myself. I have avoided introducing my dogs to sheep because I know I wouldn't have the time to do it even once a week. I can do frisbee daily, which makes it a better solution for my lifestyle--and a better outlet for my dogs-- than herding or agility (same problem, unless you own or have regular access to the equipment). I'm guessing, like just about every other issue that comes up here, the correct answer varies--depending upon your dog. Just when you want to generalize, you realize you can't.

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I introduced my dog to sheep and work her as often as I can. Sometimes we go a while between lessons, and I think it upsets me more than she! She seems to have mentally matured since working sheep, our communication is better (she listens better) and in general, she is just one happy dog. We recently had a lesson, and she came home as usual, exhausted. It really is brain work too. The photo below shows her being covered by blankets, and not moving a muscle..

 

lucyafterworkingsheep.jpg

This issue comes up time and time again. Some people will tell you that, unless you can do it a lot, never ever put your bc on sheep. It will change your dog--and maybe not for the better. I've seen posts from other people who say it settled their dogs down and gave them a better sense of purpose. I would be interested in hearing both sides of this myself. I have avoided introducing my dogs to sheep because I know I wouldn't have the time to do it even once a week. I can do frisbee daily, which makes it a better solution for my lifestyle--and a better outlet for my dogs-- than herding or agility (same problem, unless you own or have regular access to the equipment). I'm guessing, like just about every other issue that comes up here, the correct answer varies--depending upon your dog. Just when you want to generalize, you realize you can't.
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