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February 18, 2021

Are you “Muggable” in your dog’s eyes? Ever wonder why your herding instructor or clinician can walk in with your dog and make it look easy?  A couple of years ago I was teaching a clinic and a student asked “When did you reach the point where you walked into the pen and didn’t get “mugged” by your dog?” As it would happen, more than one of my students at the clinic were retired teachers.  The question prompted a discussion about how student or substitute teachers with limited teaching experience, were treated which then led to a discussion about HOW …

How a Little Pressure Goes a Long Way

April 4, 2020

Often we think we have to use a lot of pressure to force a close working breed out and away from the stock. If done incorrectly, it can cause sensitive, but talented dogs to quit, or even sometimes to bite. Our dogs response to pressure and subtle responses can be shaped very early on and managed through careful awareness of our own body language.

The Herding Log Book

April 3, 2020
The Herding Log Book Over the years I have found it very useful to record my training with my dog for a numbers of reasons.  Like anything you wish to get better at, knowing your strengths and weaknesses in the beginning is a genuine asset and an important part of establishing your training goals. Professional athletes, successful business people, and virtually any successful individual has established a plan for goals they wish to accomplish.  You certainly don’t have to log your training but it will improve your game. Coming soon For example – if you have an excellent DOWN on …

Herding Concepts – Introduction

March 29, 2020
Herding concepts are general notions, or a plan, or intention to help explain what is happening or how things are intended to function.  Often the newbie herding person is baffled and mystified by some of the terms or concepts we hear discussed at clinics or during our lessons with instructors who are more experienced.  By definition Wikipedia defines Concepts as “… abstract ideas or general notions that occur in the mind, in speech, or in thought. They are understood to be the fundamental building blocks of thoughts and beliefs. They play an important role in all aspects of cognition.” Some …

There are Many Different Breeds Which Herd

March 24, 2020

Many Breeds Herd Each developed for a special purpose Like recipes for soup there are as many as there are chefs who created them and the ingredients dependent upon local options, climate, availability and demand. Just as there are many different herding breeds who were developed and utilized in various parts around the world as livestock guardian dogs, boundary style dogs, ranch and cattle hands, far casting hill dogs, yard dogs used for close work and handling, and mountain breeds who were tough, gritty and hardy, all of them, developed for a range of uses. Today most people’s perceptions of …

Herding, The Three Ring Circus

March 22, 2020

Unlike obedience or agility, the jumps are not moving all over the field like sheep. And because there are at least three significant variables whose behaviour can change by the split second, you must be aware of yourself, your dog and your livestock.