Sunday, February 28, 2010
My "always up for a dog adventure" friend Sandy and I attended a sheep herding clinic last month. We (and her cattle dog Red) were just spectators, but other folks brought their dogs to either have them evaluated for their potential as sheep herding dogs by Ian Caldicott or to actually have some one-on-one instruction time with Ian (a sheepdog trainer).
It was fun to watch the dogs new to sheep herding figure out that it was ok to chase the sheep and was actually encouraged. Of course, if they're going to make a career out of it, they'll need to learn that there's finesse involved! Ian also worked very closely with the owners/handlers (no matter how much experience the dog had) to teach them that they have to help their dogs understand what to do but to also let the dogs do some of their own thinking. It's a difficult balance and the handler really has to understand not just how the dog tends to work but how sheep move. If you've never watched a well-trained sheep dog do its job, you really must - it's mesmerizing.
The clinic was held at Performance Dogs in Action in Pleasant Grove, CA and coordinated by the Doggon Herding meetup group.
Both Sandy and I took lots of photos and I've posted many of mine in my
Here are some of my favorites: