Herding

- No herding will be available for the 2013/2014 winter, please check back in the spring for more information.

We have a small herd of Shetland sheep and an area just large enough to begin working on the basic skills for herding dogs and the basics of reading animal body language and sheepdog handling.  Although I have been practicing and learning about sheep herding since 2006, there is still much to learn.  What I can offer you is my education and professional experience in animal behavior and dog training, combined with my ongoing training and experience in working with stock dogs.  Sheep herding is a very complex activity, requiring keen observation of subtle body language of both the dog and sheep, while being able to respond quickly with the right cue for the dog so he can take the sheep where you want them to go in a controlled manner.  It’s such a thrill to be part of this three species dynamic working in harmony.  It can be very addicting!

Herding sessions are $30.  You’ll get about two 10-15 minute sessions working the sheep with your dog.  You can share an hour time slot with other dogs and handlers and watch others work while you take a break, or you can come by yourself.    For folks totally new to herding I will give a short demonstration with one my dogs so you can get an idea of what you’ll be doing.  I can also work your dog in the beginning to get him/her started, then you can take over.  If you’re a more advanced handler, your welcome to work your dog yourself, of course!

Periodically, I will be hosting professional herding instructors from the lower 48 for seminars and clinics.  John Holman will be here June 21-23, 2013, for a 2-day seminar and one day trial, so check our events page for all the info!

Video of Jilly’s first herding lesson in Nebraska

More information about my herding background:

After adopting a wayward border collie in 2006, I became fascinated with sheep herding and stock dogs.  My dog Jack and I took weekly lessons with Jaime Green in Las Vegas, Nevada for two years.  Jack was clearly a working dog before I found him and had a mind of his own when we first started trying to work sheep together.  With Jaime’s patient guidance we began to work together as a team and were able to work the sheep out in the desert, practicing long outruns.

While living in Las Vegas, I attended a 2-day seminar with John Holman and then took lessons with John again when he came up to Alaska to judge an AKC herding trial.  In 2011, I traveled to Nebraska with my border collie, Jill, to take lessons with John and to leave Jill with him for four months of training.  Upon returning to pick her up, I took several more days of lessons and watched John work with other handlers and their dogs.  I also got to watch John work his dogs both at his farm and in competition.  It’s an amazing thing of beauty to see it done so well.  Watch this video to learn more about John and his National Champion dogs!

Nebraska Working Dog Ranch – Video about John Holman

I’m also looking forward to attending herding boot camp next summer with Carolyn Wilki at Raspberry Ridge Sheep Farm in Pennsylvania.  Check out her website:

Raspberry Ridge Sheep Farm Website