A stockman from Dunnedoo, NSW will give a highly practical take on training dogs at a two-day clinic at Strathbogie this month.CATHY WALKER January 1, 2013 4:15am
Host James Ryan, himself an accomplished working ‘‘three sheep’’ dog trialler and former show judge, said the weekend — a fundraiser for Sheepdog Trialling Association International — was aimed at farmers and anyone wanting to get a better rapport with their working dogs.
Leading the clinic will be Jamie Bauer for what Mr Ryan said would be a clinic with a difference, because the way of training a dog to drive sheep away from you would be included.
‘‘It’s instinct for the dog to bring the sheep to you; it’s an extra skill to have a dog drive sheep away, and very handy in a farm situation,’’ Mr Ryan said.
‘‘It’s teaching the dog to accept a command over instinct — when you go right back to it, the wolf drives its prey to another wolf to get gobbled up.’’
He explained the STAI method of competition that features driving sheep away from the trialler as well as to him was big in many parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, Sweden and South Africa.
He conceded to some people comfortable with the local working dog utility trials the two styles — while sharing some similarities — ‘‘are like golf and cricket’’.
‘‘Three sheep (trialling) was the only game in town — I just see this as something different, which was why I got interested,’’ Mr Ryan said.
He said people, not dogs, need training.
‘‘There are no bad dogs, just confused dogs.’’
Cost $150 for two days with your dog; fence-sitters $50/day. Includes morning and afternoon smoko, BYO lunch. Contact James Ryan for details and bookings on 0418
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