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TaliahtheBC

Ranch Work

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So even though my trainer offers to rent sheep for us to work between lessons I keep asking myself how I can get more time on sheep, we live in San Diego county California and there are plenty of people with sheep in the area but would it be rude to just ask them? I have also thought about just talking to ad posters on craigslist of people looking to sell sheep in hopes of networking out some possible work for us to go do, the experience for my girl would be payment enough. Thoughts or advice?

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I think I would rent sheep from my trainer.

Not many folks that raise sheep commercially would let you come work them.

And the sheep might not be appropriate, anyway.

 

Another thing is go to trials and make friends.

Some of my trial friends I let come up here to help. But I know them, and if they bring a student I know they got it under control.

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My experience from eons ago before I built a flock of my own -- though I doubt this has changed much -- is that people are going to be very leery about letting someone they don't know work their sheep, especially with what still amounts to an untrained dog.

 

Some may fear bringing outside diseases into their flocks.

 

If the don't use dogs themselves they may fear for the safely of their livestock. I found that to be the biggest barrier. Maybe if they use dogs themselves there'd be a possibility, but even then people may not be open to an unknown dog and handler. If you can get to know some of the local folks and build a rapport, find out who uses dogs, their experiences, etc. (maybe go to local fairs and/or sheepdog trials and talk to spectators as well as contestants at the latter) you might have some success. But If it were me I'd hesitate to just ask without letting them get to know you and your dog first.

 

Another thing I'd be concerned about is, as Tea points out, that the sheep may not be suitable. IIRC you're still having confidence issues with your dog. Working sheep that aren't dog broke before you and your dog are ready for it could just make things worse.

 

I think for the time being I'd rent the trainer's sheep.

 

Good luck.

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Much depends on how well your dog works. You could ask if they need help moving their stock (assuming your dog is competent) and offer 'farm sitting'

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Leave your dog at home and offer to make yourself available for all manner of working ranch grunt work. Beyond Priceless.

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