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Perhaps not the right place for this? Please move (or delete) if need be.

 

This is my first post- I have been "lurking"on and off for some time and I have enjoyed observing. I am 27 and employed by a non-profit to manage a 5 acre vegetable "farm" in southeastern Wisconsin. My cousin owns Simangus cattle (cows are at my place) and I have (mostly) pastured swine/poultry. Beyond catching lambs and moving irrigation, my sheep experience is limited. They keep me employed over the winter doing a variety of things, but i am interested in finding some seasonal employment/apprenticeship over the winter. Obviously, somewhere south is the most logical location. I have been a herding dog nerd since I could walk i think, and currently have a 4 yr old herding mix (just a savvy farm dog, not much herd in him) and a recently turned 2 "mcnab" I brought back with me from the west coast. He wants to work and has been to one session with a sheep trainer. Although i really am tempted to spend all my money doing it, finding the time/money to go to lessons (and it would seem to me, if i do it, i need to do it often) is hard and almost impossible during the growing season. I am looking for training for ME moreso than just the dog i have now, but the chance to work him consistantly with sheep would be great too.I have considered purchasing sheep but i would like to gain a little more know-how and be sure i have a dog to work before i do all that (building fence, round pen, planning some rotations w/ grain/cover crops etc etc). Anyway, I think my best bet is to get out to trials and talk to folks, i have started that and will continue to do so, but i figured it wouldnt hurt to post here either. I guess the summary of my ramble is I am seeking someone with stock, stock dogs and experience breeding both. In a perfect world this person would also be into vegetable/fruit production (or interested in starting a garden) beekeeping, butchering, anything of the like. Obviously, i would give more detail about myself to anyone interested and expect to submit some something of a cover letter/resume/ references. I can drive a tractor, but im not a mechanic. I have vegetable/livestock/grain farming experience but am far from an expert. Decent with tools and very willing to work. I spend too much of my free time learning/reading about herding and stock dogs and am turning into an abca pedigree nerd, but have very little real world experience to show for it. If anyone even just has any ag boards/dog boards/ or resources they would suggest for my search, please let me know! Thanks!

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I suggest attending clinics. There are lots of steps in training that gets to the point of that which you see on the trial field. Just watching a trail or talking to folks, for me, does not give an adequate picture of all the small steps. Even attending several clinics will not give you the total picture but it will help. Usually very economic to attend clinics without working dog. I know there are at least 2 clinics in WI yearly - one in Feb, one in July. Check out WI stockdog assoc.

 

I also hold clinics here. Next one in Nov, easy drive from southern WI. This clinic will be different than most. It is designed for livestock producers. There will be demonstrations of dogs helping with farm work as well as individual training with the clinician. www.clearfieldstockdogs.com and clearfield stockdogs on facebook. If you want more info email me or call. Be happy to help

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Thank you for your reply. I have recently connected with the wi stock dog association and plan on attending any clinics i can. I guess i didnt mean i expect to learn everything by attending trials, more to network with some of the right people. I have an aunt in your neck of the woods! Ill be in touch, thanks!

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I didn't mean to imply that you can't learn lots from trails and talking to people. I didn't get the impression that you thought trials would be your only source of info. I am a visual learner so I have to see the steps to get to an end point for it to make sense. Clinics are able to do that more for me. You can break down what a dogs is doing in chore work or on the trial field.

 

Trials gives you an overall picture, clinics are more focused on small steps

 

Derek Scrimgeour has a great book and really like his two first videos/cds. ' A shepherd pup' is one.

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WWSDA has some super resource people, including Gordon Watt.

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can you ride? or walk really far? i am looking for an intern

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I have ridden horses and mules and am comfortable around them, but no real training nor have we ever had horses on the farm. I would love to though. Able to walk really far if neccesary also also :) Best way to contact you?

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if you pm me i'll give you my phone number

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I'm a director for the WI club. You might want to post your question on our facebook page and local members can give you plenty of info. We are lucky to have many good clinicians, some come here on a regular basis, some live in the area.

In two weeks the Crook and Whistle Stock Dog trial will be going on at the WI Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson, September 8-10. So not only can you watch the trial and talk with the handlers but check out all the sheep related stuff as well.

 

Samantha

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Wow, I had a blond moment, I forgot to say that our annual club trial is happening Labor Day weekend in Hudson. Its an impressive field to see the dogs work in.


Samantha

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If you go, I'm running a dog named Zuri in open.

Anyone at the trial wearing a whistle and isn't ready to run a dog will be willing to talk your ear off if you want to ask questions

 

Samantha

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