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PaleRanger

fair price for sheepdog trialing lessons??

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Hello everyone, so my 2-year-old BC is an absolutely great dog in most ways, but she lacks confidence and has trust issues towards humans. She was born at nightshade border collies which is basically a puppy mill and is on the 2015 high volume breeder list(Mary Gum), had a litter at 1, and then a friend of mine purchased her. He didn't realize you gotta walk your dog every day and kept her in a crate for at least 18 hours a day so 6 months ago he was getting divorced and I convinced him to let me take her. She is my second BC with my first dying about a year ago so the timing worked out. She has come leaps and bounds with me and is great with and loves other dogs but is a bit skittish to put simply. I love the breed and will never buy another and have wanted to learn how trial but couldn't while I was in the army. Now I do not believe I have the undrafted 2019 sheepdog champion but I want to learn, build our bond, and hopefully raise her confidence. This Saturday I am going to a local sheep farm where a lady does some sort of instinct test and if she has the slightest instinct I want to start working with her twice a week or so and hopefully eventually compete at a beginner level. I live in Central Florida so if anyone knows any good teachers please let me know and what is the average price for lessons? I know it won't be cheap but what is a fair price? Thank you all in advance

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1 hour ago, PaleRanger said:

...a lady does some sort of instinct test...

I'm sorry I can't help you with what to expect for pricing, but I would like to caution you about "instinct tests." Many are bogus and if this is someone who works with a variety of breeds then I'd recommend you proceed with caution. Many of the all breed trainers don't really understand how to work with border collies, whose herding style is different from other breeds.

If you're on Facebook, look for Cheryl Williams from Hop Bottom, PA. I don't know if she still does but she used to winter in FL and even if she doesn't any more I'm sure she could refer you to someone.

Wishing you the best.

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What she said! 

If you want, let me know where you are located and I can try and see if there is someone nearby that could be recommended for you to contact. Not every good handler offers lessons but some do, or at least might give your dog a chance to show if she has interest and potential. 

And there are other activities you can try that might help strengthen your bond and increase her confidence, like agility and nose work. 

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oh lord, now I am worried! haha, she does allow many breeds to do the test but she does have working Border collies and even breeds a litter or two every year. She seems legit but I will definitely keep my eyes out for BS. 

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just to add, I haven't spoken to her about lessons so idk if she even does them. I plan on asking her if my dog seems to enjoy it. regardless, if it does turn out to be BS, its only 40$ and I learn a lesson.

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Central Florida? There are only about 3 people I would recommend in Florida. David Saunders, Sandy Tindal and maybe, big maybe one other...miss my home state, especially when it is only 17° here!

Are you going to Leida's? She'll be wonderful for ya! Or JK....stay away.

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Okay, well the post right above this one is a good answer to the message you sent me. I'd listen to what she says. 

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I live in Melbourne, and as someone new wanting to learn, it is hard to infiltrate the right circles. I gotta thank Sue for her message because as someone who wasn't born into this it is easy to be taken a fool for money. Journey, I will message you her name, I don't want to slander anyone without meeting her and I think she may be good for me as a beginner. Once I learn some basics I will inevitably meet the right people.

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14 hours ago, GentleLake said:

If you're on Facebook, look for Cheryl Williams

 

I will look into her, Sue mentioned she is in Malabar which is 15 minutes from my house in Melbourne. Gotta start somewhere...

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You are in luck: a very good sheepdog Trial will be in your backyard next month! Feb 16-18 in Fellsmere, FL is the C-54 trial hosted by Steve Nagel. The Open classes will be Sat-Sun, then the young dog and novice classes will be Monday. I would strongly recommend this one to see what “real border collie trials” look like compared to those trainers and facilities folks described as “all-breed.” David Saunders should be there, he lives near Tallahassee, but he can steer you in the right direction. Dick and Cheryl Williams are great, too, if they’re there!

I’d considered driving down from VA for C-54, but needed to stay home for work this year. Unfortunately, Mark Ireland’s Trial in Malabar was retired after last year; another fun one that would’ve been right there for you to see. 

The address for C-54 is Centerlane Rd, Fellsmere, FL. No house number; just a long sandy road with a sign to turn back to the trial field.

 

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I would echo what Emily says and generally avoid any facility that is "all-breed", and particularly any one that promotes AKC "herding", with only one or two possible exceptions. That's not what some people would like to hear or would agree with, but that is my opinion, and that of the vast majority of working Border Collie handlers and trainers. 

Most all-breed facilities are places to "have fun with your dog" and "bring out the herding instinct in your dog" - putting stress on prey animals in the name of "fun" and "herding instinct" (which is actually refined predatory behavior) in a dog without good instinct, is simply prey drive. In addition, for a dog that does "turn on" for a person has no intention of pursuing stock work for a good reason, is it fair to the dog? On the other hand, if the dog does have some useful instinct and training is done with the welfare of dog and livestock in mind, and the end goals of learning and growing as a partnership, training on livestock may be worthwhile. I feel that people should think long and hard before they choose to train a dog on livestock, and look at their reasons for doing so and decide if it is justified, both in terms of the livestock and the dog. 

You have some very good potential alternatives in your area, and I hope you find one that suits you and your dog. 

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From my own very limited experience an instinct test might not show you anything. Both my dogs started to learn how to work sheep this last summer, initially my youngest showed very little instinct (he is a working bred dog with decent lines) while my older 8 year old dog had lots of instinct and did amazingly well on his first few lessons, but the wheel has turned and the young one has come on very slowly and is turning into a real sheepdog, he is never going to set the world on fire but his trainer said if he had him week he would be working 100 sheep effectively, while the older one has flat lined and shown very little improvement. So basically we were welcome to keep coming initially because of one, while the trainer thought I was wasting my money with the other and now it's the reverse.  I can't help you on price as we live in Spain. 

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I don't suppose anyone knows of anyone in South East England? The ones I've found on Google are all hours away.

On ‎1‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 2:22 AM, PaleRanger said:

This Saturday I am going to a local sheep farm where a lady does some sort of instinct test and if she has the slightest instinct I want to start working with her twice a week or so and hopefully eventually compete at a beginner level.

How did it go?

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, jami74 said:

I don't suppose anyone knows of anyone in South East England? The ones I've found on Google are all hours away.

How did it go?

Have you considered asking your dog's breeder if he/she would recommend someone? 

Check out the ISDS website - here is the link for the English National Sheepdog Trial page which has, on the right column, a "Trials Diary" that lists upcoming local trials in England. Consider going to a trial and watching, meeting some people, volunteering if you can (there are jobs often that don't require any experience and you get to make connections), and seeing if you can ask around to find if someone close enough to you might offer lessons. There is other good information on the website, if you haven't already looked there. 

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On 1/26/2019 at 8:02 PM, emilyfalk said:

You are in luck: a very good sheepdog Trial will be in your backyard next month! Feb 16-18 in Fellsmere, FL is the C-54 trial hosted by Steve Nagel. The Open classes will be Sat-Sun, then the young dog and novice classes will be Monday. I would strongly recommend this one to see what “real border collie trials” look like compared to those trainers and facilities folks described as “all-breed.” David Saunders should be there, he lives near Tallahassee, but he can steer you in the right direction. Dick and Cheryl Williams are great, too, if they’re there!

I’d considered driving down from VA for C-54, but needed to stay home for work this year. Unfortunately, Mark Ireland’s Trial in Malabar was retired after last year; another fun one that would’ve been right there for you to see. 

The address for C-54 is Centerlane Rd, Fellsmere, FL. No house number; just a long sandy road with a sign to turn back to the trial field.

 

2

I was there today briefly and have been taking weekly classes with JK. I know some of you warned against her but I personally like her and me and my dog have learned a ton. I am pretty much hooked and really look forward to Saturdays. Thank you, everyone, who responded! 

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If anyone knows anyone else who offers classes in the central Florida area please let me know. I am looking for a different environment to continue learning. My dog definitely has a knack for it and she is easily trainable. Not saying she is the undrafted 2019 sheepdog champion but she is definitely not hard to work with and has potential. I have nothing bad to say about JK but some of the ticks who hang out on the weekend really rub me the wrong way and seem to be more interested in putting new trainees down rather than just having fun. Plus It is a waste of time to sit there for hours waiting your turn while having to watch all types of random breeds run around trying to eat the sheep. Thank you to everyone

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I don't know of anyone who offers classes but I do seem to recall some people that were suggested earlier on. I hope someone can give you contact information if they haven't already. 

In any group, you may find people who are dissing others but I am sad you have run into that. 

As for chasing, etc., that's what you often run into with "all breeds herding" and just one of the many reasons why people here do not normally recommend anyone who does "all breed" or AKC "herding". 

I hope you are able to find a good mentor. Remember, check with the USBCHA trial schedule and try to attend (or volunteer at) some trials, meet people, see who has a relationship with their dog(s) that you would like to emulate, and make connections so you can ask and find a good mentor. 

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Still would only recommend David or Sandy..you may try Angie McCrann - due west of ya before you fall into the Gulf..

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21 hours ago, Morley's Dad said:

 

i still recommend Draxen Farms!!!!

 

I am going to check out Draxen maybe next weekend.

Thank you, everyone, for your responses! My best bet is probably going to be checking out some events, there is a pretty big event in Malabar which is just 15 minutes away. 

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