Learn how to apply positive reinforcement training to herding. It makes a difference! Each dog and handler at the clinic will have at least 3 opportunities to train on and work with livestock per day. We have 45 sheep and 35 call ducks, and various pastures/arenas, and pens on our 65 acre farm that are available for herding training. We operate a sheep dairy and make our own sheep cheese, and it is lambing season and lambs are cute! It should be a really fun time for you & your dogs.
What is included: You can sign up for the entire weekend or for just one full day, Sat. or Sun., 9-4 each day. Each day will include 3-6 opportunities to work livestock each day for each dog, lectures about positive reinforcement dog training and about training for herding and tending sheep, training exercises you can do at home to help you in herding (as well as create a more manageable pet dog at home), and you will receive pdf reference files you can take home. If you sign up for the clinic, a herding instinct test is included in your fee. (Which will morph into a lesson for advanced dogs.). Register: By hitting the Register for the Bergamasco Clinic button.
If you do not have the time for a full day: you can sign up for a stand-alone herding instinct test for your novice dog, which will take about 25 minutes to do. We have a separate registration button for those who choose the stand-alone herding instinct test option. Register: By hitting the Register for the Bergamasco Herding Instinct Test button.
Depending on the number of registrations, there will be at least 2-3 clinicians working with your BSCA group each day. If we do our jobs right, you and your dogs should leave our farm pleasantly exhausted and with heads stuffed with new herding/training ideas and experiences.
Carolyn Wilki, the lead trainer-- has trained multiple high in trial winners in advanced classes on AKC A, B, C, & D Herding Trial Courses and AHBA HTAD, HTD, HRD, and RLF Courses—sheep and ducks and geese. Carolyn is an experienced tending dog and all breed herding dog trainer and amateur neuroscience geek. She was first introduced to Bergamascos in 2000 by Nedra Smith (John and Nedra Esau) who had a farm in Bath, NY). Carolyn has been training herding dogs since 1987 and is an AKC and an AHBA Herding Judge. Besides training her own dogs (Border Collies and German Shepherd Dogs), Carolyn has trained her students and their dogs to hundreds of herding titles, and has instinct tested thousands of herding dogs, all breeds. She has also visited various regions of the world to see how they herd there, including Ireland, France, Germany, Jordan, Egypt, India, western China, Inner Mongolia, Australia, and New Zealand. Carolyn attended Cornell University and has an A.B. in psychology from Bryn Mawr College.
Clinic will cover:
Goals of a Herding Instinct Test
Bergamasco Herding Style and Traditional Usage
Where Do Bergamascos fit in the herding world?
Which dogs are more suitable herding/tending candidates?
Beginner Herding Dog Training Goals
Off-stock training exercises useful for home and herding (I hope to cover many of these topics):
Teaching the Dog a “Working Zone”
Teaching “Dynamic Balance” for Fetching
Teaching Driving Balance
Teaching a Border/Furrow
Teaching a Stop
Teaching a Recall
(Associative “Come & Go”)
Teaching a Get Back (180 degree turn) and a Go
Teaching Mouth Control (for barking and
Teaching Directional Signals
Teaching a Heel/Get Behind
Tending Training Exercises
Calm “the Glitter” in Your Dog’s Brain—then Train!
Why Dogs “disobey”—or do they really?
Neuroscientific pathways behind more effective herding and herding training
Reading and Manipulating the mysterious, very important part of the herding triad – Livestock!
Helpful Training Numbers, Rules, and Herding Training Session Design
Some Additional Topics We May Cover if Time & Interest Allows:
Large flock vs small flock (1-5) Training?
Intermediate/Advanced Dogs Training Topics:
Repairing the “Corrupted” Beginner Dog (dog who has learned wrong, non-useful habits)
Arena Trial v Open Field (Ranch/Large Flock) Trial v Barn/Farm Work
Penning & Loading the Chute/Trailer, Shedding & Sorting, Working a “Brace,” Gripping.
Using (and then deliberately losing/fading) Helper Cues
Gather/Outrun/Lift & Fetch; dog running too close; dog running too wide.
Too much speed? Too slow? Pattern train? Or not?
Driving, Cross-Drive, Negotiating Obstacles, Panels, & Post Positioning
Using “helper” physical, geographic cues and landmarks to training advantage
Traffic training and turning/controlling the flock, etc.
Note: People supplies: Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather and weather-proof themselves with warm jackets, pants, warm hats (better than hoods), sun glasses, water-proof raingear, yak trax (for boots on ice), multiple pairs of gloves. Bring a portable lawn chair. Ticks are active at any temperature above freezing. Bring a Lunch & snacks and drinks.
Dog supplies: Bring water for dog, water dish, training treats, multiples of dog toys, a carpenter’s apron (to hold your dog supplies), poop bags, dog blankets & towels, a well-fitted flat buckle collar or well fitted sled dog harness are preferred gear for dogs (second choice for harness would be any that allow you to attach a leash on a D ring located on the dog’s mid-back. No e-coll