Why Train a Stock Dog?

Why Train a Stock Dog?

People generally learn to train and handle stock dogs for one of two reasons: economic or recreational.

The Economic Motive to Train Stock Dogs

The economic motive is based on recognition that, for controlling the movement of livestock, a competent dog can do the work of several people more quickly and at a fraction of the cost. In the livestock industry, declining profit margins caused by decreasing revenue, inflation and high labour costs are an incentive for people to acquire stockdogging skills.

In addition to ranchers, farmers and stock yard workers, people wishing to earn their living shepherding would definitely benefit from learning to work with a sheep dog.

The Recreational Motive to Train Stock Dogs

The recreational motive is based mostly on the challenge of stock dog training/handling, and the enjoyment of competition (stock dog trials). Stock dog trials are a dynamic and rapidly growing sport that combines the dog’s ability with a handler’s skill. Over the past decade, several organizations have introduced or expanded on existing herding programs for all breeds of dogs. These organizations include the American and Canadian Kennel Clubs, the American Herding Breeds Association, and the Australian Shepherd Club of America, among others.

“In the world of dog hobbyists, there is an endless stream of pet owners who have bought a dog that belongs to a herding breed, and every year, some of these owners want to find out whether ‘herding’ is something that they and their dogs can do. Many from this group have insignificant farm experience. While their primary goal may be to compete with a dog, their eventual success will also require learning some basics of livestock behaviors and livestock management.” -Tim Ballard, AHBA & CKC Herding Judge

To learn more about stock dog training, I invite you to browse my training videos and DVDs. Training material that can be viewed and reflected upon on a regular basis, is the most effective. Our herding dog training videos and DVDs were developed to help you reach your economic and recreational goals with your dog! 

“I really enjoyed the first video since the video gave a very good basic overview of training which sometimes goes over my head when attending a clinic.” – Kathy Chorney

If you have any further questions, please contact Downriver Farms today!

Leroy herding cattle.