Herding Dog Basics workshop June 25

Courtesy/M. Crawford NCTA NewsAnna Whyman and her dog, Bella, work on moving sheep during a practice session last fall. A graduate in agribusiness management, Whyman started training and using stock dogs while in an agribusiness student at NCTA.

CURTIS, Neb. – Australian Shepherds and Border Collies are two popular breeds of dogs used for herding sheep or cattle on farms and ranches.

On June 25 in Curtis, Aggie Stock Dog Team coach Leighlynn Obermiller with the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture will share basic background and pointers about working stock dogs.

Frontier County Extension is host of “Herding Dog Basics” for adults and youth in 8th grade through 12th grade, said Kathy Burr, extension educator, Nebraska Extension Frontier County.

The free clinic is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes lunch.

“Participants don’t even need to own a dog,” Obermiller said. “This is an overview of what livestock herding is all about and how dogs can be helpful partners in the process.”

Obermiller, lecturer with the NCTA Veterinary Technology department, is an NCTA alumna and member of the Frontier County Extension Board.

“There’s a lot of interest for what a herding dog can do and how one is trained to work with livestock,” she explains.

“I sometimes have people around here say they didn’t realize there was such a activity or program at NCTA,” Obermiller adds. “Our Aggie team members like to demonstrate their hard work and how livestock responds to gentle use of a dog.”

The morning session will cover terminology, principles, and concepts of selecting and training a herding dog. After lunch, a few dogs which have been started in herding will be provided for participants to handle in a simulated demonstration with sheep.

However, for safety purposes and restraint for dogs, Obermiller asks attendees to leave their own dogs at home. Other opportunities exist for personal training.

To register, contact Frontier County Extension at 308-367-4424 by June 18. If someone is unable to attend but is interested in a future opportunity, contact the office.

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