Working dogs invited to learn to herd |

Working dogs invited to learn to herd

by Sally J. Taylor
Features Editor
Ian Caldicott, sheep farmer, with his border collie Moss, winners of the 2004 Covered Bridges Triple Crown Sheepdog Trials in Oregon. Caldicott will be in Carson Valley Feb. 21-22 to teach a herding clinic.

Calling all dogs with an urge to herd: Accredited herding instructor Ian Caldicott will present one-day herding workshops Feb. 21 and 22 in Douglas County.

Australian Shepherd and Border Collie Rescue of Northern Nevada is sponsoring the workshop at New Paradigm Ranch in Fish Springs. Funds raised beyond expenses will be donated to the rescue group.

The workshop is open to all dogs with working instincts, whether ranch dogs, agility contestants or family pets. Working breeds include border collies, Australian shepherds, Queensland heelers, German shepherds and many more including shelter mutts.

The event is “really to keep these working dogs out of the shelter,” said Kathy Givens, director of the rescue group.

Because these very active dogs are bred to work, they can become unruly and misunderstood in the family setting.

When owners have difficulty controlling the animals’ pent-up energy, the dogs often are dumped at the local animal shelter, she explained. Givens’ own border collie,

Race, for example, was found at the Carson City Animal Shelter even though he had a champion bloodline. Under her care and with Caldicott’s training, Race has won his own blue ribbons.

“They don’t need to chase sheep around but they do need to do something,” Givens said.

Caldicott, a native of England, owns Wolston ranch in Oregon where he raises sheep, and breeds and trains working border collies. He has been training since the 1980s and teaching herding since the mid-1990s.

According to his Web site at, Caldicott’s “training methods revolve around helping the dog learn to read and control stock while applying as little pressure and stress to the dog as possible.”

The workshops will include demonstrations of working dogs on livestock.

Cost for one day of training is $120. The audit cost for owners who want to bring their dogs to watch and receive aptitude testing is $50. Both prices include lunch and instructional material.

It’s not necessary for a dog to have basic obedience training, but it helps, Givens said.

For more information or to register, call Givens at 267-4068.