New DVDs and other news from The Working Sheepdog Website
Last October I added "Rocky Mountain Cowboys" to the online shop and it proved to be a popular title over Christmas. If any blog readers have watched it, then you might be interested in an email we received shortly after it went online:
I have been looking through your website, as tomorrow morning I will be collecting my Border Collie Kelpie x puppy from quarantine, and I was looking for some tips. I have been working on a ranch in Montana/Wyoming, and Murphy was born there in August, one of a litter of 5 pups out of great cow-working parents. I decided to bring him home to (attempt to) train him and to give company to our 5 year old Kelpie bitch. I have found your website really interesting, funny and informative. I was seriously considering buying your dvd, and thought I'd read through your blog.
Imagine my surprise when I saw that you're selling a dvd called Rocky Mountain Cowboys, filmed on the Pitchfork Ranch. Of all places, this was our neighbouring ranch! They are very good friends of the family I worked with on and off for two years. Furthermore, two of the boys from the Scott (Pitchfork) Ranch came to help us work cows in the corrals in September, and took back in their saddlebags Murphy's three remaining brothers for the two hour ride home, which they apparently took right in their 9 week old stride!
Considering the size of the US West, I am quite taken aback with this coincidence - I hope you don't mind me emailing to remark upon it! I will certainly be buying your dvd; and continuing to read your entertaining blog; hopefully I will be able to get enough of a handle on Murphy that he does his parents proud!
I know that when people come here for sheepdog training days, they often enjoy recognising dogs, or aspects of Kings Green, that they've seen in the DVDs. Now I'm waiting to hear from someone who recognises the sheep stations on "Sheep Station New Zealand" - is there anybody out there?
I've a few new DVDs to add to the shop in the next week or so, a DVD by Adam Henson that's really an appreciation of working with sheepdogs, and a new (to me) sheepdog training DVD from a very experienced and well-known handler in South Africa. It doesn't matter how long you've been training for, or how many dogs you've trained, there's always something to learn, something just a little different perhaps, from what you usually do that will come in useful when you next get a dog who doesn't quite fit your usual mould. It's far too easy to get stuck in your ways with dog training, as with almost anything else.
The handlers who come to our group training sessions have often trained and competed in other dog training disciplines, and it's fascinating to discuss the differences and similarities in our various approaches and experiences. I suppose "dogs is dogs" whatever they're being trained to do, but it's another opportunity to broaden our (and our dogs') horizons, and everyone benefits.
Of course, some of our puppies have also gone on to work in areas other than sheep. Several of old Glen's pups made it to the agility final at Olympia (in one year there were three! How proud were we? You'd think we'd done all the hard work ourselves). We've had a Working Trials Champion (Dug), search and rescue dogs, and one of Pearl's puppies, Bear, actually works on a lifeboat. We've even had a puppy who went for training to detect cancer.
The more time you spend around collies, the more you come to appreciate how amazing - and complex - they are, and my ultimate aim for the online shop is to reflect this. So, if you know of a DVD (or if you're making a DVD) that will appeal to other collie training enthusiasts, please let me know.
Just one last note; again it's an extract from an email received recently, this time from Florida.
2 weeks ago had an accident with agricultural machinery. Tore out first 2 fingers of my left hand. I was alone here, bleeding badly, and in shock. Unable to use my cell phone. My rescue BC, Bella, ran half a mile to our neighbours and they knew something was wrong here.
They got me to hospital, and after surgery, with more to come, looks like I may keep those fingers. Dogs are amazing! Bella came to me as an abused dog. With love and a secure home she has thrived. After my accident , she is the Hero of the hour! More spoiled than ever.
I am on the road to recovery, latest news from my surgeon is promising. But it will be a slow road, well, could be worse!!
See what I mean? Our best wishes to Bella and her family.