A working dog education workshop run by master trainer Stephen Condell was hosted by Henty Machinery Field Days last month.
Pleasant Hills sheep producer Rick Clancy organised the training school, held on July 28, after having difficulty with a young working dog of his own.
Mr Clancy bounced the idea of a local working dog training school off a few local farmers and immediately received a positive reaction.
He received $1500 sponsorship from the Bendigo Bank to support the training day and selected the Henty Machinery Field Days yard dog trialling site as the venue.
Mr Clancy was encouraged by the number of young men and women who attended the training day, including five aged under 18 years.
Working dog breeder and trainer, Stephen Condell, of Downside, NSW, took participants through an intensive lesson on using the natural instincts of dogs and sheep combined with body language of the handler to achieve a low-stress technique.
Mr Clancy said participants attended from Holbrook, Pleasant Hills, Walla, Milbrulong, Bidgeemia, Henty and Cookardinia, with sheep provided by Dugald McKay of Henty.
‘‘There is so many things to learn at these schools about dog training, yourself and your yards,’’ Mr Clancy said.
‘‘Key messages for me were training in the sheep yards with a short chain, (and) having a stick to direct the dog in her and my working space.
‘‘There is so much more in coaching your dog how to enjoy work — it was about pressure and release, positioning your body in the right spot, and having clear messages for the dog.
‘‘On-farm there is often not the time to train dogs, so days like this are perfect for upskilling with the latest techniques.’’
Mr Clancy said further working dog educational schools would follow, depending on demand.
■For more information, phone Mr Clancy on 0429 207 754.