Herding Lessons / Clinics

Matt, a mixed animal veterinarian, acquired a working Aussie puppy in 1995, and that was the beginning of an obsession with the minds of working dogs. Training Rugby was not an easy task as his keen ability to work over powered Matt's knowledge base and "help" was not readily available in the area.  By trial and error, and "crash courses" at various clinics when available, Rugby and Matt finally figured out how to accomplish tasks as a team and achieved an ASCA Working Trial Champion title in 1999. The personal pride and sense of accomplishment was overwhelming and lead to a long line of Working Trial Champions at Riverbank Farm and a desire to provide opportunities for working dogs to be appreciated and admired.

The farm is small, however it does provide a variety of learning opportunities for handlers as well as working dogs. The dogs can be started in a 40-50 foot diameter round pen and progress to larger pens. The livestock can be moved between pens and then maneuvered around the 1.5 acre pasture at the house. The pasture provides "real life" obstacles such as trees, rocks and hills for both the dogs and handlers to learn to navigate as the livestock disappear behind them.

Small group lessons and private training sessions for competition or practical use occur throughout the year. The variety of livestock at Riverbank Farm provides for many variations in "work"  to help working dogs and their handlers to develop.

Although outdoor cats and numerous free range roosters and guinea hens at Riverbank Farm have their own "jobs" to do in mouse and tick control, they frequently add their own touch to lessons and clinics. It is not uncommon to have them watching lessons or providing extra distraction to a work session as they go about their business, in the pens or from outside the fences. It is important for working dogs to ignore random distractions, and the cats and foul certainly test their abilities.

If you are interested in joining a class or clinic or would like more information, please go to the Contact page.

Member of:
Visit the American Dexter Cattle Association.Visit the Australian Shepherd Club of America's web site.NH Sheep and Wool Growers Association link.Go to the Australian Shepherd Club of New England.Legacy Dexter Cattle Registry. Visit their site.Visit the Purebred Dexter Cattle Association's site.North American Clun Forest Association. Visit their site.

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