I've been training with Terry for several years and keep pinching myself that this level of training is actually available in my backyard! Terry pushed me to be an intelligent trainer and handler and helped me achieve things never thought possible with my breed. My first herding dog, a Boxer, has two herding championships, multiple HIT and RHITs, first placements, belt buckles, trophies, awards, competed in USBCHA, AKC, AHBA on all stock, and became our breed club’s Working Boxer of the year…entirely due to walking onto the property of Action K9 Sports!
I started with Terry with my boxer Pip in 2006. I brought her an intense young working breed that I felt could think…not knowing what else was possible. The thing I felt most keenly when I first stepped onto Terry’s ranch, was the love she felt for the sport. During my dog’s instinct test, she was laughing and excited and joyful about what she saw in my dog. She called the other trainers over to come watch, and made the experience one of the highlights of my life as I watched my beloved dog do something I never though possible. With a cheering section! It was infectious!
Since that day, Terry and her trainers and the whole herding community she surrounds herself by, have been excited and supportive and LOVING to me and my ever growing goals for my breed. The Boxer is not the first working breed Terry has helped find a place in this sport. I feel so lucky to have had the experience of watching my entire breed’s reputation change due to her initial interest and care.
The bond I've achieved with my dogs through herding training is a deeper and more intense bond than any other kind of training I've done with them.
Terry and the trainers she has had working with her, and me, over the years…Rich and Cathy and Barb, helped me grow and truly appreciate my working dogs. I'm a pet owner first, but wanted to compete seriously as the years went by…many herding titles and 2 championships later, and my super happy working dogs tell me I walked onto the right place to train.
February 14, 2016
A few months ago, my dog Snickers (2 y/o M GSD) & I started taking sheep herding lessons @ Terry Parrish's Action K9 Sports.
We couldn't be happier.
I quickly found out that Snick's Basic Obedience was weak. Weak as in non-existent when with the sheep. Completely out of control with frenzied excitement.
What a turn around. Obedience has massively improved. Snicks has a high prey drive, but now he will "sit" and "come" on command even though the sheep are only a few feet away. A total change in behavior which happily spills over into life away from the ranch.
Terry has a large piece of property – at least the size of a suburban high school. She has several stock pens and training pens (100' X 200') as well as open fields.
The facility is AKC compliant for sheep herding trials, so you can go as far as you want in the sport. Personally, I'm not interested in competing, but I do like that as one progresses, it gets more and more challenging for the dog. The dog has to "problem solve" more and more complex tasks – great mental stimulation.
Terry and Rich are great instructors. They are fully engaged and want to meet client needs. It's really impressive when they step in the ring and take charge of the dog. Instruction rates are very reasonable for all one gets.
There's a very down to earth, easy going feel to the ranch. The dogs (and the handlers for that matter) come in all different shapes and sizes. There are no breed restrictions. (My favorite are the Corgi's)
And here's the best part. Snickers and I have a post lesson routine. We sit in the shade with fresh water and cool down. I feed Snickers some cooked chicken and lavish – really really lavish – Snicks with praise.
He is so happy – just bursting with pride. He looks straight into my eyes and you can just sense how closely bonded he feels.
Sheepherding at Action K9 Sports has given me a happier more obedient dog. It has strengthened our bond and I expect it will just get better and better.
Brewer is the first dog that I have owned on my own. Why did I decide to get a corgi? I thought I had done my research and I thought I was prepared, but that quickly changed! He was an adorable puppy – smart as a whip, but he was a rebel to say the least. I’d give him a command and I could see the wheels turning. He’d know exactly what I was saying, but would give me a “See ya!” look and dart off! Being that I lived at my job site, and was taking him to work with me, his unruly behavior would not be tolerated. I was at a loss. It was clear that I needed help and needed it quickly!
From my very first lesson with Terry at Action K9 Sports, I knew that herding training was the solution! Terry’s incredible knowledge and experience in training dogs is nothing short of a life saver. She can read Brewer like a book, and gives me the tools I need to not only train my dog to herd, but increase his level of obedience.
Herding provides Brewer with a job to do. He is able to take his energy and his intelligence and do something positive. We get to work together as a team. After 4 years of consistent training at Action K9 Sports, I have been able to see Brewer’s talents unfold. It has been such an enjoyable journey. We started with simply running in circles around the sheep, and now we are working on driving, sorting, and working in the field or in the arena. We’re currently competing at an intermediate level, but we can’t wait to move up and compete against the best!
Jena and Brewer
I began working with Terry Parrish in 1995 with an older dog loaned to me by a friend. By the spring of 1996, we'd won our first Pro-Novice class at the Treasure Valley SDT in Payette, Idaho. That fall, Terry matched me up with my Babs. With Terry's training and support, Babs went on to win the San Joaquin Valley Border Collie Association Top Dog award in Pro-Novice for 1997, following that up by winning Open Top Dog in 1998. Her talent as our instructor also led Babs and me to our first trips to the Meeker Classic and USBCHA National Sheepdog Finals that same year.
In 2000, Terry selected my next dog, Sweep, a 2-year-old son of her great Rhys. Again under Terry's expert tutelage, we began our trial career together. Sweep placed in the Top Twenty at the 2001 USBCHA National Nursery Finals and went on to win a number of Open trials in California and Utah. Sweep won the Lesley Love trophy for High Combined Open at the SJVBCA Spring trial in 2008 at 10 years of age. We went to the USBCHA Open Finals several times, Sweep making it into the semi-final round there in 2008; that same year he also was a semi-finalist at the Meeker Classic.
In 2004, I was fortunate to get Blazin' Cassie (Blazin' Dustin x Blazin' Driftin') from Terry. Cassie was 3 and already running Open after an extremely successful Nursery season with Terry. With Terry's help and Cassie's talent, we became a formidable team. Among her many USBCHA Open wins were Porterville, the Kaycee (Wyoming) Stockdog Challenge, and double wins — twice — at the San Diego Highland Games, the second just shy of her 12th birthday. Cassie won the Lesley Love trophy at the SJVBCA Spring trials in both 2006 and 2007. She made the semi-final round at Meeker three times and did the same at the USBCHA Open Finals twice, including 2008 where she placed 5th in the first round of 150 dogs.
My current dogs are Blazin' Quin, a granddaughter of my Cassie, and Blazin' Fiero, a grandson of Blazin' Dustin'. I got Quin as a 3-year-old coming from a highly successful Nursery year with Terry, who ran her to 8th place at the 2012 USBCHA Nursery Finals. Quin has qualified for the Open Finals each year since I got her, placing well and winning large Open trials in Arizona, California, and Utah. Fiero and I have been together for about six months now, running Pro-Novice. I am looking forward to his future in Open.
Throughout nearly twenty years, Terry Parrish has been a dedicated instructor, mentor, critic to help me improve my handling and training skills, and chief cheerleader when my dogs do well. I am also blessed to call her my friend.