The Art of Communication
Teaching a person to train a dog to herd sheep is a challenge. After all, most of the people we deal with have NEVER trained a dog nor have they worked with livestock. How to break all the minutae into something resembling the BIG picture is a monumental task
Much like teaching colors to blind people
Most herding instructors don't wish to deal with the frustration and choose to take the dog and train it themselves. While this is expedient for dog and trainer, it leaves the owner out of the loop and denies them the JOY of becoming a team with their dog. 35 years ago when starting the FIRST all-breed herding faciity, it was my mission to make this a journey for the owner as well as the dog, believing if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach him to fish, he will eat for a lifetime. I wanted to develop HANDLERS as this was needed to keep Herding alive.
The herding clinicians at that time were either Border Collie or Aus. Shep trainers, dogs with innate talent and drive. I started tutoring people who owned dogs with prey drive, not natural herding prowess. As an instructor, I had to break everything down to bare bones: Balance, flanks, flight zone. Painting the big picture with stick figures, allowing the person/dog team to grow at their own speed.
Developing HANDLERS, who go on with more and better dogs. Keeping HERDING alive..