A good stock dog is a valuable addition to any livestock operation, helping their master manage the herd during the day, and being a loyal companion and best friend by night.
Learning to work with a stock dog takes some front-end effort, but experienced handlers say it is well worth it. Once trained, a four-legged handler can often do the work of two people, quietly and efficiently moving the herd with minimal stress.
Stock dog demonstrations will be offered on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 16 and 17, during Ag in Motion this year, providing livestock producers with a look at how and why a well-bred stock dog is a good investment.
During the demonstrations, stock dog handler Jared Epp will discuss, interpret and show how well-bred stock dogs work with various livestock.
Three keys to making the most of your investment in a stock dog are selecting the right animal, commitment to training and understanding low-stress handling.
Epp breeds, raises and trains border collies on his farm near Hanley, SK. Border collies are considered one of the world’s best herding dogs. They are smart, active, hard-working and always eager to please.
Choosing the right breed is a good first step, but it is also important to select a pup that comes from hard-working parents.
Top 5 Herding Breeds:
Old English Sheepdog
Australian Cattle Dog
Once chosen, a stock dog needs to be exposed to obedience training and good socialization starting at a young age. This will help ensure the animal can work in different conditions without becoming overly nervous.
During the stock dog demonstrations, Epp will give special attention to the efficiency and effectiveness of using a well-trained dog in the pursuit of low-stress livestock handling.
Low-stress handling means keeping noise and aggression to a minimum, and encouraging quiet confidence in the dog’s ability to work with the herd.
Whatever type of livestock you manage, a well-trained stock dog can make moving animals easier, with the added benefit of a dog who is a loyal, hard-working friend.
Stock dog demonstrations will be held daily at 12:00 p.m. in BMO Livestock Central.