Susan Boyd on ranching with dogs on arid land

Susan Boyd is a Working Aussie Souce member with amazing photos and a recent video clip that led to this article. WAS:Can you tell us about your operation? My husband Curt and I purchased and established Boyd Ranch, LLC in 2004. It is situated on 25,000 acres and is located in Central NM about 75 miles SE of Albuquerque. The headquarters are in the old ghost town of Chupadera, NM. Over 100 years ago this town was a hopping little…

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An interview with Sarah Martin – Part 1, Starting to Use Dogs in a Cattle Operation

  Sarah Martin, of G-S Ranch, runs purebred red Angus with her husband and his family in northern Alberta, Canada. She is available for clinics. WAS: How did you get your first dogs? What did you look for? How did you know what to look for? Did you get what you wanted? SM: As stated above I got into my first working dog with a friend. I wanted a dog and his only stipulation was that I needed to find a working Australian…

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A Ranch Dog

A RANCH DOG by Roy Wilson I let you know in the other article the type of dogs I use gathering wild cattle, spoiled cattle, cows and calves, or whatever is hard to pen. Light cattle, heifers or steers can be worked with dogs with less power, grit and bite. A dog that has a little outrun to it, has enough eye to steady it, some walk up strength, and will use their teeth a little, in most cases, can…

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Answers on Cowdog Training

Question and Answers: How to Start a Cowdog (Working Aussie Source editor note: this Ranch Dog Trainer magazine format poses one reader question to several experienced stockmen, in this case, Lee Adams, Robin Nuffer, Finis Hallmark, Carl Larsen, and Les Walker) QUESTION: (1) I have a dog I want to train as a cowdog. He is 2 years old and has a strong drive to herd cattle but all he knows how to do is chase them. I think I…

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The Cow/Calf Dog

THE COW/CALF DOG by Boe Suhr, Lone Rider Stockdogs All the time I hear people talk about letting their dogs fetch cattle to them as they ride in the front. That’s all well and good for those who have yearlings or stocker cows. For me, my dogs fetch cattle when the calves are about 500 lbs or when I have weaned them. Now don’t get me wrong, I do use my dogs – even on pairs. But, I don’t fetch…

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No Turners for Me, Please

NO TURNERS FOR ME, PLEASE by Tony Rohne I leased a pasture on the condition that I would run the landlord’s Holstein milk cow with the Herefords I was buying. My cows were wild as a March Hare and his cow was skin and bones. She died about five days after she had a half Brahman calf. I thought the little fellow would steal enough milk to make it but felt like I needed to bottle feed him for awhile.…

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Thoughts About Cowdogs

THOUGHTS ABOUT COWDOGS by Tony Rohne Note: This is a response to an e-mail that Tony got from someone who asked how to go about getting a dog trained, apparently someone with a lot of stock and no experience with dogs. Where do we start? With 1,000 mother cows and probably 3,500 ewes, it obvious one dog will not be able to do much. Rather than jumping into a lot of formal training, it might be best to step back…

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Cattlemasters

editor’s note: the term ‘Cattlemaster’ is now the name of a breed of commercial cowdog; this article was written before that term was in use. CATTLEMASTERS by Tony Rohne Right now, the offspring of registered dogs are eligible to be registered in their respective registries without much consideration of the merit of those pups. It looks like knowing a “stockdog’s” pedigree back to Lincoln’s Fido is more important than knowing if the mutt is worth a flip on stock. As…

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Bite Is Might

BITE IS MIGHT!! by Tony Rohne Bite is an essential part of handling cattle whether it be a truckload of 300 pound calves or a pasture full of cows with calves. Here are some examples. 1. A few years ago, I needed to sell some calves to make a bank note payment. When I got to the pasture, one of the tires on my trailer was low so I aired it up. A cousin had needed to borrow the license…

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Power-Force

POWER-FORCE Aggressiveness-Domination-Authority-Clout-Influence-Command-Mastery Attack-Fight-Coercion-Might-Muscle-Punch-Strength Brutality-Ferocity-Violence by Red Oliver After looking in several dictionaries and after discussing the issue with anyone who would agree, I have come to the conclusion that there is no single term that will satisfactorily describe what is required by each type of stock or each type of rancher, especially considering that each of us has our own peculiar idea on how to train a dog to enhance his inherited power. While these are my own opinions, you…

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Starting Cowdogs on Cows or Sheep?

QUESTION AND ANSWER: STARTING COWDOGS ON SHEEP? YES OR NO? Question: I just got 2 pups, two different breeds. I have 280 head of momma cows and 60 replacement heifers. They have never been worked by a dog. My question: Do I need to buy some sheep or goats to start the pups in their training? My pens and fences will not hold sheep/goats so I would have to go to some effort to build something. What would be the…

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What, Where, and How

WHAT, WHEN, AND HOW an interview with Australian cattleman Tony McCallum by the staff of Ranch Dog Trainer Magazine Working in different types of terrain, most of it heavy timber or mountains, means that Tony McCallum, New South Wales, Australia, sends his dogs for stock that can’t be gotten to on horseback. Tony emphatically states, “In a lot of areas in Australia it’s not ‘`do people use dogs there’, rather, if they run stock in that country they have dogs.…

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Developing Power

THE WORKING AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD: DEVELOPING HIS POWER by Terry Martin In the last article about using Australian Shepherds as cattle dogs, we discussed a few ways of introducing your pup or young dog to cattle. On a ranch there will be limited opportunities to do the things you would like to do with this dog. If your situation consists only of cows with calves out on large pastures you might want to wait until you wean some calves to start…

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Enhancing Heeling Instinct

ENHANCING HEELING INSTINCT by Terry Martin I certainly appreciate the contact I have had from the readership with ranch dogs. Several of you asked for ideas about how to get a dog to heel who will not do so or seldom bites heels in daily work. I also had an interesting conversation with a man whose cows are, in his words, “death on a dog”. In the last issue, I included suggestions on developing the power of your dog by…

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Ranch Dog Development

RANCH DOG DEVELOPMENT by Terry Martin There are many different opinions on developing and training a stockdog. Never underestimate how much the end result depends on the dog you had to begin with. My involvement in breeding and studying the genetic traits of working Australian Shepherds can hopefully give some insight into their development and training. For many years we worked ranch dogs completely unaware of any established training methods, so I can identify with the stockman with his first…

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Working Corners

WORKING CORNERS by Butch Larson The purpose of working corners is to build confidence and to teach your dog the correct way to approach livestock in a tight spot. So many times have I seen a dog run in at the pen or at an arena trial because the dog felt the pressure from the fence and the livestock. If a dog runs in when one is working cattle, he could possibly get his head kicked off. Placing yourself in…

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Developing the Whole Cattle Dog: Beginning Work

DEVELOPING THE WHOLE CATTLEDOG Part 3: Beginning Work by Rusty Johnson If I remember right, we left off last time socializing. Before we move on I want to state: “Even though we are now trying to teach the pup something, socializing should NEVER stop!” The more the pup stays with you the easier training will be. This is especially true if you have a Kelpie. Kelpies, as a whole, are a more independent thinking breed than Border Collies or Australian…

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The Whole Cattledog : Side Commands

DEVELOPING THE WHOLE CATTLEDOG PART SIX: Side Commands by Rusty Johnson I will include this part of the series because this is what everyone wants. It seems like everyone is in such a hurry to tell their dog “Go right . . . Go left . . . down . . .”, but in all of their haste I really think people have overlooked the most important part. Sure, you see all of these great handlers giving their dogs side…

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Building Strength in a Young Dog

BUILDING STRENGTH IN A YOUNG DOG by Rusty Johnson Let me say first on this subject, that training a dog is like sculpting a beautiful statue. The statue was there all along. The artist simply chips away the stone that is not part of the statue. However, if there are too many serious faults in vital places or the hammer is used too much or too hard, when you chip away the unwanted portions, the whole thing will fall apart.…

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The Whole Cattledog : Picking a Pup

THE WHOLE CATTLEDOG: part one: picking a pup by Rusty Johnson I am writing this series for those people who, like myself, love, honor and cherish their cattledogs. With the hope that I may change some minds about how cattle can be worked with good dogs and maybe help some people who have found themselves confronted with a dilemma, I present this article. I want to state up front that I do not know everything! Therefore, throughout this series, I…

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Do You Want/Need That Much Control?

Do You Want or Need That Much Control? by Rusty Johnson When you go to gather your cattle do you want your dog to leave your feet at a 65 degree angle and run out wide so as not to disturb the cattle? Then, go to exactly 12 o’clock; stop, and then walk up to the cow farthest from you – bite if need be, then walk up to the next one, and so and so forth. Until he has…

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Gripping

GRIPPING by Herbert Holmes This article is difficult to write due to the many and varied opinions on grips as well as the number of different types of grips and reasons for gripping. I am assuming that the readers know that a grip is a bite. I believe that what I am about to relate to you about gripping holds true but I would not be so bold as to close my mind to different types of grips. Some are…

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Cowboy Driving

COWBOY DRIVING by CynDee Cooper Whether you use a dog for ranch work or trials it becomes necessary at times to “Cowboy” drive stock with your dog. This technique can be taught to any breed of stockdog during the earliest stages of its training. Having a stop or check command on your dog helps but even if the younger dogs only respond to their name you can teach them how to work on the back side with you. Blocking a…

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Sorting Tips with Dogs

SORTING TIPS WITH DOGS by Tom Blasdell Here are some different ways to use your dog to help you sort. One thing the handler has to keep in mind is that sorting with a dog is going to be slower that using people. Better than having the wild helpers from town come and knock the fences down! I like to sort on a horse best. Gather the cattle into a good fence corner, hold them there and just let them…

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Dog Tales from a Cattleman

DOG TALES FROM A CATTLEMAN by Norm Andrews Working Aussie Source editor’s note: this photo essay originally appeared in Terry Martin’s Stockdog Corner column in The Aussie Times, with the following introduction: “I received a letter from Norm Andrews, a farmer in Nebraska who runs 150 cow/calf pairs. He has a dog of my breeding, Slash V Andrew’s Red Chickaspike OTDc. This letter is a cattleman talking to other cattlemen, really … about a dog that he loves and that…

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Dog-Breaking Cattle

DOG-BREAKING CATTLE A Ranch Dog Trainer staff interview with L.R. Alexander Imagine breaking cattle with dogs — a chaotic scene of cattle bawling; dust swirling in the air; dogs biting noses and heels; calves slamming into corral panels. If this is the scene that comes to your mind, you need to watch cattlemen who make their living buying and selling cattle. When a good dog handler breaks cattle with dogs, control is the order of the day, not chaos. Missourian…

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Confidence and Bite

CONFIDENCE AND BITE by L.R. Alexander Just because a dog bites the nose and heels of an animal does not make him a cattle dog. He can have balance, speed, eye and concentration, and still not make a good tough farm dog. All of the above are great but if he doesn’t have confidence when working cattle he is not the help he could be. I have said for many years lack of confidence or fear, which usually is the…

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