Ranch and Farm

real life working dogs

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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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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Ranch Dogs

RANCH DOGS by Bud Williams I hate to see so much emphasis being put on trying to prove that trial dogs are better than ranch dogs, or that ranch dogs would be better if we had more control on them. There is a huge difference between a good trial dog and a good ranch dog. There is practically no way to compare them. We have trials as a means of comparing one trial dog to another. The course for each…

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Training the Ranch Dog

TRAINING THE RANCH DOG by Bud Williams I was born on a farm in Oregon in 1932. My Dad’s insistence that we kids be “Good Neighbors” has led me through a very interesting life. I have worked on ranches or with livestock most of my life. I always had good dogs, so I found myself helping the neighbors get in their “tough ones”. One thing led to another and I found myself working on just livestock problems. Eunice, my wife…

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Roundpens, Walkabouts, and Chores

ROUNDPENS, WALKABOUTS, AND CHORES by Maarten Walter Question: I’ve got a 9 month old girl that I’ve been letting work sheep about once a week or so. She’s worked ducks a little too. I haven’t been doing any overt training, just trying to block her with my body to get her to flank back, and give her time on stock to keep her interested. And boy is she interested. We’ve been working in an round pen tho’, where she is…

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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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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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Teaching a dog sort out different species of stock

Q & A FORUM: TEACHING A DOG TO SORT SPECIES answers by Steve & Judy Freeman, and Roger Stevens QUESTION: When using my dogs I am often confronted with a large pasture (in excess of 50 acres) containing several separate groups/types of stock. How do I begin to teach my young dog that today “Get Around” means get the sheep, not the cows, without constantly having to call off and resend the dog – discouraging him and causing him to…

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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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So You Think You Might Want A Stock Dog

SO YOU THINK YOU MIGHT WANT A STOCK DOG by Terry Martin So you think you might want a stock dog? In today’s world of high wages, liabilities involved with hired help and the difficulty in even finding human help, the stock dog can be a wonderful investment. From the small farm with a few head of cattle and/or sheep to the large ranch, a good dog can provide much needed help and companionship too. Just how many commands and…

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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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The Aussie Style and Outrun

THE AUSSIE STYLE AND OUTRUN by Terry Martin I have said the ideal Australian Shepherd is one who will grip both the head and the heels. Every ranch or farm has unique situations that the dog will encounter. When stock are refusing to move, the dog or man has to use some kind of force. If they are facing and challenging the dog, he is going to have to be able to handle a confrontational head situation or nothing is…

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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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Foot Farming

FOOT FARMING by Dana MacKenzie A while back Tony Rohne asked me to write a short article about “Foot Farming” in East Texas. It kinds goes along with the thoughts expressed on “real” dog work in the RDT rather than trial course work. This past winter I worked for Tony tending to his cows, calves and calving heifers, as well as taking care of my 30 head of sheep. The term “Foot Farming” probably applies to a great number of…

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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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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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Jack, the Handiest Dog I Ever Trained

JACK, THE HANDIEST DOG I EVER TRAINED by Cyn-Dee Cooper This year I had the honor of training a really good Australian Shepherd named Jack for sixty days. Jack was bred by Elree Horton, of Buena Vista, Tennessee who has Flapper Hill Kennels. Jack is out of Flapper Hill Blossom and by Flapper Hill Sandy River. Both of these dogs go back to Lookaway Luke who is by Judd’s Chickasaw Dan. He was about 14 months old when he came…

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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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