You have got to give credit for 200 years of selection for brilliance.

What an amazing weekend.

What excited me the most?

Was it the well explained theory of better stock handling from chief instructor Sean Barrett?

The fantastic cuisine presented by Auntie Ando and her trusty crew?

The growing camaraderie fueled by a few quite  rums after the evening spotlights had dimmed or the anguish evident during the final days competitive “Oakwood Challenge” where students plied all they had learned in a trial of courage, wits, leadership, dominance and compassion. This challenge was won by a young up and coming stockman from Surat. Congratulations Simon Twidale.

Champion Stock Handler

For me the overwhelming aspect of the ” introduction to stress free stock handling” school was the demonstration by some of the dogs of their innate ability to calmly dominate and control livestock. With the clever dogs the sheep and cattle  moved to the desired position, be it through a gate or another part of a paddock, because they wanted to be there. 200 years, or more, of selection for these traits by canny stockmen of old is really paying dividends for modern livestock handlers.

Glide, Chief and Gibbs: Escort service

The near perfect demonstration trial by Sean was an inspiring close second.

Sean Barrett indicating an intricate point

11 comments on “You have got to give credit for 200 years of selection for brilliance.

  1. Sue McMah says:

    Anyone who is remotely interested in understanding the working dog and good cattle handling skills should attend these schools. How lucky we are to have a combination of two excellent instructors and 4 legged teachers, the later being the driving force behind the operation. I am a long term student who returns each time only to find I am barely past at the tip of the iceberg. Aside from the learning apect, the friendship and good company amongst all who attend is very hard to beat. Thanks so much.

    • Thanks Sue,
      You are well past the tip of that Iceberg, your livestock are a testament to that. Without the constant support we get from many people, like Grant, Jan and yourself, it would be much harder for us to get our message out.
      Thanks,
      David

    • blackdog says:

      Just looking forward to working your livestock again Sue, if they were all that good we would be out of a job.

  2. australianmeatgoats says:

    Great weekend, best yet, thanks to Sean and Dave, I am learning and unlearning my bad habits. Many thanks to our hosts for their hospitality and great food and particularly to Ian for his Oxtail Stew, it was delicious. You guys produce some great dogs and have never ending patience, thanks again, keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Grayleen,
      We always have patience when there are people and dogs willing to do the work. Remember with our WAIT program, training is just an adherence to a few principles while you are doing your day to day jobs.

  3. Chocey says:

    I think this photo of the dogs tells the story.
    Wow what brilliant cover, position and control shown by the three dogs, it is clear the dogs have a respect for the flight distance, of the cattle under their control
    A good demonstration of pressure and relief.

  4. Beccy says:

    Sounds like a great weekend! Wish I was there. When and where is next the school being held?

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