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Working Dog Training Schools

Working Dog Training Schools are taught at three levels: The Fundamentals, Intermediate and Advanced.

No matter how many decades of experience you may have had training dogs, everyone starts at the beginning – ‘The Fundamentals Working Dog Training School’.

‘The Fundamentals’ is an intensive module-based 2-day course with essential theory components, notes and plenty of practical sessions.

Although written for adult-learning, our youngest student was nine and our oldest were in their eighties!

All students receive a full set of course notes, which they are able to utilise when they go home to continue their training program. The course also touches on the basics of how to read stock, where to stand for smooth stock movement and low-stress stock handling.

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The Working Dog Training Schools, based on 'Ben Page's Natural Method', are unique. Only about 15 people are able to attend a course at any time, so please book quickly!

The Fundamentals Curriculum ©

THEORY

  • Origins of the Heading Dog
  • Working Dog and the Domestic Dog
  • Leadership patterns, rules and signals
  • Aspects of Behaviour and Body Language
  • Selecting your dog
  • Aspects that effect Temperament, Loyalty and Training
  • Establishing Leadership with your dog
  • Housing
  • Condition and Medical care
  • Vaccinations
  • Feeding
  • The recipe for Success
  • Dietary requirements
  • Reward and Discipline
  • The Secret Keys to Training
  • The Golden Rules
  • Training Aids
  • Using Correct Tones (Commands)
  • Introduction to using a Whistle

PRACTICAL AND CONFIRMATION

  • Preparation of Training Venue and Stock
  • The Age to Learning Ratio
  • Introducing exams at each stage
  • Bringing out the Instinct in your Dog
  • Using “Silent” commands
  • Natural balance – Taught on Stock
  • Walk with me
  • Teaching the Stop
  • Teaching the Recall
  • Stop on Stock
  • Confirmation and Test – Balance and Stop
  • Teaching Sides and Stop on Stock
  • Confirmation of Balance, Sides and Stop
  • Putting it all together
  • An Introduction to the Intermediate Course
  • Wind up and Presentation of Certificates

‘The Fundamentals’ is all about training you, the handler, so that you can learn the system to be able to train and work your dog, and your future dogs. Learn about the origins of the working dog, leadership rules of the dog pack, a complete system to bring out the dog's instinct and their working potential, and much more. No swearing, no shouting, just using the dog's language.

The Intermediate Curriculum©

  • Revision and testing of Fundamentals theory
  • Revision and Testing of Fundamentals Practical
  • Pressure points on Stock
  • Advanced whistle tones
  • Teaching the “Wait” tone
  • Preparing a Casting Training aid
  • Teaching the Cast
  • Dirty ground
  • Using training Aids for distance
  • Teaching an arc
  • Introducing your dog to yard work
  • Using the “Wait” tone with stock
  • Gate walking
  • Drafting
  • Teaching the “Reverse”
  • Discussion and Introduction to Trialing
  • Completing a Mini Course
  • Wind up and Presentation of Certificates

The Advanced Curriculum©

  • Discussion on various different trial disciplines
  • Discussion on the broad rules
  • Setting training steps and goals
  • Ensuring confirmation and an exam for each stage
  • Revision and test on a mini yard trial
  • Training on Arena trial obstacles
  • Splitting disciplines
  • Eliminating the harsh/panic command
  • Training for cast, lift and draw
  • Training on the Gap
  • Training on the Race
  • Training on the Bridge
  • Training on the Pen
  • Grouping obstacles
  • Personal coaching
Before enrolling you must have completed The Fundamentals.
Before enrolling you must have completed Intermediate.

Professional Training Qualifications

Ben has formal professional training qualifications, as well as 40-50 years of stock handling and dog training experience. ‘The Fundamentals’ incorporates Ben’s experience and knowledge with cattle, sheep, military dog training, and breeding and training Kelpies and Border Collies for trialling and farm work.

There is no other course in Australia taught by a professional that gives people a complete training system to train their dog to work livestock, with full notes, theory and practical components etc. That's why it's so popular. People come from all states and from overseas to attend, if they can get in. We've had students from Sweden, South Africa, Zimbabwe, New Zealand etc.

Ben's Background

Ben commenced with the livestock industry back in the 1960s when he was the first jackaroo (trainee manager) on the first commercial cattle property in New Guinea. At the time he was responsible for over 100 staff to completely build the property - yards, dwellings, houses, staff accommodation, cookhouse, etc - all by hand.

All their stock work was done with horses, gently and quietly. About 30 or 40 years later someone invented 'low stress stock handling'... much the same thing!

Testimonials

“I wish I’d met you 40 years ago!”

 “I’ve always known there was a better way to train a dog. Now I’ve found it!”
 
“I learnt more than I could’ve imagined. One of the most productive 2 days I’ve ever had.”
 
“I wish I’d started working with dogs a long time ago – either that or I wish I was younger. Thanks.”
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The Working Dog Centre breeds Australian Working Kelpies and Australian Working Border Collies to the highest standard possible, from proven bloodlines with extensive pedigrees going back at least 10 generations, and are used on sheep, beef cattle, dairy cattle, goats, ducks, poultry and in sheepdog trials.