Those people who start with a dog bred with the "science" — strong working instinct, intelligence, good temperament, eye and cover — and then give it the right training, will be rewarded with a mate who can do the work of several men and give you the freedom to work stock without having to rely on other people.
So by starting with the best bred dog you can afford you will likely save yourself a great deal. Consider it an investment. See Pick the Right Dog.
Unfortunately, working dogs don't come with a manual and, as yet, no one has written "Working Dog Training for Dummies". It's a good idea to invest in yourself and get some training. Just owning stock and dogs doesn't give you the skills and knowledge to make the job easier...
If you are buying a "started" or "trained" dog, it's also important to attend some training if you haven't already done so. Otherwise you could be spending many thousands of dollars and potentially ruining your investment by not knowing how to actually work the dog and get the best out of him.
It is extremely common for farmers and stock owners who have had dogs and stock around them all their lives, to struggle with their stock handling. I meet them all the time. The skills for handling stock and dogs well must be learned: they don't come from just owning a dog or copying someone else. Once having attended a training course they find how simple it can be when they have control of the situation. No more frustration or swearing!
As an example. Many people made the most basic mistake of allowing a young dog to be trained by an older dog. It's an absolute No No. Think about it. Who is the leader here? Who gives the orders and signs the cheque? The older dog - or you?
If you start with a pup it will take you about 2 years to fully train your dog and yes, you can ruin the dog by teaching the wrong skills at the wrong time and trying to train far too early or far too long. In other words, you can very easily "Take the dog out of the dog".
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A Working Dog Training Course will give you a sequence of what to train first then next etc. Additionally, the course will very quickly highlight if you have made a mistake in your choice of a dog. Then you can make a decision and get a different or better one before you spend 2 years trying to train the wrong dog. See Working Dog Training Schools.
Our 2-day intensive course, called 'The Fundamentals' Working Dog Training School', would be the best way for you to learn how to develop your dog's full potential.
On the course you will learn how to bring out your dog’s instinct. Ben Page's 'Natural Method' will give you the theory and a complete system to be able to train your dog.
Ben Page’s Natural Method works with the dog’s natural instinct, using ‘dog language’ to teach the dog. Ben does not use force or aggression and does not condone cruelty or believe in swearing or losing your temper whilst training your dog or working stock. In fact Ben has been labelled the ‘Working Dog Whisperer’ by the media, due to the very quiet way in which he works dogs and stock.
Find out how to Pick the Right Dog.