I moved to Bozeman in 1997 and immediately contacted the 4H office to ask about starting an agility program in Gallatin County. By the summer of 1998 the first students participated in the summer fair. I also started adult classes in the area and the group grew so expodentially that I formed the Galloping Dog Club in 2002. That group still exists today and rents a practice barn at the fairgrounds in the winter and a has a training field in the summer. By 2008 my first three dogs had aged out of competitive agility and I stepped back from competing. The highlight of my agility years was earning the first NADAC Championship in Montana with my rescue Border Collie, Kili (1997-2013). My Pyrenean Shepherd, Saales, won her height at the NADAC Championships in 2007. In 2011 I got my first working Border Collie, Nero, and he introduced me to competitive herding. We made our way up the levels for a few years and then when he was 5 years old we won our first Open trial that I entered. Unfortunately 6 months later he was diagnosed with Cancer and died at just 6 years old. Three year old Rey was the dog I got when I lost Prim to cheat grass at just two years old just after she won her first and only cattle dog trial. Prim was a rascal though and she was the inspiration for starting Ranch Dog Manners. My younger dog is Finn and we work on Ranch Manners everyday with him. He is a strong willed dog with an amazing capacity to move stock. Fortunately he loves tricks and training!
I had several dogs come for herding lessons over the years where I realized that the most important thing that I could teach their owners was manners around livestock, other dogs, and other people. Dogs would leap out of their cars plunging, barking and dragging their owners across the parking lot. As we approached our stock to start our lesson their dogs would continue this behavior and at times my injured rotator cuffs were seriously tested. Once the dogs were turned loose with the stock the behaviors of course continued and often the dog’s arrousal levels were too high to allow them to think. Often we would spend the entire first lesson on walking nicely on a leash. Whether you are someone that wants to herd ducks, sheep or cattle, or someone that wants to go to their boarding barn without a cool collected dog that makes a great first impression this class is for you. This class is for any breed of dog and at the end of class we will have a little Ranch Dog Manners skills test.
Prim Agility Foundation’s Class Graduation Video