An Evening of Hot Dogs and Herding

By Tony Montagano

April 7th brought a new first to LTC. We held our first herding demonstration ever. Over 50 LTC members, Dearlove agility students, and friends attended the event. We invited Shannon Wolfe to conduct the demonstration and field questions. If you are not familiar with Shannon , of Magic’s Legacy, her credentials are very impressive. Shannon has 15 years of experience training stockdogs for waterfowl management (those pesky Canadian geese are everywhere) and stockdog trainer and trialer, 10 years of experience as an instructor for all herding breeds and presenting clinics and seminars. She is a judge for the United States Border Collie Association, American Herding Breed Association (my favorite venue), American Kennel Club, Bearded Collie Club of America, and the Collie Club of America. So she has seen it all! A number of LTC members take lesson’s with Shannon and knew to well that she has a 6th sense about what a dog is thinking and then translating it to herding. Historians may recall that Shannon had GSD’s in the past and was a LTC member years ago, well it was great to see you back on our field!

The demonstration had two of Shannon’s dogs, Border Collies named Mikki and Min, driving ducks through and obstacle course very similar to an agility course, made up of a tunnel, weave poles, a jump, and of course a water obstacle so the ducks could feel at home. I imagine that our Dearlove agility students felt at home as well watching the ducks being driven through the weave poles. Ducks were chosen over sheep for the evening because could you imagine the motorist reactions on Central Avenue observing sheep running around in Glenview ! The dogs were amazing as they drove the ducks through the course even with the audience being right on top of them. They maneuvered in and out of the crowd doing their thing while people remained very still. Good stay! Shannon then gave a synopsis of herding styles for different breeds and took questions. The questions ranged from very basic dog instinct for herding to training techniques for outruns, and away to me and comebye. After the Q & A, a number of us toured Shannon ’s dog mobile. What a truck, from the custom dog crates, to the battery and generator systems for the HVAC, Shannon ’s dogs home away from home. 

It was a cold evening so what better way to top the event off than with some piping hot beans and hot dogs. Served and prepared by our very own party planner, Lana Berger. Good stuff! So the evening transitioned to socializing. It was great to see some of our life time members return to the field. People discussed the evening’s events, shared their sparked interest in herding, and came to the realization that our agility and obedience programs started the following week. The event was our President, Dick Lane ’s idea. I had the pleasure of coordinating the event. 

If you’re interested in learning more about herding you can visit Shannon Wolfe’s website at www.magicslegacy.com. Shannon has lessons all week at Dead Oak Farm in Genoa , WI., which is about a 1-hour drive from LTC. The farm is ideal for lessons and herding trials. Shannon has sheep, goats, and ducks at Dead Oak Farm, along with Tony the Lama for keeping the coyotes away. There is an AHBA trial on June 26th and 27th if you would like to observe dogs of all levels work. Another favorite is the Stocktober Event to be held in October.

I hope everyone enjoyed our “Hot Dog and Herding” event and who knows, maybe we will have sheep grazing at LTC someday. It certainly would make Russell’s work a little easier!