Bogan Gate farmers and their trusty fourlegged companions were put through their paces at the Bogan Gate Sheep Dog School recently.
With funding from the Red Cross Let’s Talk Program and Parkes Neighbourhood Central, the Bogan Gate Memorial Hall hosted expert sheep dog trainer, Rick Jones of Jones’ Silver City Working Dogs.
Nine local farmers learned from Rick’s lifetime of experience breeding, training, working and trialling sheep dogs. Farmers were taught how to teach their dogs to balance stock, effectively use commands and how to bite and bark on command.
According to Rick the working dog is the most valuable tool a farmer can have. “A good dog is a dog that I can send over the hill and he’ll bring back whatever I want without being told what to do. If they could open and shut a gate there wouldn’t be much need for the bloke,” he said.
The farmers were suitably impressed with the skill and discipline on display from Rick’s dogs and the vast improvement in their own dogs. “I wish I had done this 20 years ago, there is a lot from this school I can take away when training my new pup,” said Chris Burke of Yarrabandai.
Anthony McIntyre of Bogan Gate felt the same. “I bought my young dog Rocky along who hadn’t had any work over the last 12 months and by utilising Rick’s training methods he is the dux of the class. Rick says he isn’t a magician but he is pretty close”.
“It is important for communities to band together during dry times and events like this help rural communities stay connected” said Peter Chapman of Red Cross.
For Parkes Shire Drought Relief Officer Roger Kitson the event was a great example of bringing the community together while at the same time learning some great skills.
By James Buchanan