Pepper Mint

Herding dog "farms"?

I have a Red Heeler, and her herding instinct is pretty strong. She gets daily exercise, discipline and structure and is well behaved but it is obvious that she needs to satisfy her instinct of herding.

I've seen "The Dog Whisperer" (Cesar Millan) take herding breeds to what seem to be farms of some sort where they allow herding dogs to come in and herd... for a fee of course. The dogs did not know how to herd and it wasn't for training, it was more of a release for them to fulfill their instinct to herd.

I'm unsure of what these facilities are called and after doing several internet searches for what I thought might help me find them, I have still been unsuccessful.

Is anyone aware of what these facilities are called so I can find one in my area?

Thanks in advance.

Asked by Pepper Mint on Apr 17th 2008 in U.S. West
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Look for people that offer herding training. Likely the places that you saw on "Dog Whisperer" were just doing Cesar a favor by letting him bring in a dog that wasn't trained to chase the sheep around. I do not know of any facility that would do that for the average person without a camera crew. But there are places that will offer herding classes, usually private lessons. Once the dog and handler are decently trained, you can then rent time with the sheep to work on your own.

But I don't know of any facility in their right mind that would just let an untrained dog come in and chase the sheep! hahaha

Google "herding dog training" or something similar. You can also search out breed specific organizations and they should have information on herding facilities. For instance, both of my dogs earned their herding instinct certificates under the Australian Cattle Dog Club of Canada, despite the fact that my dogs are Shelties.

Gio answered on 4/17/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Not sure where you are located, but there is definitely a ranch like this about 40 minutes north of Santa Barbara in CA. Two of my neighbors have cattle dogs and they board them there for a week each summer for a doggie vacation. They work and train the dogs and the owners can even camp onsite or do a "daycamp" session. From what they say, the place is so much fun for the dogs and they really come back refreshed, as if they have been on vacation. I think the mental stimulation is probably really satisfying for these dogs.

I will try and get the name of the ranch and email it to might be able to contact them for a referral closer to you if you're not near here.

Jack answered on 4/17/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


There are many places in the United States that offer Herding Instinct Tests as well as herding lessons for you and your dogs to get into the sport of herding.

A really good place to start is by opening Google and putting "dog herding" followed by the state you live in. This should give you a bunch of links with places that offer herding lessons or where trials are held. If you can find a trial in your area, you can attend as a spectator and ask around about finding an instinct test or a trainer.

Any dog has to go through a herding instinct test before you can start taking lessons. During the test, an untrained dog is brought into a pen with 3 or 4 sheep by the trainer, usually on a long leash, to see what the dog will do. If the dog is interested, the trainer will drop or take off the leash and start directing the dog using a stick or rake.

At that point, the trainer usually asks the owner to step in and direct the dog, and may suggest you sign up for lessons if your dog enjoys it

Abby answered on 4/21/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer