It could be argued that in the long term buying a ready trained dog the cost is in the region of £2000 – £3000 as an average but it can be suggested that it is the most economical method of obtaining a working sheepdog. By the way, you still have to know how to work it!
Semi- or part- trained dogs are favoured by some but this again needs to be carefully viewed by the complete novice. The animal could turn up with some unfortunate habits and intense training will be needed to bring the dog into your method of handling. Those ‘already trained dogs’ if purchased from a reputable establishment can start work straight away if you have already had experience of working a dog with sheep.
On the other hand a ‘farm gate dog might be limited on width of experience but good on depth. For example an unregistered dog might have the ability to gather a large flock of sheep and drive them to a yard but that is all. OK if this is all you need it to do. This dog, if able, would feel uncomfortable, if not down-right silly, squiring half a dozen or so sheep around a Trial field. But then there are some trials dogs that can do all ‘the clever stuff’ but would be flummoxed if faced with a flock of more than 20 sheep! Working a large mob would not be an option for this type.
Some further thoughts:
There have been cases where the old adage of the ‘tail wagging the dog’ has proved to the case and good dogs have trained their handler. But the reverse is so often be true! You spend a small fortune on your dog and then it does not come up to expectation and perish the thought that it could be YOUR fault! Could be, tho’!
A good dog can work with a mediocre handler but how much better if that handler has learned the ropes with a puppy using mutual trust and respect. Having learned to train your dog the difficult way maybe THAT is when you can treat yourself to a ‘posh’ dog! If you do decide to purchase a pre-trained sheepdog, I strongly recommend that you both attend some training to ensure you get the most out of your investment.
If you are interested in purchasing a part or fully trained dog, then pleases contact Caroline as below…