Lamb Production

Training the dog trainer is focus of Hamilton workshop

Terry Sim, May 6, 2015

A unique working dog training workshop will be held in Victoria this month – focussing on the trainer rather than the dog.

It will be one of two opportunities sheep and cattle producers will get to learn more about training their Kelpies, Border Collies and other working dogs south-west Victoria this month.

Sheep producer, master Kelpie trainer and trialler Ian O’Connell will conduct a one-day working dog training workshop on Sunday May 17 on his Hamilton district property, to raise funds for disability service provider, the Mulleraterong Centre.

“There won’t be an opportunity for people to bring their dogs – if a lot of people come I could have dogs coming out my ears.

“I’ve titled it – How I train my working dogs,” Mr O’Connell said.

“It’s not about teaching dogs, it’s about teaching people to teach their dogs.

“Over my involvement with a lot of dogs over a lot of years and training those dogs myself, all I will be doing is demonstrating the method that I use to train a working dog.”

Mr O’Connell has consistently sold some of the highest priced Kelpies at the Casterton working dog auction and has won yard dog trials at state and national level. He has demonstrated working dogs at the Royal Melbourne Show and on Australia Day in Melbourne.

“This could be a bit different because we could touch on problems people might be having with their dogs, using my dogs to demonstrate how to overcome problems.”

Mr O’Connell said he had never seen two dogs the same.

“So if people were to bring a dog to the day that one dog might learn something, but every dog is different so it is about giving the trainer some tools to be able to apply no matter what sort of dog presents itself to them.

“It’s training the trainer,” he said.

“People ask me where would I find a good dog and I tell them you go and find a good handler and you will find yourself a good dog.

“It is people that make good dogs more than dogs being good dogs.”

The O’Connell workshop will be held from 9am-4.30pm at 396 Tarrington-Strathkellar Road, Hamilton. The cost is $50 and all proceeds got to the Mulleraterong Centre at Hamilton.

All meals are supplied with catering supplied by the Sprocket Rockets – the Mulleraterong Murray to Moyne cycle team.

Bookings are essential from: Ian O’Connell on 0417 088 569, David Ralston 0429 182 827 or Roger Lewis on 0409 724 934.

* Another dog training workshop will be held on May 23 and 24 by Macarthur district Kelpie breeder and farmer Barry Price. Owners are encouraged to bring their dogs to this two-day hands-on workshop that covers working dogs in shed, paddock and yard. Tea and coffee provided, but bring your own lunch. The workshops is held at 164 Dunmore Lane, Broadwater. Call 0428 764 233 for more information.



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  1. Kim brown, January 24, 2017

    My son wants to train our 4-6 month-old Kelpie pup to work with him on our dairy farm. Would your two-day course help? She wants to chase things and not come back. Editor’s note: Kim, contact RIST via email at [email protected], telephone (03) 5573 0943 or fax (03) 5573 0962 and they will tell you when the next course is scheduled.

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