Dusty Rose Farm

Herding at Dusty Rose Farm.




Introduction to herding
     Everyone’s journey into herding begins a little differently. Whether you want to do what your dog was bred to do, train for competition, or have a useful working partner, the requirements expected of the dog and handler have basic beginnings that can be built on step by step.
     Herding requires both the dog and handler to work towards a high level of control, consistency, mental focus and teamwork.  This journey can be very fulfilling and bring the dog and handler to an incredible bond built on mutual respect.

Initial herding evaluation
   An initial evaluation should be done to evaluate how your dog works and should includes a discussion about the basic training required for herding activities and methods used for training.  The evaluation should be done in a small area with calm sheep or ducks.  Sometimes the dog needs the owner in the area for confidence. 

    Contact Michelle to discuss lesson availability

Farm Rules
• Dogs should be leashed when not being worked.
• Clean up after your dogs unless a designated area is identified where this is not necessary.
• We have good neighbors.  Keep barking to a minimum.
• All dogs must be current on vaccinations/titers.
• Herding is an outdoor sport! You will probably get dirty!  You should dress appropriately and remember you will be playing in the poop and you may fall.
• Please Respect my Livestock.  I do not want my sheep or ducks harassed, abused or run excessively.  I am aware that in the beginning learning process some wrecks do occur and are normal.  Each lesson will be tailored to keep this to a minimum.
• Each handler is responsible for injury to livestock and/or damage to fences that occur when their dog is working. This can vary from medical expenses up to replacement of the animal, or repair of the fence/obstacle.


I got my first Australian Shepherd from the Humane Society 20 years ago and subsequently began going to herding clinics and learning all I could from many clinicians.  Over the years I have learned a lot about people, dogs and livestock.  I want to help those that are eager to learn this intricate dance, and keep learning from those that have knowledge and a knack for teaching.

I have been trialing in the ASCA, AKC and AHBA trial systems since 2000.   I have the facility now to help others grow in the herding world and give handlers an additional place to work on their skills.



Michelle Durkin
Mooresville, IN