A brand new, comprehensive online resource, dedicated to the training and handling of working stock dogs has been launched by Jamie and Mani Sturrock, of Craiglea Rural, near Dulacca.
The couple breed working Border Collies and performance horses under the Craiglea prefix and are working hard to build their own numbers of cattle and sheep.
Jamie has been breeding, training, working, and competing with his dogs for his entire working life.
He is a keen cattle dog trialler, and has won multiple state and national championships, most recently winning the 2022 Australian Open Cattle Dog Championship. In recent years,
Jamie and Mani have been successfully running regular working dog schools.
Over the demand for these schools has grown past their current ability to keep up.
"What gives me the most credibility in the working dog industry as a breeder and clinician, is that I genuinely use my dogs every day as part of my living," Jamie said.
"If I was to give up my day job to do more working dog schools, I lose some of the credibility that got me to where I am in the first place."
Jamie works full time as a commercial cattle manager for Tom and Alex Nixon of Devon Court, near Drillham. The Nixon brothers operate a mixed farming operation which includes 2000 head of stud and commercial cattle, and dryland grain production.
"There seems to be a skilled labour shortage developing in agriculture, and the working dog industry is on the move," he said
"For us to help more people, without burning ourselves out, we had to get creative."
This led Jamie and Mani to produce and launch Working Dog Training Online, a comprehensive online resource, dedicated to the training and handling of working stock dogs.
"We have had this idea rolling around in our heads for several years," he said.
"We knew we had an excellent working dog training program through the feedback from our schools.
"But juggling full time employment, a young family, ten or more dog schools each winter, and the logistics required to produce and service an online resource we would be proud to present to the industry, proved a huge challenge!"
The Sturrocks decided to chip away at it, spending a few more years building credibility through their dog schools, while they learnt how to shoot and edit video, and how to build and host a membership website."
Working Dog Training Online is a membership website, where members subscribe monthly or annually for access.
The program is structured and easy to follow, containing video and written content, as well as whiteboard diagrams and theory.
"The thing about the successful training and use of working stock dogs, is that every dog is a little different, and every handler is a little different, in terms of their individual ability and their stock handling requirements," Jamie said.
Most resources available on the subject only show when things are going to plan, and in nowhere near enough detail.
"Our mission is to not only show you how to do it, but how to problem solve, with as many different dogs and scenarios as we can."
The initial launch of Working Dog Training Online has exceeded Jamie and Mani's expectations.
"We were confident we would get some level of interest, but this has literally made our training program available to anybody, anywhere, anytime, which is exciting.
We are very proud of what we have produced so far, but what is more exciting is knowing this is only the beginning in terms of what we intend to provide." www.workingdogtraining.online
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