Fifteen to 30 minutes a day a few times a week is all the time anyone needs to have a well-trained dog, regardless of breed, according to Warren Mick
On Saturday, Mick
dog, Dale, placed second in the open class at the Leatherstocking Sheepdog Trials.
The competition took place at the Robert F. Clark field on Beaver Meadow Road in Cooperstown
Mick is a retired General Electric engineer who lives in Altamont.
Twenty years ago he
began participating in sheepdog trials, and since then, it's become one of his
"We got [a border collie] from my sister, and it was just gonna be a pet," Mick
"And then I happened to meet a guy who was avid in competitions and training.
We were thinking of getting a second dog, so we got this second dog and it was a fairly well-bred dog, you know, from herding lines.
said, 'You've got this well-bred herding dog, you better train it.' That's how we got started."
Genetics is the most important quality to consider when looking for a potential competition Border collie, Mick
says, but temperament is also crucial.
"You want a dog that has a real stable temperament that can focus.
They're not distractible and also something you can live with," Mick
Cheryl Jagger Williams agrees with Mick
"You won't figure this out on your own," Mick
"Everybody that's doing it now learned it from someone else."
In fact, Mick
thinks it usually takes longer to train a person how to decipher the dog's and sheep's body language than it does to train the dog, which is about two years.