Finding My Way to Herding
I'm Shannon Wolfe and I feel very fortunate to be able to tell you that I simply love what I do for a living!
I call my job “dancing with dogs”. It's like a ballet when you work with your dog as a partner -- they bring their skills to match your own skills and direction. Freely working together like this is a unsurpassable joy!
My love affair with animals began as a child with horses and dogs. Many years of riding led to ownership of more than 100 horses and management of two stables. My constant companion during those many horse years, was a long haired German Shepherd by the name of Magic.
After urban sprawl eventually squeezed out those stables, I began working for a veterinarian with both large and small animals. During this time I began training my first obedience dog, Burlington, a German Shepherd. Together we began competing and I went on to win multiple obedience titles, not only with Burly, but with several other dogs as well.
After five years experience as a vet tech, I took a job with one of the top dog trainers in the Midwest who specialized in problem dogs. I was given one of those "problem" dogs, Secret, and she became my introduction to Border Collies. We fell in love. Attending a sheepherding clinic for Border Collies ignited a passion in me for the ultimate training challenge.
After training and competing in Border Collie trials as a hobby for several years, in 1990 I shifted my passion into a full time business. I started training all sorts of the various herding breeds and their handlers for sheepherding trials, work on actual farms, and waterfowl management. The success of this training and the enthusiasm of my students have resulted in top herding awards for many dogs and handlers alike.
Defining a Good Dog Trainer
My definition of a good dog trainer is someone who knows how to get the dog to want to do what you'd like him to do.
The success of this philosophy can be demonstrated by the hundreds of students and dogs I've worked with who have started out as green beginners and have worked to earn one accomplishment after another. Scores of my students have gone on to compete at the highest levels in various herding competitions. Many people have not competed, but gone on to have a fuller partnership and understanding with their dogs. I've also worked with many advanced handlers who come to me to get that extra edge they need for competition.
With ALL my students, the number one priority is to enhance the relationship they have with their dogs so they can both gain the confidence and skill to move in the right direction.
Since 1990 herding has been my life's passion:
Training all breeds of herding dogs to work stock for:
Competition in all venues
Working dogs for farms
Working dogs for fowl management
Instructor of handlers for all herding breeds
All levels from beginner to advanced competition in many venues
Raising my own sheep, and ducks specifically to work with dogs in training
And becoming a good stockman and shepherd to my flocks
I am a recognized Judge for the following organizations (both current and past).
AHBA - American Herding Breed Asociation
AKC - American Kennel Club
BCCA - Bearded Collie Club of America
CCA - Collie Club of America
PWCCA - Welsh Pembroke Corgi Club of America
USBCHA - United States Border Collie Handler’s Association
Titles and Wins include:
Multiple USBCHA Trial Open Class Wins
Multiple Qualifying Dogs for the USBCHA Nationals both in Open and Nursery Classes for many consecutive years.
Australian Shepherd Club of American “Working Trial Champion” (WTCH) awards
AKC Excellent Titles and Wins
Multiple High in Trials on Sheep, Ducks, and Cattle in ASCA, AHBA and AKC.