Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hopwood Border Collies, Rodney Hopwood

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with talented a Ranch Dog Trainer.  During these visits not only have I learned about starting and training Ranch Dogs but also got to know an amazing family a little better.  Today, I would like to share with you some of the knowledge I picked up and a little bit about, Hopwood Border Collies!
Thank You so much to Rodney Hopwood for taking the time to work with my dog and I. Also, a huge thank you for taking the time to visit and let me share Hopwood Border Collie’s with my Rodeo Tales and Gypsy Trails friends!

Rodney Hopwood was raised in Buhl, Idaho and started ranch work at a young age.  Growing up he had been around a few Ranch Dogs that were good help.  He even owned a few that were pretty good inspite of their owner’s lack of knowledge.  Rodney would later come across some ranch Dogs that were not only good dogs but they were trained well.  He began to see the potential in the dogs he had and the talents that he had yet to tap into.

Q: When did you first get interested in Training Ranch Dogs?
A:  My  First Clinic~ CSI had a clinic in conjunction with the fair featuring Patrick Shannahan.  I went down to check it out and see if it was something I would even be interested in.
“I saw what a Border Collie was supposed to be doing.  There was more potential there than I was using or even trying to use.”

R.L. Alexander & Ben Means Training Books Available to purchase
Q:Role Models in the Industry?
A: Ben Means and R.L. Alexander. 
Both Men have had a huge impact on the type of dogs I like and the try to raise.  They have sculpted who I’ve became as a dog trainer.

Q: What inspires you?
When I started cowboying, I ran into individuals that were much more talented than I.  They were extraordinary.  They understood how to move livestock.  That INSPIRES me to make myself better.  A better cowboy, striving to master STOCKMANSHIP and learning how to handle the situation regardless of what is thrown at you.  The more you learn, the more there is to learn.  It goes as deep as you want to go with it.

Hopwood Border Collie Accomplishments:
Hopwood started attending the Red Bluff Bull & Gelding : Stock Dog Sale in 1996.  The sale is an exclusive event by invite only.  It features the best of the best and top of the line trainers.  Since that time he has Won Four Titles and placed very well every year. 

Q: Do you have a Favorite Dog?
I’ve had several extraordinary dogs.  I know what I like.  Every dog I’ve ever had I could see a short coming in.  Some the favorites come down to personality and time spent.  You develop a bond with them.  The worst thing about a Cow Dog is their life span isn’t as long as a humans. 
Q:What do you look for in a dog prospect? 
A:First and foremost: A dog that WANTS to WORK.  A dog that wants to go to the head and bite.
A dog that will also heel is bonus.
When Buying a Puppy: When buying a younger dog, age 10 month to a year pedigree and bloodlines mean a lot.  If I can see their parents work that is good too.  If I am buying for breeding stock, I’m only interested in specific bloodlines.  
Hopwood Border Collie: Tomas, a 4 month old Male
He is the last available from the pup from this batch.
I had the oppurtunity to watch him during my visit.  What an amazing young pup.
If would like to BUY a Hopwood Border Collie Rodney has one pup available right now for sale.
Lil' Red Roan: Questions from Readers: 
How do you set up a Dog Trial at your local fair?:
Contact your fair manager to see if a Time Slot is available. 
Facilities: Pens to hold cattle and enough stock to facilitate entry’s
60 head or so of cattle if you have 20 entry’s.  Most use 3 head of cattle per dog.
You will also need a contained area like an arena, pasture, or panels. 

How do you get a dog to bite instead of bark?
Usually barking is a sign of fear.  There are ways to encourage and exercises to build confidence.
If you’re dog is barking, you might need to consider your blood lines and what traits you are looking for in a prospect. 

What age should you start a Corgi?
Having limited exposure to Corgi’s I’m not an expert in that area.  My pups I typically start at 8 months or older.  You could go to ducks or goats earlier but for cattle stay with the older ages.  At an older age they are Physically they are more mature also and can take more.

Woodrow the Corgi, working on Balance

How do you replace an irreplaceable dog?
When looking to replace a dog you just have to start looking.  Look for traits that you want in a dog.  If you have a lot of work for a dog you should consider having more than dogs on hand.
If would like to BUY a Hopwood Border Collie Rodney has one pups available right now for sale.

What about Kelpies:
I’ve been around a few.   Half breed with Collies  more so.  They are similar to a Collie in some respects but have a little different style of herding.  They can be harder and more coarse in their actions than a Collie.  My recommendation for any breed of dog is find what you want and look for those traits or bloodlines.  If you find someone with a dog you like, ask if they have pups for sale of where they got their blood lines from.
A good stock dog can work all kinds of livestock
Ducks are a great tool for fine tuning.

When should you Start Ranch Dogs?
At a young age you can start taking your pups with you on walks or to change water. 
I like to start with basic obedience like learning their name and when they come to you it is a good thing.
Introduce pups to dog broke stock at 8-10 months and start all over with your basics again.
To see more about a STARTING and TRAINING Ranch Dogs Click Here!

How to host or attend a Hopwood Border Collie Ranch Dog Staring and Training Clinic?
   You've caught the bug like me and want to learn more!  Host or attend a Rodney Hopwood Starting and Training Clinic.  Optimal clinics are a night oreniatation with a following 2 full days of class.  12 students are the recommended class size.  Contact Hopwood Border Collies for more information.

Contact Hopwood Border Collies:
Rodney and Carol Hopwood
Phone: 208-421-2098
  Fan Mail:
2971 N 3600 E
Kimberly, Idaho 

Thank you again to the Hopwood family for letting me spend the weekend with them.  Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and time.  It was an pleasure and I learned so much!  Hopefully, I can return again soon. 
Thank YOU for traveling the gypsy trail with me today.  Hope you enjoyed getting to know Hopwood Border Collie's.  Hope to see you soon down the trail~ Mindy
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  1. Nice post and fantastic interview - lots to take notes on! Thanks for sharing, as always.

    "The more you learn, the more there is to learn. It goes as deep as you want to go with it." ...some wise words I am able to understand more now that I would have just a few short years ago. It's funny how the more time you spend with animals, the more you are able to learn about yourself...

  2. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! So glad you enjoyed this post. I really enjoyed getting to visit with Rodney and the knowledge that is available is amazing! Couldn't agree with you more! Thanks again, Mindy