The Western region of NSW makes up 40% of the state with much of the country being utilised for agriculture. With such vast areas of land that are often run by small family businesses the challenges of managing the area can often be extreme.
The Louth Chamber of Commerce had become aware of Landcare groups surrounding them undertaking working dog training schools and were hearing great reviews on how effective the schools were in developing skills to better utilise dogs in the paddock and yards. They identified this training as a great method to increase numbers in their working teams and develop skills to better utilise dogs for sustainable land management.
The group then sought the support of their Local Landcare Coordinator to seek out a trainer and available funding to support the training. The Local Landcare Coordinator developed a partnership with House With no Steps and gained funding through their Australian Government Drought Assistance Package. The Louth Chamber of Commerce and Landcare Coordinator decided on a trainer and established a two day course that would be held in the July school holidays.
The impact of this event was far greater than anyone involved in the training thought possible. Although working dogs may seem like a small aspect of farm management when used effectively they can make a significant difference. The land managers involved developed a great array of skills over the two day training that they all felt would benefit them in using working dogs as part of their land management. Participants felt they developed confidence, were more eager to be involved in stock work and determined ways they could use dogs to ensure stock were not being left in paddocks or stressed out in the yards. This ultimately meant that a large portion of land in the Louth area would be better managed as stock were less likely to be left behind to over graze a paddock.
For more information and PDF download please visit: https://landcare.nsw.gov.au/groups/Western_landcare/engaging-with-mans-best-friend/