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Herding Camps Find a Dog's Natural Job

The Scoop: City Dogs Get Back to Their Roots

I think I watched City Slickers – a movie about a bunch of city folk out in the country herding cattle – about a hundred times, not only for the animals that were a big part of the film (Norman!) but also because I thought it would be awesome to head out on the trail, herd some cattle, and get away from the city for a few weeks. It's still something I need to check off of my "to do" list!

If you were a fan of the film too, then you'll totally see why specialized herding camps for dogs are becoming more popular, and are just as cool. On a ranch just outside of Los Angeles, owner Janna Duncan has started a trend, taking city dogs and working them into great herding dogs:

“It really, really seems to center the dog and give the dog a sense of confidence and fulfillment, a good assertiveness, a good energy.”

Thankfully, I did some pretty heavy research regarding dog breeds so, even before I picked him out, I knew that North would make a sweet city slicker himself. Boston Terriers can do well in apartments and cities, and make great companions. But some pet owners don't know that different breeds come with different temperaments, and aren't always made for city life. To find out more about the breeds and camps, just


Unfortunately, some dogs like Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and even Rottweilers were bred to herd, and when stuffed into small city apartments, they can get restless. But thankfully, Janna recognized a need for an outlet and opened her ranch for daily training sessions to turn your city pup into a full blown herder. And she's open to all breeds, not just the naturals – one of her past clients included a four-pound Yorkie! Now that's impressive. Since camps are popping up across the states, would you send your pooch to a herding program if it opened near you?


Join The Conversation
wren1 wren1 9 years
I wouldn't have my dog do it. He's an Italian Greyhound, so he might just run off at 30 miles an hour, but a friend of mine has a Border Collie who constantly herds all the dogs at the dog park. She would love this!
Phasekitty Phasekitty 9 years
My mom has a border collie/shih tzu mix who really just looks like a miniature border collie. He runs around the house nipping your ankles to try to herd you- it's so funny! He's got a huge backyard and house to play in, but I bet he'd love to be able to herd some real animals instead of just my mom!
Rally-RE Rally-RE 9 years
both my aussies have been herding. while neither shows enough natural instinct to actively compete, getting them out for an afternoon to do what comes naturally is great. and, they are definitely not an apartment dog - they have unlimited energy and stamina. the more room you have for them, the better.
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