Tee Creek Info
I just wanted to pop off a note to say how much I enjoyed the Introduction to Herding Clinic at Tee Creek yesterday (May 14). Watching you work your dogs was inspirational to say the least. I did things yesterday I never thought I would do plus I had the added bonus of being in a very warm and welcoming environment. My dog and I learned so much we were both mentally exhausted by the time we reached home I have never seen him like this it really had a calming influence and I believe has strengthened our relationship. I look forward to returning to Tee Creek to participate in the herding classes.
Thank you again for a wonderful experience. It was a pleasure to meet you, Dave and all the rest.
— Diane Davies and Coco
I have been taking both private lessons and group classes from Kathy for 2 years now. I started with a 2-1/2 year old dog that, while he and I had attended many competitive obedience classes, was not a dog I enjoyed living with. Everything came down to an argument between us with that old chestnut of "show him who's alpha". Kathy changed the relationship between myself and this dog from combative to companionship. Rather than labeling him as aggressive or dominant, she was the first one to accurately read his problem as lack of confidence in himself and in my ability to lead. While I will never have quite the relationship I could have had had I started him with Kathy as a puppy, we now enjoy living and working together - something I thought would never happen. My dog has become the dog I had hoped for!
I started my next dog as a puppy with Kathy and what a difference in relationships. We have total trust and confidence in each other. Thanks to Kathy's methods, she retains the high spirited and happy outlook on life that I love about her, yet she is willing and eager to do whatever I ask of her.
Neither of my dogs are "traditional" breeds (one is a Beauceron and one is a Miniature Bull Terrier) but Kathy does not have that "this breed can't learn to do such-and-such" mentality. She has no breed prejudice or preconceived notions of what a breed should be like. She looks at each dog as an individual and accepts them for what they are and for whatever limits each dog may have. Then she teaches the owner how to do the same.
Kathy has an extremely rare talent - she truly reads and understands animals. Many instructors think they can, but they are just see the signs a few beats before the average owner can. Kathy reads the subtle signs - shifting of eyes, flick of ears, ever so slight movement of the head - things I have never seen any instructor be able to read. This is why Kathy is so successful in helping her students.
It is disappointing that other instructors will at one point or another have you correct your dog. Whether it is disguised as a "motivational pop" or is simply "he knows this by now so it is ok to correct him", it is still a cause of friction between person and dog. This method did nothing to help my relationship with my dog and I am sure it contributed to making it worse. Kathy's version of a correction is the purest form of positive training - she merely withholds what the dog wants! The result? The dog becomes willing to work twice as hard for the owner. The best part? The dog is choosing to work so there is no friction between dog and owner that carries over to the day-to-day part of the relationship.
As you can tell, I am a HUGE fan of Kathy's and highly recommend Tee Creek Training Center. There are instructors closer by and there are better known instructors, but there is no one with Kathy's level of expertise. She is, quite simply, The Best. All you have to do is watch her with any of her dogs for five minutes and you can see the incredible level of training she achieves.
— Janis Kidd, Buffalo, NY
I will never be able to express enough appreciation to Kathy and Dave who, with lots of encouragement, patience and knowledgeable advice, enabled me, middle aged and somewhat physically challenged, to fulfill a childhood dream.
As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by and madly in love with dogs, border collies in particular. Although we always had dogs in our home while I was growing up, we did not have the space or time for me to get involved with the breed. As a young adult, I was an apartment dweller and therefore unable to have the companion I really wanted. Five years ago the opportunity presented itself to become a home owner and 6 months later my first border collie.
Although I had done lots of research and thought I understood the breed, I soon found out I had an overactive and single minded intellect inside an overactive and single minded 4 legged body that I loved but did not have enough knowledge to understand. Since we both wanted to participate in herding and he couldn't communicate the book that was already in his head, I started looking for a trainer. My search took me to TeeCreek as they were beginning their training career. I went for a visit to check the place out and watched a training session. I was immediately struck by Kathy's thirst for knowledge and what can only be described as an amazing gift of animal telepathy as well as Dave's encouraging hospitality and training style. I was hooked. I recognized this was my chance and these were the people who could help me.
Maddie and I spent many training sessions in the beginning, him the predator, me the goalie. Kathy's inexplicable connection and ability to translate his behavior and our relationship led us to move out of the herding ring to find a means to harness and focus his energies while teaching me my role in this team. Who would have thought flyball and clicker behavior training would be the answer to my herding dilemma? Kathy did and she couldn't have been more right.
Lots of hard work, fun and frustration and a year later I realized my lifelong dream. With his first few flyball awards and several fun behaviors/tricks under both of our belts, I stood with tears streaming down my face while my boy and I were handed the score sheet qualifying us for our first leg on an AHBA herding title in our very first trial. Since that time we have advanced, earned more flyball titles, learned more tricks and completed our first AHBA Ranch Dog title. We continue our training at TeeCreek adding one of Maddie's sons and a Corgi to my personal herding team as TeeCreek has added/improved facilities and livestock to theirs. It is not unusual to witness handlers herding or partaking in a variety of other dog sports balancing themselves with canes or from scooters, Dually's gator or lawnchairs. The atmosphere is such that no matter the skill level or personal challenge (dog or handler), students become involved in encouraging and learning from one another in triumph and/or failure. As a successful manager in the service sector for over 25 years I appreciate this team effort approach. I know how important the smallest success or the lessons that can be learned from the worst failure are as positive human motivators and continue to witness the power of animals as companions, teachers and healers in our lives.
If I had to sum up my experiences to date, I have learned the following:
I intend to stay young playing with the TeeCreek family and encourage anyone who is interested in the same to check out their positive, honest approach to a shared learning experience and above all, fun relationship with any animal and/or human companions.
— Sharon Arthur; St. Catharines, Ontario
Nemo and I just returned from TeeCreek Dog Training located just outside Niagara Falls, Ontario. Great place! Kathy and Dave truly know how to "do" sheep. They've got feeding and moving stock about down to a science and their herding stock is top notch.
Kathy's smooth black/white BC, Dually, stock handled (and more) all weekend. He helped out in every feasible way, including helping some shy dogs gain confidence on sheep. He did it in high heat, blazing sun, and on hot ground.
I accomplished something with Nemo, too. As you know, Nemo has been too tough on ducks to work them at home, in part because we just don't have a good facility for duck work with a speedy puppy. Since Kathy has a great round pen for ducks (not to mention 40 nice dog-broke ducks to work), I asked if I might take advantage of it to work Nemo on ducks after the clinic.
We started out pretty badly - feathers flew and my rake seemed to be on him more than it was off. It wasn't going well at all until my brain's light bulb flashed on and I remembered his newly aquired slowdown command. I used it and everything suddenly got pretty! He slowed to a slow trot and walk, moved around the stock, changed direction, did it again, and we quit. Was I ever pumped!!! I have a potential duck dog afterall. A new round pen will be going up in Kentucky very soon.
— Lana Mitchell Horton, Clicker Herding Clinic Instructor