Jack Knox: Learning Life’s Lessons with Stock Dogs


New book by legend Jack Knox! 

In Jack Knox: Learning Life’s Lessons with Stock Dogs famed herding dog trainer Jack Knox retraces his steps from learning to use Border Collies to tend sheep as a lad in the border region of Scotland to becoming one of the foremost characters in the stock dog world in America today.  

Jack’s many notable accomplishments, like being inducted into the American Border Collie Association Hall of Fame, are overshadowed in this memoir…rather, it is his love for the dogs he has known and a genuine appreciation for what they have taught him in life that Jack humbly shares.  Above all, Jack’s unique approach to training herding dogs is revealed in this book—a special way with dogs seldom seen in practice that stresses freedom for a dog over the tight control tactics so frequently practiced with herding dogs today, especially the freedom for a dog to make mistakes and thereby learn to become a willing partner with a person when working stock.  

Join Jack as he journeys through a life with dogs that has brought him profound insights, great joy, and a distinctive approach to training that allows herding dogs to bloom to their best abilities.

Order the book at Homestead Press at the following link.


February 2019 Newsletter

Hello Everyone,
Once again the new year begins with a changing of the guard.    We seem to have come full circle.   Bob Salmon is our President for 2019,  Jerry Dunn is our Vice President,  and I am the Secretary.    Since 2004,  our group has sanctioned trials, workshops, and clinics.   The League strives to continue supporting quality trials and  experiences that will further the education of its dogs and handlers.     While our trials have dimished in numbers,  the goal is still the same.   Trials teach us the most!
Our members are encouraged to hold events for dogs and handlers in their respected areas.   These events are meant to encourage handlers of all levels,  and give new members an introduction to our group.   Novice and Open handlers alike have much to offer.    There are numerous training programs represented in the membership list,  and there is much to learn.   While each suggestion may not be right for you or your dog,  the information endless.   We hope to add information to the newsletter that will be helpful to our members.     If you have an experience,  question,  or just comments that you would like to share,  please send it to me.    I would like to have quarterly newsletters with helpful tips for our members.
There are several “lists” on facebook that provide useful information.  Novice and Beyond,  Slash J Stock Dogs,  A Judging Clinic, to name a few.     While I don’t encourage Facebook,  these lists provide discussion, videos,  and suggestions that will get you thinking if nothing else.    Farm Diggity,  Paddy Fanning (Churchmount Sheepdogs),  and CSJ have wonderful interviews and trial runs on Facebook and Youtube.  You will get to hear and see the top handlers in the World share their thoughts, and experiences.   You can watch dog and handler teams you have only heard of, compete in the top trials in the World.   Another tool in your toolbelt for sure!    Don’t limit your education.   Some times information will show you what not to do as much as what to do.  If you are unsure a good rule of thumb is to audit a clinic before you engage your dog.    This will give you a chance to see how the clinician trains, and if their methods are right for you and your dog,   It is never wrong to take your time!
Two other sources of very valuable information are the Purdue Sheep and Goat Facebook page,  (and website),  and the American Sheep Institute Let’s Grow Program.    I have personally participated in numerous webinars put on by these organizations.   They are FREE,  and provide  a variety of topics.  You can also revisit the information from the webinar at a later time.   I will try to let you all know when these webinars take place.
Our first Board meeting will be on Monday, February  4, 2019.   Please contact your area representative or a board member with any questions or concerns you have.    Plan an event in your area!   Have a workshop,  judging clinic,  or mock trial that will provide a learning atmosphere.    Our club can provide insurance for your event that will put you at ease.     The League is only as good as its members want it to be.
Stay warm,  safe,  and happy.   Spring is coming!!!!
Jeanne Irvin
SMSDL Secretary