701-425-1079, 30864 113th Street, Mound City, SD 57646

Charlie Trayer

When David Dagley started training Annie, he bought Charlie Trayer’s DVD set, How To Train & Handle The Cowdog.
It was so helpful. Not only opening his eyes to the potential of what a cowdog could do, but also how to train one. Although David learned from all different sources, he used Charlie’s training methods as foundation for his training.

Charlie Trayer managed the Cottonwood Ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas for 40 years. He did nearly all the work himself, with the help of his Hangin Tree Cowdogs, and some good horses.

Charlie has retired from the ranch now and lives in south Texas. There, he raises, trains and sells Hangin’ Tree Cowdogs, “The Ultimate Cowboy’s Dog”.

Charlie has placed working cowdogs on ranches all over the United States plus Canada. He has offered clinics with his methods geared specifically for working cattle with dogs. And, of course, his DVD set: How To Train & Handle The Cowdog.


Meeting a Legend


So, we were very excited to attend the 4th Annual Hangin Tree Cowdog Futurity in the fall of 2018, and meet Charlie Trayer in person.
This is a video we took there of Charlie Trayer competing with one of his cowdogs, Trayer’s Bandit, in the Maturity Class.
Trayer’s Bandit is a Supreme Qualified, registered, Hangin Tree Cowdog.
Be sure to subscribe to the Dagley Ranch YouTube Channel to see more videos of Hangin Tree Cowdogs in action!

The Man Who Developed The Hangin Tree Cowdog

Gary Ericsson devolped the Hangin Tree Cowdog breed to be the cowboy’s ultimate dog.
These slick or short-haired cowdogs were originally bred by using a cross of approximately:
  •  1/8 Catahoula Leopard. (for their slick coat and their ability to trail, find, and hold up cattle).
  • 1/4 Australian Shepherd. (Hangin’ Tree Black Bear and was the only Australian Shepherd used. He won both the Idaho and Montana Stockdog Championships. Bear sold for $20,000.00. He had amazing courage and the ability to handle any kind of cattle).
  • 1/4 Kelpie. (For their endurance, short hair, and herding instinct).
  • And 3/8 to ½ cattle-bred Border Collie. (For their ease of training and handling, and their intense herding desire.)
This has resulted in a tough cowdog that can easily be taught to trail and find cattle. A tough aggressive dog that has the courage to stand up to and handle all types of cattle.
Gary Ericsson named the breed after his family’s brand–Hangin’ Tree.
You can read more about Gary Ericsson and the history of the Hangin Tree Cowdog breed here:
We have never met Gary Ericsson. Maybe someday we will have the honor.

Carrying on the Legacy


Charlie Trayer is one of the many cowboys who recognized what Gary Ericsson accomplished. Charlie took the breed that Gary developed, then bred the best to the best to carry on the breed.
Our heart is to carry on the legacy that Gary, Charlie, and many others worked so hard to pass down to us.
We want to selectively breed Supreme Qualified Hangin Tree Cowdogs. Then learn how to train them and use them the way they were originally meant to be used. A cattledog that is a gathering, retrieving, herding type dog.
We are deeply indebted to Gary Ericsson for the work he went to in developing the Hangin Tree Cowdog. And we will follow Charlie’s example and do our part to keep the Hangin Tree Cowdog  an amazing dog.
If you look at the bloodlines of our dogs, most of them trace back to Charlie Trayer’s bloodlines. And ultimately (like all registered Hangin Tree Cowdogs) Gary Ericsson’s amazing cowdogs.
You can see photos of our Hangin Tree Cowdogs here:
Thanks for reading,
-Susanna and David Dagley