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Q. How did David learn how to train cowdogs?

A. David Dagley has loved dogs and owned at least one ever since he was little. But around 2015 he decided he wanted to get a really good cowdog, and learn how to train it to gather cattle.

He spent about a year reading articles and watching YouTubes, trying to decide which breed of dog he wanted. It was normal for him to spend at least a couple hours every week watching YouTubes and DVD’s of people training their dogs to work stock. (In fact, it is still normal.) He came across the Hangin Tree Cowdog breed and was amazed.

In February, 2017, David Dagley bought Annie as a pup from Schlegel Cowdogs. David continued to watch Youtubes and dog training DVD’s, learning as much as he could about training cowdogs as he trained Annie.
By the time Annie was five months old, we knew we had an amazing dog.

Annie enjoys working cows, and is a big help on the ranch gathering cows and bringing them to us. She often comes in handy because she can easily slip under a fence or block a gate as needed. Annie is trained to gather, move, and drive cattle in a controlled manner, listening to voice commands and whistle signals. Annie also enjoys all the attention she gets from the kids, and is a great family dog.

Then, David decided he wanted to try his hand at training more Hangin Tree Cowdogs. So, we bought another puppy, Spur.

Spur has learned the commands, and is a good dog. David has used him on yearlings, dry cows, and bulls. But he doesn’t have as much natural instinct as Annie, so he needs a little more guidance.

We realized that we wouldn’t be able to register Spur. So, we made up our minds that we would not use him to breed Annie. Our goal is to breed quality cowdogs. Spur will still make a great dog for someone. But we want to carefully select the dogs we breed. That way we do our part to keep the Hangin Tree Cowdogs an exceptional breed.

You can see photos of our cowdogs here:


Through all the dogs we have owned, we have learned that a good cowdog comes from both finding a good blood lines to start with, then learning how to train it correctly.

You can’t train a dog with no natural herding instincts to gather cattle. And you can’t just buy a dog with good blood lines and expect it to understand where you want it to take the cattle without training it properly first.

If you are interested in learning how to train cowdogs, here are some resources that might be helpful:




Thanks for reading!

-The Dagley Family

By the way, if you have questions you would like to see featured in our next Questions and Answers Blog, contact us. We would love to hear them!


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