Nottingham Shilohs, Gentle Companions for Everyday Life.
Nottingham Shilohs, Gentle Companions for Everyday Life.
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Nottingham Shilohs - A herding we will go ...
On November 8th and 9th, 2009 Tuck and Willow competed in a herding trial at Keepstone Farms in Berryville, VA. It was a good weekend for Nottingham Shilohs as Tuck received his first ever trial level title, the HTAD-1s. To make the weekend even more special Willow received her JHD-s. Tuck is the second Shiloh Shepherd ever to have completed his AHBA - Herding Trial Arena Dog “HTAD 1” title.

Tuck is no stranger to sheep — or woolies as we like to call them. Tuck and I started herding training in 2002 with a group of Shiloh Shepherds and their owners. As a local Shiloh Shepherd club we decided we wanted to get recognized by the AHBA (American Herding Breed Association) as a herding breed. In order to accomplish this we needed five or more shilohs to achieve their JHD testing titles within a two-year time frame. Once we all tried it we were up to the challenge.

Tuck fell in love with herding from the first day we tried it. It kept his interest and I could see he was using his brain along with his stamina and presence in order to move the sheep. He really excelled at herding. He quickly obtained both the HCT-s and the JHD-s. His achievements, along with the four other Shiloh Shepherds doing the same, the breed became recognized by the AHBA. Tuck and the other four Shiloh Shepherds became known as the “Fab Five.” The Fab Five will forever be a part of the breeds history for what they accomplished and Nottingham Shilohs couldn’t be prouder or more honored to have been a part of that.

Even at close to 10 years of age Tuck still love to “get the woolies.” He is in training now to compete in the HTAD2-s sometime in the near future. He hasn’t slowed down, but he has become a wiser in the way he herds the sheep. Tuck has learned with his on-going training and experience that he can turn the sheep in the direction he wants them to go with just a slight move of his head. It is amazing to watch all of our hard work pay off and to see how happy he gets when he is out playing with the sheep.

Willow started herding so we could keep her active and build up the muscle tone in her hind end. At first she wasn’t so sure about the sheep but realized quickly they were great fun to chase. After several lessons we had Willow at a point in her training where we thought we could compete with her. We entered her into a trial and on the first day she qualified and earned the first leg of her JHD. We returned on the second day of the trial and she did spectacularly well and we were able to completed her JHD title all in one weekend. We are now in training to attempt her first trial level title with AHBA, the Herding Trial Arena Dog (HTAD1). Hopefully we can accomplish that sometime in late 2009.

We am so proud of Willow. She was given up because of the poor condition her hips are in and yet she runs and tries to get the woolies as if nothing is wrong with her. To see her running on the course with the sheep is an amazing sight, it just goes to show how with dedication and hard work you can accomplish anything. Willow inspires us daily with her outlook on life, her willingness to please and her ability to try just about anything we ask of her.

All of our dogs at Nottingham Shilohs have tried herding at one point or another. Willow and Tuck have taken to it the best and we focus our training on them as they seem to enjoy it the most as well. Much has also earned his HCT title from AHBA but prefers to stay at home, or meet everyone at the trials as opposed to working with the woolies. We will continue to train as long as our dogs enjoy it and strongly believe in supporting herding by introducing other Shiloh Shepherds to the sport. There really is nothing quite like watching your dog turn on to the sheep and harness their natural instincts.

In 2002, an organization known as Capital Area Shiloh Shepherd Association took it upon themselves to apply a concentrated effort toward achieving recognition with the American Herding Breed Association. The final qualifications required by AHBA called for five or more Shiloh Shepherds to obtain Junior Herding Dog Titles, or better, within a specified two- year time frame.

Shiloh Shepherd Rescue Misty on her journey.
Three of the original “Fab Five” Shiloh Shepherds. (l. to r.) Trainer Susan Rhodes, Marti Nottingham and Tuck, Linda Williams with Faith and Audrey Harrison with Wolf.
These special Shilohs were destined to become known as the "FAB FIVE", and are now part of the Shiloh Shepherd’s breed history:

• Hilltops-Nottingham Friar Tuck
• Zion’s Spirit Of The Skywolf
• Zion’s Faith Of Mystic Morn
• Dibby Hill’s El Cid Of MDSSK
• MDSSK’s Amphissa Maxima

Have further questions or just can’t find the information you’re looking for? Contact us, we’d be happy to speak with you.

NOTTINGHAM SHILOHS  •  MARTI NOTTINGHAM  •  Member ISSDC  •  TSSR Registered  •  Lovettsville, VA  •  703.909.2984
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