Gordon Watt Returns April 23 to 26, 2020

Mark your calendars for our next Gordon Watt clinic here at Heatherhope: Thursday through Sunday, April 23 to 26, 2020.

Gordon moved to the US from England several years ago. Before that he lived on the Isle of Man and was born in Ireland. He and his father before him were lifetime shepherds, and Gordon has […]

Say It With Your Body

“Lean on him!”

That’s what Gordon Watt used to say when I was working my young, excitable dog, Zac. It has taken me years to understand all that was bound up with that tiny bit of advice.

Gordon Watt (r) demonstrates how to get a dog in the “zone” with body language. Photo by John

We just completed […]

Another Snowy, Character-building Gordon Watt Clinic

It happened late last April. It happened again this Halloween. Our semi-annual Gordon Watt clinic here at Heatherhope Farm is getting to be the kind of thing that builds real character. It was in 1895 that we last had an October snow like this—with three or five inches of the stuff and a good stiff […]

Thinking of Death Surrounded by Life

On this sixth day of May, 2019, Connie and I have just come off of hosting a four-day, Gordon Watt-led training clinic for sheepdogs, and leading two days of sheepdog demonstrations at Kline Creek Farm in DuPage County. And like Lilli Von Shtupp in “Blazing Saddles,” let’s face it, we’re pooped.

At my age, and in […]

Sheepdog Demonstrations 2019

Sheepdog demonstrations show what working dogs can do. Photo by Sandi Scott

For all of human history there has been a bond between people, land, and animals. The Creator God has given us to each other. In spite of the industrialization of agriculture we all feel the need for to feel part of this circle […]

Watching Dogs in the Cold—Musings on the Widow’s Mite

This past Thursday through Sunday (November 1-4), Connie and I hosted our latest dog clinic, with Gordon Watt presiding as trainer and teacher.

I’m certain some people driving by on Airport Road on Sunday, spotted our little crowd of people, sitting in lawn chairs in a wind-driven cold rain, and wondered to themselves, “What the hell […]

Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 Gordon Watt Clinic

Gordon Watt, champion sheepdog handler and popular trainer of other handlers, has been an important part of life at Heatherhope for many years. Gordon is a lifelong shepherd and dog handler, following in his father’s footsteps, so his experience and understanding run deep. He has won singles and brace championships in Ireland, England, and the World Trials. He was US Reserve Champion on […]

April 25-28, 2019 Gordon Watt Clinic

Gordon Watt will return to Heatherhope Farm for a four day, all ability level, sheepdog clinic Thursday through Sunday, April 25-28, 2019.

Gordon has been coming to Heatherhope since 2007, and we have heard nothing but praise for the great improvements he facilitates with each dog and each handler.

Kathy Farkos works with Gordon Watt. Photo by […]

In Memory of Cap

In Memoriam

Cap ABCA 240965

Born 12/25/2003

Died 7/11/2018

By John Seraphine

As this is being written there is a newly empty kennel at Heatherhope. Our remaining six Border Collies, Bilbo the guard dog, and Connie and I salute our beloved Cap as we pass that empty space and remember the magnificent […]

Springtime Sprouts

Life has been happening fast at and around Heatherhope these days. Back in the hay field the alfalfa and grass that Chauncey II and III (or is it III and IV?) planted a couple of weeks ago are just minutely popping their little sprouts above the ground. We are eager for the rain that the […]