Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Saturday, April 30, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 17

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1/29/2014 2:00:00 PM
Local Sheepdog Wins National Herding Award

Bernie, an Old English Sheepdog owned by May and Erik Mitchell, of Alna, was recognized by the Old English Sheepdog Club of America as the Top Performance Old English Sheepdog in Herding at the Old English Sheepdog Nationals, Oct. 18 in St. Louis, Mo.

To earn this award, May Mitchell and Bernie's achieved scores throughout 2012 competition during from the American Kennel Club herding trials were measured against all other sheepdog and handler teams across the United States.

Handler Mitchell and Bernie train on sheep and ducks at Positively Best Friends, LLC in Edgecomb and are coached by Marcia Welch, a certified professional dog trainer.

Mitchell credits the methodical and fun training program with their success.

Mitchell said, "Marcia provides us with a strong foundation and the problem solving skills to handle a variety of situations. We don't just memorize courses, but are given the tools to respond to the ever-changing realities of working real livestock in dynamic and high-pressure conditions.

"The variety of the stock-work and Marcia's motivational methods make it fun for Bernie and me. We are both hooked on this sport."

Bernie is a wonderful ambassador of his breed and demonstrates that Old English are still capable of doing the work for which they were initially bred and developed.

He is the first dog Mitchell has trained, and he also has his Companion Dog competition obedience title, his Rally Excellent title, and is a registered therapy dog.

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