"We've known for several years that we wanted a border collie and when the time was right my husband mentioned he had heard Denice and her dogs. With two small children we didn't want to get a dog from just any breeder or a shelter because we wanted to meet the parents make certain the dog would be a good fit for our children and active lifestyle. When we first met Denice and her dogs at the farm we knew that this was what we had been looking for. Denice wasn't going to let just anyone have one of her dogs - she worked hard to make sure each puppy was a fit for the owner. Denice was a pleasure to work with and has continued to give us advice and pointers on training our dog, Tuff. While Tuff isn't a "working dog" like most of his family, he is a very active dog. He does excellent in the car, on day trips, visits to the farm, and hikes. We wanted a dog we could take just about anywhere and Tuff is that dog. It was clear from the start Tuff was smart and not only willing, but wanting to learn new things. He continues to impress us with his ability to learn. I think Tuff has great potential and look forward to seeing him grow up with our children." Elizabeth & Ryan Holtkamp
Cora is the PERECT dog for me and the work I have. She is my first working Border Collie came to me trained. Denice and I talked for some time off and on over several months. Denice works hard to make sure both the dog and the owner along with the work FIT everyone. Denice continues to be available when I have a question or need some advice. - LINDA POOLE Montana
Denice Rackley has been a godsend to me and my farm with 65 sheep that we raise in Massachusetts. Prior to Denice, I was trying to do my shepherd work with the aid of a retired competition Border Collie. Our work was occasionally effective, but mostly frustrating.
Denice raises and trains her dogs to be working dogs on a farm or ranch which is a true difference. This is important work, work that needs to be done every day when raising and breeding livestock, ensures the stock are well cared for. Since Denice is a shepherd herself, she knows what it takes to get the job done. She breeds, raises, trains and uses dogs capable of doing the work associated with livestock management.
The dog that I purchased from Denice, Zeva a 3 yr old Border Collie, has taught me so much. I learn more every day about how to work effectively with her. The difference Zeva has made in my formerly unruly flock is truly amazing. The sheep now toe the line simply because they understand Zeva is ready and willing here beside me. I have such an appreciation for the breeding and training that went into making her what she is. The hours of raising her from a pup to hours of training then the practical experience of helping Denice with chores has made her such a valuable asset and a joy to simply be around. Zeva is an amazing dog that has made life here so much more enjoyable.
In addition to the training and experience Zeva come to me with, Denice has been available every step of the way to help when I have questions. If something isn’t going quite right within a couple minutes Denice comes up with a possible solution. From 1200 miles away she helps solve the problem with just ‘try this’. I had been going up the hill with Zeva, driving the sheep down to the barn. The flock spreads out some as Zeva pushes the last sheep down the hill since so go very willingly and others don’t. Those sheep that were first to the barn would be in and back out before we would get there. Then they would decide they really didn’t want to go back in. I told Denice this story, her simple solution was to wait till the entire flock was at the barn THEN open the door asking Zeva to bring the whole flock in together. Worked like a charm while relieving stress on all parties. I just needed to see the problem from the sheep and dog’s point of view like Denice does.
Zeva is my partner, I could not be without her on our farm.
Denice and Clearfield Stockdogs are the bomb!
Teresa Daignault - Ashford Heights Farm
"I have learned so much from Jack Knox that transcends sheep herding. I have learned to have a different--and better--relationship with all of my dogs."
"Denice put on an awesome clinic with Jack Knox. I would highly recommend anyone going to it. I learned so much. (And I have so much to learn!!). She has the perfect place to have a clinic. Different sized lots, nice big pasture blocks, and a round pen. She worked really hard to put on the clinic and it made it a great one. If you have a dog, travel and go there. There were folks from several states away and they said it was definitely worth the trip. I guarantee if you go once, you will be back. If you don't have a dog, get one. I'm so sorry for you. I wouldn't trade a good one for 10 rednecks on four wheelers. Mine saves me so many steps every day. It is so much better for the stock. They learn that the dog guides them to better things such as fresh grass and to water. In time, you will wonder how you lived without one. Denice's clinic is for everyone. There were rescue dogs there and some dogs had seen livestock only once. I appreciate how patient Jack is and explains everything so you can understand it no matter if folks have a lot of experience or none. It's amazing how many things in teaching a dog can apply to us too. Good stuff. I had a great time and will never forget it and you will do the same if you go. I promise you that."
--After Travis had been to his clinic and continued to work his dog at home ...
"I have been to one at Denice's place and I learned a lot. I would highly recommend going if you raise any kind of stock whether you have a dog or not. Once you go I guarantee you'll want one!! Jack is highly skilled at handling dogs and if you or your dog are having trouble working together he will fix it. I have even seen him take rescue dogs and make them herd sheep. After going my dog and I were able to do more herding than we ever have been. I use him to have sows, boars, and fat hogs now along with the sheep. None of it would have been possible without Jack teaching me new things and help me with what I was doing wrong. Take the time to go even if you are busy and I guarantee it will save you even more time as you move your livestock. It's worth every minute."
-- Travis is a sheep and hog producer/ crop farmer in northern Indiana. He has a flock of about 350 ewes that he shed lambs in the winter then pastures both hogs and sheep on farm ground which he double crops using the livestock to harvest one crop as they are rotationally grazed.