A top trainer of farm dogs and their handlers will return to Wairarapa next month to share the trade she learned on the region's hills.
Anna Holland will host a one-day clinic near Masterton on May 6, demonstrating work with both trained and untrained dogs and talking about all stages of dog development from puppy onwards.
Ms Holland grew up in Auckland but fell in love with the farming life through yearly visits during school holidays to a distant uncle on a Martinborough farm. That uncle was Ian Nichol of Drumcairn, who was well regarded for his abilities with horses and dogs.
At the age of 21 Ms Holland was living in Gladstone, having left home at 17, and she spent the next 23 years shepherding in Wairarapa before moving to Manawatu and later Taihape.
Ms Holland became a renowned breeder and trainer of farm dogs and trial dogs, and she continues to train her own dogs and holds training days for farmdog handlers.
As something of a dog whisperer, Ms Holland has written a regular column on dog issues. She has featured on New Zealand's iconic rural TV show Country Calendar and has a passion "to improve the wellbeing and overall care of farm dogs, and to help people have a greater understanding of these two truly remarkable breeds of dog".
Ms Holland's workshops are practical demonstrations but she asks participants not to bring their own dogs, but rather to learn through instruction and observation, with a take-home booklet available only to participants which will reference the day's lessons.
More information and contact details are on the website annaholland.co.nz.