I'm Robin Nuffer and I grew up on a third-generation cattle ranch near Cascade, Idaho, where border collies helped herd and trail the cattle. Since then, my life has revolved around them in every way.
When it comes to working cattle—whether it’s in a feedlot, sale yard, in the mountains, or on a ranch—there’s no better partner than a well-trained dog.
There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not in awe of what a cowboy and his dogs can accomplish. They love what they do and are always happy to please.
There are times when I just sit on my horse after I've cast the dogs out on the range. I sit motionless, just the breeze sifting through the grass, as I watch them work the cows.
It’s amazing, unbelievable, impressive. WOW!! They’re fast, smart, and never tire. It’s amazing how quick they are. How they can go from a full-out run to a dead stop, crouching in the grass, in one step. They are able to move the stock with a look, with just their presence. But when confronted with a stubborn batch these dogs don't blanch at the chance to show them who's boss.
I always had dogs growing up on the ranch, and they helped me a lot. But it wasn't until I saw my first sheep dog trial—“poetry in motion” is the best way to describe it—that I thought how I’d love to have my cattle dogs do what those sheep dogs were doing.
So I went to some clinics, read some books—sometimes two or three times—and applied what I learned to my knowledge and experience of handling cattle. Before long, my first trained dog was out there in the pasture, working beautifully. I was in heaven.
There’s a lot to love about what I do and where I do it. I love teaching people what I know: how to train their dog to become the second-greatest asset to a ranch (after their owner) with a lot less stress. I love showing a trained dog to a rancher and watching their eyes light up as I take them through the cycle. I love helping them learn to work the dogs to their highest potential.
I live in Mesa, Idaho, where I raise three girls. I train dogs for a living and put them to work on several ranches here in western Idaho. They all get real-world training in handling cattle in all aspects of ranching, including trailing behind a horse—like mine--all day when we don’t see one cow.
For me, it's the best job in the world. My office is my saddle. My cell phone is a whistle. My employees never call in sick. I feel very blessed and fortunate to do what I love: Spend my days working with great dogs!
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