Press:  Barrow Journal Article, July 27, 2011




Gallups favorite Border Collie Cap waiting intently for his next turn working the sheep. Training border collies and other herding dogs is a family affair for the Gallups, who have been at it for several years.

Cap, a pure-bred Border Collie with excellent bloodlines is also Hank’s favorite dog, one of his competitors, his “Demo Dog”, for herding and obedience demonstrations and is, Gallups says, “real good at workin sheep.

...even though she’s not working the sheep right now. If there’s sheep to focus on, young MayBelle is there. Gallups said this is a trait of the Border Collie breed when there’s sheep around, it will be all work and no play.

Barrow’s Dog Whisperer

Gallups one of best at training herding dogs

By Lorin Sinn-Clark

Hank Gallups is a big, soft spoken man, kind eyed and humble, never seen without his signature cowboy hat. He is also a nationally known Border Collie trainer and breeder who trains other herding breeds and has clients come from miles away for his dog obedience training.

”It’s our family sport,” said Gallups daughter Dixie, a 2011 graduate of Winder-Barrow High School and Prom Queen, who will be a freshman at the University of Georgia this fall. ”I started working with dogs when I was six and I go with my parents to all of the dog trials. You meet people from all over I have a friend I keep in touch with who lives in England. I met him at a dog trial”.


Gallups favorite Border Collie, Cap, spends a lot of quality time with The Three Amigos, who Gallups trained to help dogs learn how to work sheep. The Amigos have been with Gallups for years and their names are:Peanut Butter, Goober and Bread. (Gallups near-grown daughter, Dixie, named them when she was little.)

HANK GALLUPS In addition to being a nationally known Border Collie trainer and breeder, Gallups offers training for herding breeds on sheep and teaches obedience training. He also makes and sells his own sheep herding crooks (two types) and is locally (or maybe nationally) known as a spirited and humorous teller of great stories, some of them tall tales, but most wildly entertaining and true. Since the Gallups are a humble family, Gallups chimes in that, ”Dixie would never tell you this, but the Georgia Stock Dogs Association created a new Young Handler award because, at the age of 11, she did such a good job they wanted to give her an award, but didn’t have an official one to give.”

“I was the first one and am still the youngest one to get it,” Dixie said. ”The rest of the winners are all quite a bit older than I was.”

The Gallups family, including Hank’s wife/Dixie’s mom, Donna Sue, compete at dog trials around the nation two or three times a year. Hank said they used to go more,  but he has more fun working sheep, so has pretty much given up going after championships.

Make no mistake, however, Hank’s dogs come from championship blood lines and he has bred, sold and trained world champs.

When Dixie was little, Gallups had a dog named Jill. The dog was bought for her championship blood lines.

She produced many more champions, including the current World Frisbee Dog Champ, who is one of her great-great-grandsons.


Gallups said he got into raising and training top notch Border Collies because he had always trained dogs and always played music.

He grew up on a farm, working, eating, playing and resting side-by-side with an old farm dog and working with Border Collies reminds him of that kind of man dog bond, a relationship based on working together.

“It’s the relationship you have with the dog, he said. We’re working together and we both like that.”

Back in the late 90s, Gallups said, he realized there was something missing from my training, so my first thought was, I’d better start looking for a smarter dog.

A short while later he bought Laddie, who he chose for his bloodlines. Dixie, who was in the first grade at the time, remembers Laddie clearly. Not only was he a great working dog, he was a loving companion who earned lots of ribbons in many dog trials and also fathered two grand champions.


In addition to being a nationally known Border Collie trainer and breeder, Gallups offers training for herding breeds on sheep and teaches obedience training. He also makes and sells his own sheep herding crooks (two types) and is locally (or maybe nationally) known as a spirited and humorous teller of great stories, some of them tall tales, but most wildly entertaining and true.


Gallups calls a good working relationship between a human, a dog and some sheep as controlled intimidation  the sheep stay with the people because the dog’s the wolf.

He uses surprisingly soft, yet firm commands like: Lie down, Walk on, and That’ll do to tell the dogs what he wants them to do. Eye contact is also a big part of his communication with the dogs and they look to him raptly for guidance and direction.

“They’re like people,” Gallups said. ”You have to let them know when they’re doing right and when they’re doing wrong. I use the same tone to correct the dogs that my mama took with me when I wasn’t doing right; most of the time it worked on me and it always works on them.””

Gallups said he reads the dog I know what they’re thinking, so I know how to talk to them. If you tap into their personality, you can understand them.

Another technique Gallups uses is putting the pressure on by focusing his attention and body language intently on the dog. Once a dog handler or owner learns to do that, he or she can project it further and further, and, eventually, even from long distances, the dog understands what he or she is to do.

As a well-know dog behaviorist, Gallups has had dogs sent to him when it’s their last chance. Over the years, he said, only one has had to be put down and that dog just wasn’t right in the head. The rest of them ended up okay lot of times you have to fix them (repair, not spay) them before you can train them.

Gallups emphasizes the need for the human to take charge, which means he spends more time training humans, rather than their dogs.

“Humans take a lot more patience than dogs,” he said. ”I’m okay with that”.

“Dogs are followers,” he added, “not leaders. They don’t want to be in the driver’s seat. They’ve got to have somebody in charge; once you take charge, they’re relieved It’s like, thank goodness somebody’s in charge I’m a dog!”


Their reward is getting to work, Gallups said. Nothing makes them complete except work. That’s what they’re bred to do and that’s what they love to do. They don’t do this for treats, they do it because they were born to do it  it’s their instinct.

That means, Gallups said, the challenge in training any of the herding breeds is training the instinct not the behavior. That’s difficult for most people to master, so, he said, training a herding breed to work cattle or sheep, or compete at dog trials, takes a big commitment mostly from the human involved.

“It’s like training for the Olympics,” he said. ”You have to be serious about it.”

Gallups trains dogs for sheep ranchers who need skilled, dependable working dogs. Two Border Collies he’s working with now, Lily and Buddy, are in training to go work 1,000 sheep on a Colorado sheep ranch.

“They’ve got a job to do and they have to be trained to do it right or somebody’s going to get hurt,” he said. “That’s serious business out there on the range.”

He also works with and trains dogs (and their owners) who will never compete, dogs that are pets or that may dabble in dog trails, but never get serious. Working, he says, just makes them much more balanced dogs, which makes them better pets.


In addition to taking on special clients and dogs and training dogs to work for people from all over the country, Gallups has a regular group of students he works with (canine and human) every Tuesday evening, near where he keeps his sheep on the working part of the William Harris Homestead.

Kathy Presley, who works at Emory University, brings her two Blue Lacys (a scent, sight and herding breed developed in Texas), Blue Chip and Pearl, from Atlanta so she can work them under Gallups watchful eye. She competes with them, mostly in blood scent trials, and says since they’ve been working with Gallups, she’s noticed a huge difference in how focused her dogs stay and how well they do in trials and competitions.

“Hank works with me and the dogs,” she said. ”He teaches me as much as he teaches them. He’s amazing.”

Matt Theibert, who brings his Border Collie Duncan from Lawrenceville on Tuesday evenings, said, ”Border Collies are very, very intelligent and they can use their powers for good or evil. They need a mental challenge like a dog Sudoku. For Duncan this is it. Since we’ve been working with Hank, he’s a better pet and a much happier dog. We’ve formed a bond now Duncan and I are on the same page. Before I started working him with Hank, that wasn’t the case. Hank’s awesome. He knows what to teach you, so you can do better with your dog.”

Gallups said most of his students work with their dogs and compete in dog trials as a hobby. Once they start working with him, they begin winning first, second and third place ribbons, which, he said, makes him proud of all of them. (human and dogs.)


Gallups dogs are, of course, great workers, but, when they’re not on the job, most of them have great personalities, too. Cap, Gallups five-year old favorite, is so good at working sheep that he is the demo Dog Gallups takes to festivals, working demonstrations and the two work together at the William Harris Homestead every first and third Saturday of the month, when the farm is open to the public. Gallups also competes with Cap and uses him to work sheep.

”Cap’s a great dog in every way,” Gallups said. ”Except sometimes at night, when it’s rainy and muddy after he comes in for the night, he needs his hug. That dog won’t go to sleep without a big hug from me and sometimes that gets pretty messy.”

Dixie’s current favorite is Shep, also a Border Collie long on personality, so she works and competes with him. Currently, the Gallups have two little Border Collie females, Louisiana and Maybelle, who they are working with, on indefinite owner loan.

“We’re not sure yet if they’ll work as working dogs,” Gallups said. “But, they’re trying. When I leave the house without them, I turn dog trials on T.V. and they sit there and watch them, just like they were in the audience. I’ve never had a dog that stayed as focused on the T.V. as those two do.”

“Louisiana is also, the best new Dodge Ram hood ornament ever introduced,”  Gallups will proclaim, as he keeps Louisiana sitting at attention on the hood of his truck. ”I taught her to do that after she kept jumping up there, for no good reason, just to sit.”

Gallups also makes custom herding crooks with a ram’s horn top and an elaborately carved wooden staff. He sells them from his website, www.hankgallups. Com. “I’m one of the few people left who knows how to make these,” he said. ”They take so long to do that I have to charge $500-$600 for them, but if anyone wants one, I’m happy to go through the effort.”

For the more common sheep herding consumer, Gallups designed and now produces a graphite (herding) stick that is so light, he says, he gets orders from all over the United States and the world.

“I couldn’t find a stick I liked, so I started making these,” he says. “They really caught on. People think they’re talking to some big operation when they place an order, but it’s really just me.”

For more information about all things Gallups, go to or give Hank a call at 678-975-1531.


Not only has Gallups daughter, Dixie, been an award winning dog trial competitor for years, she was also this year’s Winder-Barrow High School Prom Queen. She will be a freshman at the University of Georgia in the fall, planning to major in historical preservation. Now that’s a diverse young woman and her Daddy’s more than just a little bit proud.


Blue Chip, a Blue Lacy (scent, sight and herding breed developed in Texas) belongs to Kathy Presley, who comes from Atlanta almost every week to work her dogs with Gallups. 


Gallups says Cap won’t go to sleep at night until he gets his daily hug, which on some muddy, rainy nights, can create quite a mess. And, on lucky days, Cap gets more than one hug.


And, wouldn’t have it any other way. This is young Maybelle learning her chosen (well actually instinct given) profession.