ICE University

Training programs based on the Sims ICE Philosophy







The Sims Philosophy of ICE is based on three core principles which are ever present throughout any Sims Training Program.  Instinct, Connection and Enjoyment.


Know and understand a dog's natural behavior.  In most cases, you dog already "knows" how to herd.  This is instinct from  thousands of years when dogs were great hunters and herded animals for survival. Behaviors such as chasing and barking and biting are all natural. We cannot fight instinct and get good results. Instead, the idea is to recognize instinct, let it flow freely and use it to help improve the dog's performance.


Know this is a Team Sport. Your dogs sees you as a partner in this game and in their eyes, you are both bringing home the bacon! Your dog is bringing the sheep to you and connecting with you. Connect back. Protect your stock but allow the dog to work as freely as you can. Work in tandem with your dog.


Know this should be fun. So often, we are armed with a flag (herding tool) in one hand and a rattle bottle in the other, we walk around tensely and want to "train."  But remember, if you're first starting out, you don't know what the right way is yet. It can be frustrating for you and your dog. This brings us to the last point which is equally as important as the others. Your dog sees this as the greatest game on earth. Hopefully, you do, too. It should be enjoyable for both of you.

Whenever you see the ICE logo you can be assured that the teaching and training will be based on these core principles.  In addition, the ICE Certification Program enables everyone to certify at different levels, depending on your goals. Whether you want to be a facilitator, an instructor, or just want a formalized, comprehensive curriculum, ICE can help. 

 Copyright @2010 Dawna Sims All rights Reserved




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ICE Class Format

Each ICE class is comprised of a mixture of academic material, slides and various interactive exercises.  Each class is a "chapter" in what eventual becomes a comprehensive herding manual.


In addition to classroom instruction, we will include hands on experience in working around sheep and ducks (and, in some classes, cattle). Often when herding, there is so much to think about, it is hard to focus on everything. The more you can understand stock without having to worry about your dog, the more confident you'll be when all three of you are in the arena.


The ICE classes allow you to experience herding in smaller "bites" so when you, the stock, and your dog come together you'll be better prepared to progress in your training.  ICE 100 series classes are specifically formulated to not include the dog. While you will be given exercises to work on with your dog at home, the idea is to help you be better prepared for the time when you have the dog in the arena.

 Copyright @2010 Dawna Sims All rights Reserved


Class Curriculum ICE University


101 Introduction to Herding 102 Next Steps 103 Making the Connection


201 Starting Your Dog on Stock 202 Problem solving for the Beginning Dog 203 How Dogs Learn 204 Working with Ducks and Cattle 205 Introduction to Competitive Herding


301 Preparing to Drive 302 10 Steps to Driving 303 Leading from a Distance 304 Taking it to the Trial Arena 305 Building a Partnership


401 Stock Management 402 Competing in AKC 403 Competing on Ranch Courses 404 Competing in AHBA 405 Competing in ASCA 406 Competing in USBCHA 407 Off to a Great Start - Working with Puppies 408 working with Various Herding Breeds

 Copyright @2010 Dawna Sims All rights Reserved


Current Training Options

100 level ICE classes:

These classes are a must for someone just starting out in herding.  The 100 level classes explain the Sims ICE training philosophy and provide a foundation fro you to get started with your dog.  These classes are without the dog but you work around stock and gain insight into what your dog is thinking.  This class is $90.

Relationship class:

 This is another foundation class which will help you succeed with any dog and in any sport.  This once a week, 4-week class is $150.

Private Lessons:

Private lesssons include 2 runs, the length of the runs varies for each dog. Dawna and Megan work out of there facility in Dewey AZ, ICE Tec North. Dawna's privates are $50 and Megan's are $35. Cathy Sumeracki offers private lessons at her facility in New River AZ, ICE Tec South for $35. Julia Patten offers Private Lessons at her Facility in Corralas NM, Cocopah Farms for $30 dollars. Shawna Davis offers private lessons at her facility in Durango CO, ShadowsEnd Ranch for $30. Shawna also offers Behavior Privates for$25 and group classes for $15.


Dawna does a number of clinics throughout the year.  Clinics are a great learning environment where you get time with your dog and Dawna but you also get to watch everyone else.  Dawna is great at explaining what is happening with each dog and handler so your learning is multiplied.  Clinics are $75 per slot (two sessions).  See the current Camp-Clinic schedule.


We also offer 3 day camps.  This is 3 days of herding from sun up to sun down and a great way to accelerate your learning process.  See the current Camp-Clinic schedule.

In-House Training:

In-house training available.

 Copyright @2010 Dawna Sims All rights Reserved





Painted Seven Ranch

Dawna, Mike, Megan & Tyler Sims

Dewey, Arizona

(928) 533-1108