Sheepdog-Up Practice

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Train.  Practice.  Repeat.

Sheepdogs train, and they practice.  Often.  Regularly.  And, they help train others.

Those who register for our “Sheepdog-Up” group have the opportunity to take part in monthly practice sessions.  Monitored by a Range Master, these sessions are scenario-based to help your training be more real-world and practical.

Each month the 1-1/2 hour practice session gives you the opportunity to hone a different aspect of your firearm self-defense skills. And, if you are ever involved in a court proceeding as a result of using your firearm, these sessions may be additionally valuable as they document your practice.  We log participation, but not scores.

Application (which includes a background check) and advance registration are required.  In the above menu, click on the “Registration” tab to request details on these training and practice opportunities.  For convenience, this practice session is listed as “2S” in our list of classes, but it is not a training course.  It is supervised practice.


Patch-Sheepdog-Up_Logo-Camo-v08b-BroadBorder-b“Sheepdog-UP” is a movement.

“Sheepdog Up” practice is for men and women who want to be able to protect themselves, and their family and friends, decisively.  In the early days of Texas, it was people like these who became Texas Rangers.   

Peace-loving by nature, today’s Sheepdogs, like those early Texas Rangers, know how to use force to forge peace.  Just like the Rangers of the Republic of Texas, Sheepdogs are willing to step-UP when adversity comes along. They are willing to cowboy-UP when a peace-maker is needed, and partner-UP with others to make our communities safe.  They are committed to the Sheepdog code which supports justice and lawful responses, and they train-UP to make sure they are ready to roll if a situation requires it.

This isn’t a membership organization.  Rather, it’s a commitment to a way of life, and an association with like-minded people.

The people involved in the Sheepdog-UP movement come from many professions and walks of life.  They are law enforcement officers, firefighters, medical professionals, retired military, school teachers, laborers and business owners, college students and active seniors, and other trained civilians who care about people and community safety.

Firearm safety is an important issue for anyone who owns a gun.  But for Sheepdogs, practical real-world practice is also essential.  It’s for this reason that we offer our intermediate and advanced classes–and these regular practice sessions.

We see our classes and these practice sessions, as an essential community service.  Why?  Because our society needs more of these heroic Ranger-like and ready, Sheepdogs.

As this truism reminds us,

“When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”  

In our modern and rapidly changing world, personal responsibility and self-reliance are essential.  Sheepdogs are the epitome of these virtues.

T-Shirt-FRONT-Sheepdog-Up_Logo-Motto-MerriamReg-v04b copyAbout the TXRFA Sheepdog Logo

The sheepdog is not violent by nature but utilizes violence when necessary to protect the sheep.  Therefore, the dog depicted in our logo is watchful and ever vigilant.  It is agile, with ears back indicating high-alert and readiness to engage potential threats.  A sheepdog does not desire violence but is ready to be a peace-maker.

The cross represents the sacrifice Jesus made for us when He died to redeem the people who are His sheep.  So, too, a Sheepdog may be called upon to put his life on the line, and perhaps even make the ultimate sacrifice.  A Sheepdog is willing to sacrifice to protect the sheeple they have the capacity to help.  (“Sheeple” is a portmanteau which reminds us of the characteristics of “sheep” applied to the general public, and “people” who are often clueless, herd-like, situation-unaware, and may lack critical thinking skills.)

The Roman numeral three is a reference to our Founding Fathers of the United States, who said that an armed citizenry can bring peace and liberty if as few as 3% of the people are motivated.

Sheepdogs care about people and their community.  They are peacemakers commit­ted to helping others, and to living by the Sheepdog code.


The Sheepdog Code

I pledge to safeguard life; protect the innocent and weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder.  I will strive to protect the unalien­able Rights of all people, uphold justice, defeat lawlessness and secure peace, defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the God-given Rights of all to life and liberty.”


Sheepdog-Up T-Shirt

To order a ‘Sheepdog-Up’ t-shirt with the above image, you must already be a registered participant in these formal practice sessions.

T-Shirt Logo Imagery

In addition to the Sheepdog-Up logo which is explained above, this black-color t-shirt includes the ‘thin blue line’ which is used by law enforcement officers and others who are committed to justice and standing against evil, and to live by the Sheepdog-Up motto.


The Sheepdog-Up Motto

The Latin phrase “De Oppressione Liberare” is from Isaiah 1:17.  Translated, it means, “to bring liberty to the oppressed.”  The phrase, “Beati Pacific,” is from Jesus words as recorded in Matthew 5:9, and is translated “blessed are the peace-makers.”  This refers to those who are willing to risk their lives to forge peace (peace-makers).

The first statue erected at Ground Zero in New York, post 9/11, depicts a modern warrior on horseback.  It is generally referred to as, “The American Response Monument.”  But the actual title of this magnificent piece of art is, “De Oppresso Liber.”  This Latin phrase is similar to the one we use. It is the proper name of this monument, and it is also used by the U.S. Special Forces.  The meaning is essentially the same, but ours is based on the Bible text of Isaiah 1:17.

The History of the ‘Sheepdog’ Movement

In simple terms, there are three types of people; sheep, wolves who prey on the sheep, and sheepdogs who protect the sheep from the wolves.

The use of the term ‘Sheepdog’ as a protector and guardian isn’t new.  It was popularized in the 1950s by animated cartoon characters, Ralph E. Wolf and Sam Sheepdog.  More recently, the book “On Combat,” by Lt. Col. David Grossman, specifically mentions sheepdogs in the modern context of civilian and professional warriors.  In this seminal book, Grossman uses the term to describe a breed of warriors who do not relish violence but do embrace the role of a sheepdog-like guardian.

With a background as a U.S. Army Ranger, as well as a West Point professor who taught on the psychology of warfare, Grossman’s books are considered to be required reading for military warriors and law enforcement officers.  His reflections on the Sheepdog Warrior are a powerful reminder on how important Sheepdogs are for ensuring peace, justice, and liberty.

About Sheepdogs

Excerpts from “On Combat” by Lt. Col. David Grossman

“If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath–a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path…”

“Everyone has been given a gift in life. Some people have a gift for science and some have a flair for art. And warriors have been given the gift of aggression. They would no more misuse this gift than a doctor would misuse his healing arts, but they yearn for the opportunity to use their gift to help others. These people, the ones who have been blessed with the gift of aggression and a love for others, are our sheepdogs. These are our warriors.”

“The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours…

“Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also, understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and “yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones…

“Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, “Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, “Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.” When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference…

“Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I’m proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs…”

“The warrior must cleanse denial from his thinking. Coach Bob Lindsey, a renowned law enforcement trainer, says that warriors must practice “when/then” thinking, not “if/when.” Instead of saying, “If it happens then I will take action,” the warrior says, “When it happens then I will be ready.”

“It is ‘denial’ that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness, and horror when the wolf shows up.”

“Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: You didn’t bring your gun; you didn’t train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by fear, helplessness, horror, and shame at your moment of truth.”

“And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes…

“If you are a warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be “on” 24/7 for a lifetime. Everyone needs downtime. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself… “Baa.”

“This business of being a sheep or a sheepdog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-grass sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between…

“Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheep-hood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth. “


The 6-P Code

For the Sheepdog, readiness involves more than just being armed and stockpiling supplies.  It also includes contem­plating various scenarios in advance—and then planning and preparing for them.  Sheepdogs are vigilant and live by the 6-P Code:

I will diligently…

  1. Plan for emergencies, be savvy to circumstances and alert in my surroundings.

I will acquire…

  1. Practical training to help me face plausible real-world challenges, including social and financial upheaval, hazardous events, disasters, and conflict.

I will…

  1. Prepare my body, mind, spirit, and family for healthy living today, and to thrive even in times of adversity.

I will assemble…

  1. Provisions and cache gear, water, and food; essential supplies for today and the days ahead; GO-Bags, firearms, and ammunition; cash and means of trade.

I will undertake…

  1. Painstaking logistics, and be systematic in my mainte­nance and management of the many different facets of readiness.

Plus, I commit to engage in regular…

  1. Practice; both personal and family/group exercises.
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