Kelpie v Collie (9) A Rest Brings Out a Good Change

Page 9 of 14 – go to page 1

OK, ok . . . (maybe I was wrong)!

There appears to have been a fairly serious development in Red’s training. Since the last blog, he escaped from the yard more than once, and proved to us that he’s quite capable of concentrating on his work when he wants to (notice the tail).

Red enthusiastically gathering sheep

What would you say to a border collie sheepdog trainer who:

  • Regularly tells clients “never give up on your dog”
    . . . and then gives up on his Kelpie?
  • Brings out a DVD in which he tells his viewers “never give up on your dog”
    . . . and then gives up on his Kelpie?
  • Tells his clients “a dog under nine months old is too young to train seriously on sheep”
    . . . and then gives up on his 6 month old Kelpie?
  • Starts a blog about exploring the differences between a collie and a kelpie
    . . . and then gives up on his Kelpie?

Well, we all make mistakes, don’t we?

After posting my last blog on 7th October, I was inundated with all kinds of well meaning advice from people interested in Kelpies. I had no idea so many people were following this blog.

The main reason for my disappointment with Red was his lack of commitment. I’ve trained a great number of collies in my time, and in almost every case, once the dog became interested in sheep, that interest only grew. It was a shock to me when Red’s interest seemed to wane (for no apparent reason).

If I’ve learned anything from this experiment, it’s how different these breeds are. One suggestion which was put to me by a correspondent on Facebook was to rest Red from the sheep for a month. I decided to try it, and it has proved to be the best advice possible.

Yesterday Red gave us the slip and took off after the sheep. He’s a good chap, and I knew I could probably call him back but as his month’s rest was nearly up (and after all, he’d voted with his feet) I decided to let him carry on.

Red’s performace was not copybook by any means, but Gillian and I were very impressed by one thing. He stuck at it!

Red eventually gained control of twenty sheep and brought them over to the gate where we were standing. He then lost control again but by this time he’d been working for some minutes and we realised his attention hadn’t wavered once.

Today, we took Red to the sheep in our training arena. He was even more impressive than yesterday. I was able to get him to stop, flank both ways, and walk up quietly behind the sheep in a straight line.

Again, it was his undivided attention that impressed us more than anything.

OK. Maybe I was wrong about the little chap, so I’ve taken him off our Sheepdogs for Sale page.

Well, you learn something every day! Red seems to be much more businesslike now, so we’re more than happy to keep him and see how he progresses with more training.

I realise that Kelpies are completely different to collies. Not so much in the way they work, but in their attitude. Red is a pure delight to have around, and now that he’ll concentrate on his work, we hope he’ll be a great asset too.

Mossie’s a sheepdog on Exmoor now

Amazing progress with her training and the right farmer coming along at just the right time means that at just under nine months of age, Mossie has gone to look after a flock on Exmoor.

Mossie’s a ‘tough cookie’ and the farmer very nearly brought her back because she was giving the sheep a hard time, but fortunately, Mossie settled down quickly and is progressing well.

Border Collie Sheepdog watching sheep


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