The new Chihuahua, formerly known as Emrys, is called Eric.
Eric's been with us for a week now, and is starting to find his place within the pack. I'd assumed that Eric's "pack" would be the existing small dogs, Alfie and Chester, but Eric's clearly aiming higher than that.
Eric's perfectly happy in the house, organising Alfie and Chester's toys, bones and chews around him on the hearthrug, but he wants to be a farm dog. He comes out into the field with the Big Dogs, joins in with their games (though carefully) and won't tolerate any disrespect.
In fact, it's the other dogs who are most wary.
When Chester first moved in we soon discovered that sheer attitude will compensate for a lack of stature, and faced with something that's fast, sharp and shrill, most Border collies will retreat to a safe distance to see what will happen next (preferably to someone else).
Just as Chester's best friend was Eris, the deerhound lurcher, Eric has established a mutual "All for one, and one for all!" devotion with the much bigger Kelpie, Tucker. Tucker is amazingly gentle with puppies; he helped Pippin to settle in here, and is such a good mentor that he'll be in charge of Isla's puppies when they move up to the porch in a few weeks' time.
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"Starting your Border Collie on Cattle, Sheep or Ducks"
A new DVD for the Working Sheepdog
Not all border collies are needed to work sheep; we've had dogs attending our courses who were needed to work with cattle, alpacas, goats and turkeys.
Although we don't keep cattle ourselves, it was often useful to have Carew on hand if we needed to collect sheep from amongst landlord's dairy herd, or to eject cattle from the orchard on those days when the grass was looking oh-so-much greener.
And, of course, many farms need a useful all-rounder to work with a variety of livestock, but it can be very difficult to find help with training a dog to gather and drive anything other than sheep.
This DVD - new to the website, but already long-established as a clear, easily understood training programme - guides the novice handler through the early months of puppyhood, and preparation for training, and goes on to explain how to get your young dog started on cattle, sheep and ducks.