A Kelpie and a Beardie brighten up our training course

A working Kelpie and Bearded Collie joined us on our sheepdog training class yesterday

A working bearded collie being trained on sheep
Hugh Emerson teaching his working Beardie Bessie to give the sheep some room
Border Collie Jaffa learning her flanks.
When Emmanuel Dumouchel introduced his collie Jaffa to the sheep she made meteoric progress.

Monday's group sheepdog training class provided plenty of variety as well as entertainment with a bright young working Kelpie called Tess along with one of our more regular Bearded Collies, Bessie

Regular readers of this blog will know that I've had mixed (but very limited) experiences with Kelpies, so yesterday provided a great opportunity for me to help someone train one and learn more about the way they work at the same time.

Border Collie being trained to work sheep
Alison Cook's Rebus made good progress. Here he learns to keep his distance

I wasn't disappointed. Nick Sinden's Tess is only seven and a half months old, and in her first session moved around the sheep at very high speed, but once she settled down, she improved dramatically. By the end of the day, Tess was controlling her sheep calmly, giving them space, and doing as she was told. She certainly restored much of my faith in Kelpies and I'm eager to see more.

Young Kelpie training to work sheep
Nick Sinden's young Kelpie Tess was very impressive once she settled down

Bessie the Beardie has improved since her last visit, but she's still very strong-willed - a trait of the breed, I understand from what her owner Hugh Emerson was saying.

Probably the most entertaining dog of the day was Emmanuel Dumouchel's tricolour collie Jaffa. Jaffa was over enthusiastic and very fast at first, but in her second session she seemed to lose her way a little and we had difficulty in keeping her attention on the sheep.

Border Collie Sheepdog at work while holding a small branch in its mouth
Comfort twig. Just like our Carew, Jaffa likes to hold something in her mouth while she works

That all changed after lunch though. With the sheep outside the training ring, Jaffa suddenly became keenly focussed on them but at the same time she stopped well, and gave them plenty of room when she flanked. As though this weren't enough, her passion for carrying a stick, leaf, or anything else she could find while she worked was very funny at times. I have no doubt that Jaffa could make a fine sheepdog with the right training.

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2 Replies to “A Kelpie and a Beardie brighten up our training course”

  1. Thank you Andy for this debriefing and these fotos. I really enjoyed that course and will keep a very good memory of it. I can now see what Jaffa is capable of. Thank you for your help, I will definitely stay in touch.

    Best Wishes

    Emmanuel

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