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