Celebrating the brilliance of the working stock dog!
She made me a better dog trainer.
Harley is the strongest dog I have ever worked and I would put her up against any other dog in strength on cattle. Don't let her cuteness fool you. Observers have been heard saying, "She could stop a freight train!" And I guarantee she would try. She has heart and absolutely no quit in her. She heads and heels and is the first dog that works on new cattle here at my place. She is a pro at dog breaking cattle and has been around Texas dog breaking other peoples' cattle and goats and sheep the past few years.
She is super kind to sheep and loves to make big wide outruns. She settlers her stock and is as gentle on ducks as a dog can be. It's quite an interesting paradigm to see her work cattle like a force of nature, and then gently quietly move ducks around a few minutes later.
She is a hard-headed opinionated dog. That's why we don't trial anymore. She is quite certain when we go in to the trial arena that she knows the course and has been known on more than one occasion to take them around random panels in random directions. Well, random to me, but confidently correctly to her. And then bring them to me at a center pen, and expect me to open the gate for her....She is quite irritated when I ask her to do the course correctly. It's why we don't trial anymore. But as you can see above, we were quite successful at it before we called a truce and decided to let her be a ranch dog.
Copper is the most naturally talented dog I have ever worked. He is super smart and pretty much has to be shown something once and he gets it. His ability to read stock is impeccable. He is a strong head dog. He will heel only when there is no other option, like loading trailers, but it is not his preference. He will head and hit front feet when needed. His strength and intelligence and animal savvy gets it done every time. He has had to dog break heifers in the pasture and did with with confidence and aplomb. He can gather cattle on his own out of big pastures. His sense of group is about as good as it comes. He is gorgeous and passes his biddability and talent to his offspring.
He has a good mind and is a trustworthy loyal dog. I use him as a demo dog during herding training and let my students work him as well. He is kind to student dogs and teaches everyone a whole lot every day.
Wyatt is a very talented dog. He can read pressure situations on stock better than any other dog I know. He will hold pressure on the heads of ornery sheep or hungry cows with confidence and anyone that tries to slip by is corrected without blowing up the situation. It is amazing to watch him work. He will head and heel and his drive is the prettiest thing to watch. He rules with an iron paw though. He is smart and quirky in a good way. He reminds me of those old school aussies in so many ways. He learns as he goes and has a nice off button on stock.
We wanted to try something new so I decided to give rally a try. He had about 10 sessions of training- because we happened to be really busy at the time. He walked into the rally trial and earned his RN in 1-2-3 performances and then moved right up to off lead in Advanced and got his first 2 legs with no additional training! Covid curtailed the rest for awhile. He just figures stuff out and then does what you want on the fly. He never gets in to trouble. He was one of those puppies who didn't chew anything or cause any problems. Just a good old dog with an exceptional temperament. He makes make me look good as a dog trainer.