It's so easy to keep using the dog which proves best for any one task, and overlook the less experienced dogs
Kay has certainly proved invaluable as an assistant on our sheepdog training courses but for yesterday's group training course, Kay was unable to help because she's in season.
This meant that I would have to use one of the other dogs for the dozens of little jobs a skilled dog is useful for on such days.
Mel was the obvious choice but unfortunately, she's starting to feel her age, and an old leg injury isn't helping either. I decided to opt for Mel and Glen's three year old pup, Mo.
Mo has tremendous potential but she's very headstrong and is often convinced she knows best. This can be very frustrating but knowing the Mel was just the same when she was Mo's age, I'm trying to be patient.
I needn't have worried. Mo rose to the occasion extremely well. She moved the sheep expertly when we needed fresh ones, retrieved any sheep that managed to escape the control of the trainees, and she was more than up to the task of keeping the sheep away from the hurdles when required.
At one stage, the sheep had attached themselves firmly to the hurdles, and the trainee dog was unable to move them. Mo took it upon herself to jump over the hurdles into the training ring and without a word from me, she shifted the sheep out into the centre of the ring. Perhaps most impressively, when I called her, she immediately jumped out over the hurdles again. Excellent work.