When it comes to toys for dogs and sheepdog puppies, we're convinced that soft plastic flower pots are the best (certainly for value) but a toy monkey can be great fun too!
Mel's pup Ezra (left) feels the cloth monkey is his, but Gwen's offspring Imogen, Toad and Headingley are convinced he's mistaken.
Allowing puppies to play like this is good for the pups and tells the trainer a great deal about the resolve of the individual puppy. If you take the time to watch the pups, sometimes, you notice something special.
Of course, Ezra has the advantage in this contest. After all, he's the biggest pup in his litter and a full four weeks older than Gwen's pups. On the other hand, little Imogen (facing camera) is by far the smallest in Gwen's litter but she shows remarkable courage in the face of overwhelming odds.
Not only is Immy courageous, when her siblings are exhausted and desperate to sleep after playing for some time, little 'Immy' continues to harass them mercilessly for what seems like hours.
Immy shows leadership, too. When the puppies eventually get to sleep, she's always the one who lies across or near the doorway - just to make sure she doesn't miss anything! She's already earned herself a place amongst our trainee sheepdogs and we can't wait to find out how she takes to her sheepdog work.
It's not just puppies that lay claim to the monkey. Ezra's dad Eli, and Immy's mum Gwen both feel it's rightfully theirs and are fully prepared to put their full weight behind the argument. To our surprise, the monkey remains intact and will no doubt be stretched to the limit every day for some time to come!