Kay was just amazing during our sheepdog training course yesterday
I've trained quite a number of sheepdogs over the years, and sometimes, I think I've seen just about everything but Kay was just amazing during our sheepdog training course yesterday.
Not only did she work all day with just an hour for lunch but for much of the time, she was one step ahead of me.
Recently Kay has become skilled at retrieving runaway sheep when the trainee dogs lose control. She's learned to keep out of the way (often relaxing under the shade of an apple tree) while the trainee handler and dog are at work. In fact, she's perfected this to the extent that if I take over from the trainee's handler to demonstrate some point or other, Kay seems to know that my commands are not directed at her. (How can she possibly tell)?
The little dog is so relaxed, she'll just lay down under one of the trees, apparently taking very little notice of the proceedings. That is, until the sheep part company with the trainee dog and head for cover.
On several occasions yesterday, when the woolies got far enough away and I was thinking it was time to look around for my little helper to go and fetch them, I was stunned to see that Kay was already 'on the case'. She'd taken it upon herself to speed off and bring the errant sheep back to the rest of the packet, then all I needed to do was tell her 'that'll do' and she'd simply trot back to her shady tree and wait patiently for the next breakout.
On one occasion, I was looking around for Kay when one of the spectators called out 'she's already gone again'. Don't ever doubt the intelligence of a border collie!