Back to the Kelpies - Gibson

Gibbs is six months old. He’s at an awkward stage; he’s all gangly and whippy looking. He isn’t fully confident in life yet but he is cocky and he’s very willing to try new things. I really like that about him.

So what’s in store for his training? Nothing too serious. What I now seek most of all in working dogs is a sense of calm and an ability to think. The reason I seek that is because I have created the opposite enough times and it hasn’t worked well for me. Cajun still has a bit of this lack of calm in him although we are starting to gel much better now. 

So a sense of calm coupled with strong desire to work is what I hope to instil in pups or young dogs. I’ve learned this is not something that is trained with any formal method. Rather it is a way of being with animals. My dogs live with me, so opportunities for being this way happen on a daily basis, throughout daily living around the ranch. It’s is one of the many hidden merits of dogs. I would not be able to impress any sense of calm thinking without feeling it first myself. And the few, past, anxiety ridden dogs I have trained taught me to feel for it; to ask for a better way.

On the livestock end, I’ve taken Gibbs out onto sheep a few times. On big groups and small. Each time was very loose, informal and brief.

All I really wanted was a sense of what aspects he brings to the table. Gibbs isn’t ready for more. We are not under any tight timeline, nor do I have a schedule for starting him. It’s more about where the dog is at than it is about how old he is. It might be that we work a few minutes that first day and I’ll feel excited about starting into training and then the next day the pup isn’t in the same place. So I take that for what it’s worth. Part of the excuse for having a couple youngsters while I still have my experienced dogs is so that there is no self imposed timeline - no hurry. :)


  1. Hi Arlette, Very much appreciate your blog. I have raised Kelpies for 20 yrs, but have had to quit due to bad knees and other old age challenges. I recently gave my last well-bred bitch to K up in Sask. She has her bred already and Chica is thrilled to be a house dog finally.

  2. Hi,
    It is a treat to hear from a Kelpie enthusiast. Sorry that you had to send your dog elsewhere and end your period with Kelpies. It can not be easy to let 20 years with a breed go. I am not surprised that K has Chica bred already.

    If you're game email me privately - I'm curious about the bloodlines behind Chica. I'm not a breeder, I'm just curious about the working lines and their styles of work.


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