April 2024


An early Easter and a quarter of the year gone already. It used to be older people who bemoaned the rapid passing of time but everyone seems to be doing it now! Lots of sorghum crops ripening around here.

March was an enjoyable month for me, the work load with the dogs has eased off and I have half a dozen lovely big pups for entertainment. It’s always good when small pups are old enough to cut out puppy mince which takes time mixing and travelling for kefir milk… the three left from the BarneyxClover litter are now three months old and just ticking along until old enough to give a run. The dog pup Van is exactly what I was after when I planned this mating, a nice big calm pup with brains. The two remaining bitches are really nice too, Divvy the black/tan is a bigger pup but Viva is my favourite at present, calm and confident. Photos below.


It was good to have Em down to work the bigger pups again, but the weather looked dismal for the week. We were lucky that it stopped raining on Wednesday, although the sheep were weighed down somewhat!

The remaining Naka pups Karoo and Karma are like chalk and cheese, luckily Karma is living up to her name(I was hoping I hadn’t put too much pressure on her with that name!) She’d found the sheep one day and suddenly realised barking made things more interesting with a bit of action from them, so I wasn’t expecting the performance when she got her next look under supervision. I’ve put vids of some of them on Youtube, this is Karma.

The two GibsonxSheps Sandy pups are developing very different styles of work. Simpson inclined to do his own thing, Sandy more prepared to include the handler. Both should develop into good workers, the fascination of breeding dogs is watching and encouraging them to mature with minimal guidance so their genetic potential is evident. I’ll always remember asking a friend what he thought of a stud he’d visited. He replied that he had no idea what the dogs were like, they were too well trained!

Sandy click for short movie, longer version on Youtube. 

I showed Simpson’s determination at the start of this vid, he was reluctant to  balance up and just wanted to please himself…a tough pup with a huge work ethic! Hopefully over that now, Em took him home with her to get him away from his comfort zone with the other pups. It was obvious as soon as I started doing some focus work with him that he didn’t want to connect, his eyes not going higher than waist level, and this carried right through to his work. Other pups make immediate connection and include the handler from the get go.

This is Perkins, one of the three BarneyxMina pups being run on, a very easy natural pup. Libby is a bit slower starting but also showing promise. Vid below of Hackett, he’s a bit more relaxed about getting to the lead which is pretty rare with our pups! He’d be the type you could three sheep later on, very connected to people, lovely pup.

We have a couple of bitches mated at present, McKenzie to Eventine Ralph(Blackdog ThunderxEventine Gillette) a full brother to E.Comet. Ralph is working for Sean and Evonne Barrett, he’s very similar to Comet and his paddock work is lovely. We already have a very nice young bitch by Comet, K. Cassiopea out of Midnight. McKenzie’s due April 23.

Ralph(L) and his dam E.Gillette

The other is Livvy who has been mated to Keswick Coin, a nice dog belonging to Michael Croft full of old Riana blood. Due May 17.

Meanwhile all the girls up north are coming on in a heap as usual…although it’s not quite as bad as some years! Anxious to try a couple of young ones…Sun and Vamp to Jack for sure as both are very calm girls. Wiggle might go to Coin. 

Jack is a promising sire prospect, he has a huge searching cast which is essential for the type of dogs we  breed.

I’m hoping Stan Hughes will take some big pups to start for us. Em and I left Cruise with him last week and Stan was good enough to let Em give Jack a run on his training cattle. We’d be most fortunate if he agrees to make an ongoing arrangement with us; it’s important for various reasons that we get feed back from outside and Stan’s a very successful and experienced stockman having won major cattle trials with his Border Collies. I hope he can bring himself to like a few Kelpies!

Cruise n Stan  Click for vid.

Some very nice pups were sold this month. I’m beginning to think I’d rather like to swap lives with some of them! This is Kadi down in Tassie.


Tracker Gillette(green collar), Karmala Neon, Apex Soda and Eventine Honey. Watch Gilly she was magic!