June, 2024

Nearly a week into winter and it’s suddenly got a lot colder with a freezing south westerly reminding us that autumn’s over for another year! My favourite season would have to be autumn, this year has been especially good with some rain to help the fodder crops along.

I saw an amazing oat crop yesterday. Sown for feeding off, but that was delayed because of the holding period after spraying for army worms  and the warmth and rain had sent it up into ear. The cows were almost invisible! The property fertilises with compost and the result was impressive.

I’ve had the pleasure of a lovely litter of five pups, Ralph x McKenzie, so easy to just feed mum and watch them grow for three weeks when they suddenly decided they were very hungry and tried to steal Kenzie’s bone! 

They’re a really nice lot of pups, all friendly and doing well, only one girl. Here at four weeks.

The three b/t boys are Jake, Fraser and McGurk , the red/tan McDermott and the girl Alyssa H.


Livvy overdid things a bit having nine pups to Keswick Coin on May 18. The first two weeks went well and at present I’m feeding her enormous amounts of food to get them to three weeks when I usually start to feed them solids…but some are a bit hungry and following her away from the sleeping area for more milk. I might have to try and help her a bit sooner than usual.

Day old.


Two weeks, and these were crawling around away from the nice warm lamp.


I seem to be having trouble getting this done so will post what’s finished and add bits soon! I’ve got a photographer coming from the Brisbane Courier Mail this arvo and want to give some pups a run on the sheep before he arrives, it’s such a lovely day.

So back again after trying to get 3 or 4 pups to sit on a bale of hay for a photo? !

Sass has been mated to Keswick Coin, she’s due in July. Sass is a real smoocher and hates being shut away in a run. She only stayed in both 6′ runs for a few minutes and my solar fencing unit had an old battery so I’ve been spending a bit of time with her because the sheep have been around the house for weeks after one was killed about 100m from the house. When I did replace the battery Sass watched Sun get a zap and went down the fence 50m to where it isn’t charged and tried to jump out there! Too smart. 

The following are some photos I took of her. The bitch with the yellow collar is Sun(Gibson x Elwanvale Sunny) litter sister to Sid who’s been mated to Mina…pups due June 15. Waiting for Sun to come on heat, she’s a big girl and I’d like to get a litter from her before she goes to work as we only have two bitches by Gibson. Below those a few of Sid.

Cruise was very impressive when Em and Derek were mustering a couple of weeks ago. Tricky, steep bush and some of the cattle hadn’t been handled much. Cruise likes to spend a bit of time sussing out a group before trying to move them. He picks the problem ones and gets in their heads, Em says, and when he thinks they’re ready they move off quietly. It’s lucky he didn’t get sold to someone without patience who would have told him to hurry up! Skills like that are invaluable, they can save hours. Cruise is a full brother to Gibson, photos below.

I was given some old books of Tony Parsons by his daughter Melody. Amongst them was a little gem called ‘The New Guide to Breeding Old Fashioned ~Working Dogs’ by Guy Ormiston, an American. He’d written an inscription to Tony on the back. I nearly didn’t read it as the dogs he bred are Blue Tick Coonhounds, but I quickly realised I agreed with most of his thoughts. I was so impressed I Googled his email address and have since had some lovely correspondence with him. Here’s a taste of his philosophy, I’ve been saying the same for a long time and it totally backs up what I just said about Cruise. Karmala dogs have a strong “work ethic” as my old friend Arthur Crumblin called it, they must want to work badly enough to ignore the sometimes confusing commands they get and the brains to work out quite quickly what’s required of them.

This was written 30 odd years ago and largely applies to hunters buying a pup. There’s a lot more help available in Qld now to get a pup started well…if you need it. Always remember  that Kelpies are VERY different to Collies as regards training and are best left to grow up a bit before you put too much pressure on them to learn commands. Let them learn to read stock and balance up nicely, to keep out a bit, to stop and hold. Don’t bore them by working quiet sheep in a smallish yard for weeks or months…they thrive on a challenge. You don’t need total control over a young pup before you give it some small tasks to do…. a Stop and a Call are handy! We find our dogs grow in confidence and skills at least up to 3 years of age.