Ruff-ruff! Hello everyone. Sorry it’s been a little while since I last posted, however, we have had limited access to the Internet.
I am now very excited to share a very wonderful visit we had while in southeastern Australia, outside of Melbourne, in a town called Foster.
Lizzie took us to visit Paul MacPhair’s Kelpie training center! This is a sheep dog farm – I wish we could have stayed there all day!
Paul and Anneke were the hosts and showed us around the property, and the operations of the training facilities. Paul is a fourth generation Australian sheep farmer on the property, and Anneke, is originally from Holland (a dairy farm) — the two of them were great hosts!
They train the kelpies and also raise the sheep. Wool and lamb are two of the main industries of Australia – and, New Zealand.
Paul trains the puppies and the dogs to herd sheep and sells them to other farmers to help them with their sheep.
He trains them with three words like “stay” “back,” and “sit.”. He rewards them with food and cooling off by jumping in the trough.
Of course, all the puppies/dogs were waiting for their rewards — good dogs!
Roxy is the mother of the young puppies. At one point, she saw that one of her puppies was missing and checked on the one that I had.
There were so many dogs, I couldn’t count them all! I like the puppies the most – they were so cute! I got to hold the three week old puppies and they barely had their eyes open and could not walk.
We got to watch the older pups (10 weeks old!) when they were first being trained to herd sheep.
I also liked watching the adult dogs herding the sheep. After working, King and Gloria, (the names of the dogs), jumped into the water trough, too, as a reward for their hard work.
My favorite move is when they – “back” – the sheep, which is when they run up and down on the backs of the sheep.
Boy, do I hope I can go back there again someday…..maybe Paul would hire me to help!
And boy, do I miss my own golden retriever, Powder.
Thanks Jack and Sandy, for sending us videos and pictures of her, and especially, for taking such good care of Powder!
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