some of you may know that we now have a new border collie puppy called Queenie. I thought I should say more about her. For starters she is the half sisters to Gwen. They both have the same mum but different fathers. Gwen’s dad was called Sam and Queenie’s dad is called Mick (mood Mick) as he likes to run the boundary of the field before he starts to move the sheep. Their mum has a bit of a temper on her she does not like people and has been know to leave the sheep she has been working to bite people on the near by foot path. That said both Gwen and Queenie are nice naturered. The main difference between Gwen and Queenie are as follows. Gwen is a bit nervous. She hates any thing new. Even if we move a cattle tank a couple of inches from where it previously was that’s is enough to cause Gwen to bark at it and growl. She also hates other dogs on he territory. And is completely freaked out by little people ( children). Any child she see is enough to make her run straight to her kennel as this is where she feels safe. Queenie on the other hand may only be 8 weeks old but is not fazed by anything. Loud bangs, cows, sheep or even pigs squealing. She just sits and watches. And for a puppy of her age she is very bold. At the same age Gwen would run home if she saw a cow, sheep or heard a strange noise. Queenie also has mastered how to steel food from Gwen and Molly. She walks straight up to them and the more they growl the more she keeps going. Till they give up and walk off, leaving her to hoover up all the food. Queenie is also very bright, (so is Gwen) they are both quick learners so you have to be careful what you show them as once learnt not easy for them to forget.
Many people ask how you train a border collie well you don’t. They are like children. All you do is let them grow up at their own speed. And correct their faults and praise their good behaviour. And be very patient. And you can’t go wrong. That said a border collie has an instinct to round up animal and bring them to their master. So the hardest thing to do with a collie is to get them to drive ( move animals away from you). Not impossible to teach a collie with plenty of strokes and ‘Good girl ‘ said in a happy cheery voice. The best way to discipline a collie is to growl and to change the tone of your voice make it deeper and more harsh sounding and then they know they have done wrong. But puppies do not need too much discipline as you can break their spirit and like a human with no dreams left they are not likely to work for you and are generally very unhappy dogs. The hardest thing to do with Gwen is to stop her from working. If you stand by the sheep pen and the sheep are at the top of the field she is off bringing them down to you wether you want them or not. And if ever we lose sight of her at home then she is usually by a slated gate watching the cattle to make sure they don’t escape not that they ever do. But more recently she can now been seen playing with Queenie. Running around at speed with Queenie chasing after her or jumping up the straw stack(Gwen can jump a 6 foot fence from a stand still) with Queenie sitting on the ground looking up at her in amazement. I think when Queenie gets a bit bigger she will be clearing 6 foot fences too. I’m really looking forward to seeing them working the cattle next year. Just like Gwen and Meg our old dog used to do.