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Herding with our Kelpies

                                        
In mid 2013, I discovered the 'Continental Herding Club' was based about 20 minutes from where we lived. I decided to try sheep herding with our Kelpies, Abby and Kirra. My youngest son, Ben, was also keen to try, and so we embarked on a new and exciting journey with our dogs.

Kirra was a natural, which is what you expect from a kelpie! After all, that was the main purpose in the development of the breed!

Kirra was about 6 months old when we first started. She finished her first herding season with two Herding Titles, the Herding Test (HT), followed by the Pre-Trial Test (PT) Titles.

Unfortunately, we did not get to many herding sessions in 2014 due to my work committments. We did achieve Kirra's Started A Course Title in 2015, and hope to move up to more advanced levels in 2016. Kirra also started training for Yard Dog Trials in late 2015, and we hope to compete in this area in the future. She has taken a break in early 2016, due to maternal duties. See the 'puppy availabilty' page for information on her litter.

Abby also enjoyed herding, but was not as keen as Kirra. She achieved her Herding Instinct Certificate, but we decided not to take her further. Abby is used for our Trial Days as the 'Stock Dog', helping to change the sheep around, so that the same group of sheep are not over used during a Trial competition. She loves doing this job!

Kirra's litter sister, Ebony, lives on a property in Northern NSW, and is regularly used for stock work on their property. She is used for sheep and cattle.

I hope you enjoy the photos below showing our progression through the Herding stages with Abby and Kirra in 2013.
The photos where they have a lead attached, was their Herding Instinct Test (HIT), which is the first stage which must be passed, before they are able to do the Herding Test and progress to other levels. The lead is there in case the judge thinks there is a problem and the dog can be caught quickly. It is compulsory to have a lead attached for this level.


 

   
Kirra in full flight at her Herding Instinct Test July 2013. She had just turned 7 months of age! The lead must be attached during this Test.
Kirra in full flight at her Herding Instinct Test July 2013. She had just turned 7 months of age! The lead must be attached during this Test.
Kirra was so excited to be up on the sheep's back, if you look closely, you can see her 'smiling' at me! She loves getting in close with the sheep and has no fear of them.
Kirra was so excited to be up on the sheep's back, if you look closely, you can see her 'smiling' at me! She loves getting in close with the sheep and has no fear of them.
Abby moving the sheep in her Herding Instinct Test July 2013.
Abby moving the sheep in her Herding Instinct Test July 2013.
Abby and Ben during Abby's Herding Instinct Test July 2013.
Abby and Ben during Abby's Herding Instinct Test July 2013.
Kirra in the first of her Herding Test Trials in July 2013. She achieved the two passes required over the weekend, to gain her Herding Test Title.
Kirra in the first of her Herding Test Trials in July 2013. She achieved the two passes required over the weekend, to gain her Herding Test Title.
Kirra in her Herding Test July 2013.
Kirra in her Herding Test July 2013.
Kirra moving the sheep in her Herding Test July 2013.
Kirra moving the sheep in her Herding Test July 2013.
Kirra going around the sheep to change their direction in her Herding Test July 2013.
Kirra going around the sheep to change their direction in her Herding Test July 2013.
Kirra at 6 months of age at her first herding training session!
Kirra at 6 months of age at her first herding training session!
Kirra at herding training.
She is so bold and not at all scared of taking the sheep on!
Kirra at herding training. She is so bold and not at all scared of taking the sheep on!
Kirra at her first herding training day (6 months of age).
Kirra at her first herding training day (6 months of age).
Abby and Kirra working out in the small paddock together at a herding training day.
Abby and Kirra working out in the small paddock together at a herding training day.
Abby during one of her herding training sessions.
Abby during one of her herding training sessions.
Jess with Kirra and Ben with Abby, proudly showing off their Herding ribbons after their first Herding Trial.
Jess with Kirra and Ben with Abby, proudly showing off their Herding ribbons after their first Herding Trial.
Kirra and Abby's ribbon haul from their very first trial day! So proud of our girls. Kirra added to her haul the next day.
Kirra and Abby's ribbon haul from their very first trial day! So proud of our girls. Kirra added to her haul the next day.
Abby again in her Herding Instinct Test July 2013.
Abby again in her Herding Instinct Test July 2013.