Working Dogs

Handy helpers

By Country News

Tungamah's Dean Parker works as a general farm hand on Josh Buerckner's Tungamah sheep and cropping property. Helping him do his work are red and tan Kelpie Pip and black and tan Kelpie Tully. With Pip still young she has many puppy traits, while Tully is much more relaxed. Dean has pigeon-holed both as yard dogs and the could be a good team once Pip grows into the role. 

How did they get their names?

Tully got her name from my fiancee, who loved the name and always wanted a black kelpie with that name. Pip — I was actually away hunting with a bloke who had a dog named Pip and I liked the name.

What are their personalities like?

Tully is very laid-back. She loves a pat. Pip is a young pup so she is really full-on and always got to be on the go.

What is Tully’s working ability like?

Tully is a yard dog, only by choice. That’s where I utilise her the most. She is good at loading trucks. She’s a pretty handy working dog. She virtually replaces someone else in the sheep yards with her abilities. Pip will be used as a yard dog, too. She is learning off Tully. Pip is the second dog, so I don’t wear one dog out.

Do they have any quirks?

Tully hates cats. Pip is a general pup. She likes to chew everything and annoy Tully all the time by chewing on her collar.

Where do they sleep?

They sleep side by side in raised kennels. Pip tries to lean through the mesh to Tully’s kennel to annoy her, so Tully lies as far away as possible. I did notice Pip was drinking out of Tully’s water bowl the other day.

How active are the dogs?

They get exercise four nights a week. They run down the road along with the other dogs.

Have they had any accidents?

Tully had a run-in with a barbed wired fence and has scars on her nose to show for it.

Do they love to travel?

They always want to be with you. They are hassle-free dogs. Tully wants to come with me wherever I’m going in whatever vehicle. Tully rides in everything, whether it’s the tractor, the bike or the ute. She is the first one in the buggy if she’s off the chain.

Words and pictures:

Rodney Woods