Working Dogs

Kelpies prove to be the top dogs

By Country News

A host of dogs live on the Goomalibee sheep, beef and cropping farm that Tim Somerville works on, but it’s Koda, Duke and Tucker that do most of the work. Recently, Chilli joined the group of kelpies and Tim said he was looking forward to training the 13-week-old pup as it grows up. All of them enjoy travelling and are better suited to working sheep, their owner says.

How did they get their names?

Chilli sounds different to the other names. I bought him from Joe Spicer (Go Getta Kelpies). His sire was Basil and his dam was Clover. Tucker was a pup I bred and he ate all the food of the others. He was the biggest pup by far. Koda and Duke are just short names that are easy to say.

What are their personalities like?

They are all pretty outgoing. Duke’s a big pup. With Chilli, I’m hoping to get a bit more force in her. They are great with kids, good with the stock and they don’t do more than they have to.

What are their working abilities like?

They are all handy. They are more suited to sheep work. Duke is the most experienced and is an all rounder. Tucker has a strong head and good instincts and he is good in the paddock. They have only worked on sheep for the last two years.

I’m looking forward to training the pup (Chilli) as when I started I was on a dairy farm (and did not get the chance).

Why did you decide to buy dogs from the Go Getta Kelpies stud?

I had a border collie/kelpie cross, which was bitten by a snake, and that’s why I went to a breeder to get another. I like Joe’s dogs because of the amount of instinct they have from a young age. It makes training a lot easier. Having that instinct means they have enough force without upsetting the livestock. The thing about the Go Getta kelpies is their nature.

Do they like to travel?

They all love going wherever I go. They love to travel. They love the ute or the motorbike.

Words: Rodney Woods

Pictures: Rodney Braithwaite