Working Dogs

Jack proves hard to resist

By Country News

What made you select Jack when he was pup?

Mike had mentioned that our kelpie Max (previous working dog), was getting on a bit... we chose Jack because he had such nice markings and we loved the black patches around his eyes.

How did you find training him?

A lot of it was pretty natural, but he was probably a bit too enthusiastic and he had to be told off a fair bit! Mike and Andrew (an employee) spent the most time training Jack.

How was he too enthusiastic?

The heeler in him comes out sometimes and he nips at the cows’ heels a bit but they are used to him now — they like him. But moving the heifers can be a bit of drama, they can go in all directions and Jack just likes to chase them! While he might not be the best cow dog, he is very affectionate and just wants to be part of the team.

Do you think he will become a stronger working dog one day?

He could be. He’s still only young and the longer you work them, the more they know what you want. He just likes to please people and be close to you all the time.

Has Jack ever done anything cheeky?

He ran away for three days with a girlfriend! It was the neighbours’ dog. We got a call from the council to come and pick him up. He doesn’t run around after other dogs now.

So he doesn’t go wandering much?

When our house was damaged in the tornado several weeks ago, we moved into a place a few kilometres away and of course Jack came with us. A couple of days later, he disappeared... When I looked out the window, there was Jack sitting on the neighbour’s bike. I went to apologise and collect him only to be told that he was very helpful and had assisted in bringing in the cows.

He likes to move around a bit it seems!

I think he heard the bike and just went to it for work. If he does run away, you just have to turn on the quad bike and he will come over — that’s how you get him back. He loves the bike.

How does he get along with your cat Smokey?

They get along really well. They cuddle up all the time and he sniffs at her.

Words and pictures:

Emma Carinci