Friday, March 4, 2011

A useful dog: Puck

WTCH Rex's Blue Moon Rising RTDsc, HRDIIIs, HTADIIIs
Sometimes you find a dog that teaches you a whole different way to handle and train and that dog turns out to be the perfect fit for you.   Puck was that dog for my mom.

Where Satchmo was always cheerful, enthusiastic and barely stoppable, Puck was thoughtful, careful and used a more subtle technique in her work.  Because of this we called her the "Baa, ram, ewe" dog because often she seemed to be talking to the sheep ala Babe the Pig.    

The story of how Mom came to get a puppy from the Rechtzigels in Minnesota started with our trip to the Aussie Nationals in Michigan in 1995.   It was the first time we had been to any Nationals and we were impressed by a lot of dogs working in the trials.  My mom was most impressed by a started dog handled by Carey Rechtzigel because she was calm, no nonsense on the cattle and just went out there and got the job done. 

Belle won first place in started sheep, cattle and ducks and Most Promising Started dog.   Afterward we went and talked to Carey and found out when he was going to breed Belle.   My mom drove up to Minnesota and picked up her puppy in the summer of 1996.   She tells me Puck was picked for her mind, not for her looks, and she was a bit of an unusual color, possibly a tweed merle.

Link to their website:

Puck did not take to training.  She worked, plain and simple.  You could let her do it her way, you could direct her work, but you didn't really train on her.  She already knew how, she just needed to know where you wanted the stock and she'd do it for you, if you were my mom, that is.   Puck had a lovely temperament, she was kind and sweet to everyone and not any kind of guard dog, but she was clearly my mom's dog in devotion and work.    

 These are some pictures of Puck taking sheep down the unfenced driveway, through the woods to a grazing spot.   Puck had the respect and trust of the sheep she worked on the farm.  It was the best kind of farm dog/livestock relationship.    A useful dog. 

1 comment:

  1. I love watching a good dog do what they were bred for. You certainly cant ask for anything better.