Triallists and their dogs descended upon the Kauana Sheep Dog Trial Club’s centennial in Otapiri Gorge in central Southland on Friday and Saturday. Shawn McAvinue was there and asked some triallists about their dogs.
Connor Bennie, of Lora Gorge, and his heading dog Dust.
‘‘I got him as a pup off my previous boss and I’ve tried to break him in but he does what he wants — he’s pig-headed. He doesn’t do much listening but I think that’s due to operator error. He’s a good worker though — he’ll never turn up late — and he’s firm and doesn’t let a sheep stand him up. He’s a bit too kind and he’s always snuggling up to me. He’s more of a friend than a workmate.’’
Chris Hunter, of Kaiwera, and his heading dog Agie.
‘‘I got her as a pup and she’s in her first year at trialling so she’s quite green and makes wee mistakes but hopefully I’ll iron that out as seasons go on. She’s easy to work, handles sheep well and has a good nature. Dog training is all about building up their good points and suppressing their bad ones — a lot of good dogs get ruined by average trainers.’’
Josh Officer, Centre Bush, and his heading dog Prince.
"Prince is an all-rounder, a good little dog but he’s a menace and only half broken in. His worst trait is jumping in the cab of my ute and sleeping on my couch, or finding his way into my bed, if I leave the front door open on a hot day.’’
Bruce Howden (93), of Kauana, and his heading dog Boy.
‘‘I bought him off a fella when he was a young dog — he wasn’t performing for him. He went to run him here and rather than go up the hill, Boy went there (points away from course). The joker said ‘that bloody dog’ and I said ‘put him in the back of my truck’ and he said ‘give me $400 and you can have the bugger’. As soon as you see a dog you know if he is
going to be any good or not. I haven’t won a lot with him because I don’t go to many trials but he’s a good honest dog, a good worker and I’ve bred a lot of pups off him.’’