Work ethic, mentors bring success

Lawrence stock manager Logan Bain is "pretty stoked" to have his three dogs already qualified to...
Lawrence stock manager Logan Bain is "pretty stoked" to have his three dogs already qualified to enter the National and South Island Dog Trial Championship. PHOTO: GENEVIEVE CRAWFORD
A commitment to his working dogs is what keeps Logan Bain motivated to consistently train them, and is why he finds himself every so often on the leaderboard of club trials.

Mr Bain, 27, is stock manager on his partner’s family farm near Lawrence and he has been enjoying good success in the dog trialling scene over the past few years.

This year, he already has his three mainstay dogs qualified for island championships.

"My dad Ken introduced me to the sport and I found I had a real passion for it.

"I like seeing a young dog make good progress through training, seeing it come on and do well."

His skill continued to develop in his early 20s as he took on farming jobs where the owner or manager were also keen triallists.

"I found myself rubbing shoulders with a few that have had good success."

Mr Bain credits a number of key people who have given him advice and helped him with his training methods, "particularly Paul McCarthy and Roger Tweed".

"They were forthcoming with information and advice which is very generous of them considering the competitive nature of the sport."

Now he was sometimes sharing the leaderboard with his mentors, he agreed the next step was up to him.

"That advice will get to you to a certain point but then you need to work the next part out for yourself," he said.

His biggest success so far was making the runoff at the Otago centre championships last year and he had a goal to make a runoff at an island championship.

Being in the company of other like-minded people also appealed in the sport.

"I enjoy meeting new people.

"I have made a lot of connections through trialling and some good mates, too."

When it came to offering advice for shepherds keen to improve in trials plus get those good mustering jobs back home on the farm, he said it came down to putting the time into your dogs.

"I tend to feel a sense of guilt if I haven’t been out and trained my dogs. I feel a commitment to them to help them be the best working dog they can be."

Networking was important.

"Turning up to the training days, meeting others and asking questions. If you can show you’re keen and dedicated, people are more forthcoming."

Mr Bain was heading back out to spray gorse the afternoon Southern Rural Life called.

"Yeah, definitely showing a bit of work ethic when it comes to the boring jobs so when the good jobs do come around, you tend to get asked to do them, which means you appreciate them a whole lot more," he said, laughing.

By Alice Scott


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