Thursday, January 31, 2008


Enter the latest addition to the group: Coal. He is my newest border collie, born August 29, 2006. Coal has been the happiest puppy and is just a friendly little guy whose goal is to get along with everyone, both two-legged and four. He arrived on a plane in San Francisco at the age of 12 weeks, and since then his tail has wagged nearly incessantly, showing his sweeter-than-sweet personality.

Coal’s pedigree is strictly working sheepdogs and I had very high hopes in adding him to our family that he would turn out well as a working dog. A little slow to mature, Coal didn’t show real working interest in sheep until he was eleven months old. But when he did turn on, it became obvious very quickly that he definitely has great natural talent. He works wide with careful feel for his sheep, whether they are fast or slow, light or heavy, woolies or hair sheep.Yet, he is willing to come in and push when you need him to. Coal also took to working geese immediately. I am thrilled with my fortune and so thankful in getting a puppy with such wonderful talent and a fantastic temperament. Most of the time, it is poetry in motion to watch him working.

Coal is now 17 months old and getting a bit of a mind of his own. Our lessons and training sessions revolve around shaping and expanding his experiences and getting him to comply with my commands promptly. He will either gather or drive, willingly, and cannot get enough work. As our trainer says, the outwork training is “all done” based on what he shows naturally from his genetics. For now, it’s a matter of getting Coal to listen to me, and for me to step up to the plate to work with such a talented dog. I am very excited about our future together.

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