Jake, who is now going on 7 years old, was our first border collie. Working with him was quite the learning experience., he subjected me to many sleepless nights as my mind spun trying to figure out how I was ever going to get him trained. At the time I was still trying to gain a visual as to how a border collie should work and relate to livestock which further challenged both of our learning curves.
I remember when we had our first litter of pups by Jake hoping that we would produce another just like him, so that I could have a chance to do it again, only better this time. Well, that didn’t happen, instead a few years later Ricky arrived. He’s very different then Jake, though he to has made me broaden my understanding and continues to challenge my ability as a trainer.
Fast forward 3 years and here comes Rex, he is out of our first Jake litter in over 3 years. Right about now I’m asking myself why I made that wish of having another chance at a Jake type pup. Rex is showing a lot of the same strengths and weaknesses when it comes to livestock but he does have a better temperament and is not quite a sensitive, so hopefully we will see quicker progress simply due to that condition as compared to the 3 years of ups, downs and questioning myself while others questioned as to whether or not Jake would ever make a open dog, let alone a dog that has not been to the USBCHA National Cattledog Finals three years in a row now.
Rex’s first introduction to lambs was at 11 weeks old, he had a lot of resolve and want. At 15 weeks old he had settled down a bit and really looked like he was going to be piece of cake to train. But now he is 7 months old and I am having flashbacks to the days that I was learning the ropes with Jake, but I honestly think that Rex is going to be stronger then his daddy and not nearly as easily shaken by strong corrections.
I am finding myself hunting what ever notes that I can find from those early days with Jake, what worked what didn’t what did I do that I later wished I had not trying hard to not get stuck in the same ruts that I had to climb out of 5-6 years ago.
Rex at 8 weeks old
Rex at 15 weeks:
Rex at 7 months old: