Stock Dogs Make Dedicated Partners and Human CompanionsThu, 01 Oct 2015 17:38:17 CDT
It’s a beautiful sight to see, a young Border collie pup moving with such ease and grace in moving stock. With the sound of a whistle, its owner can tell the dog each command.
There is a definite bond between the dog and its handler. When it comes to moving sheep or cattle, Bufford Barrett of Sapulpa, Oklahoma prefers to work with his canine companion.
“The dog never fails me, they are always trying and that’s kind of the one thing I like about dogs over being around the people,” Barrett said. “The dog will never quite trying. He is always trying to please you. He doesn’t take short cuts, he’s not cheating me in any way, he’s always giving me all he’s got.”
Bufford often shows his passion for his dogs and working stock through demonstrations. At the recent Heart of America Farm Show, he shows off the talents of his stockdogs, so others can appreciate what a well-trained dog can bring to its owner.
“I want to show them what the possibilities are, what a fully trained dog can do, how easy it makes it for you, how few of steps you have to take and just what the dog can do,” Barrett said.
This not only allows him to showcase his dogs, but also bring awareness to stockdog trials, as a competitive sport.
“This is kind of becoming a dying art, everybody I know who is doing it is getting older and we don’t have any kids coming up, so when these people are gone, nobody going to know how to do it anymore,” Barrett said. “It’s just kind of disappearing.”
In watching stock dog trails, you will find Border Collies are the dominate breed used to work sheep and cattle. Border Collies aren’t the only breed that work well, but they by far are the most popular.
“The Border Collie’s popular just because the smartness, their attentiveness on their owner and their handler,” Barrett said.
Border Collies also quietly work and handle their stock.
“They kind of have a quiet control over the stock," Barrett said. "That’s what I like, I can’t stand a lot of barking. It makes me nervous and makes the stock nervous. I want my stock moving nice and easy and losing as little as weight as possible.”
Bufford’s sidekick Karmie, is also his buddy. A cute black and white Border Collie with a lot of heart, who is always ready to go.
“There’s a lot of dogs out there, but there’s not as many that just won’t quit on you, that you can always rely on,” Barrett said. “That’s kind of what I look for in a dog, I can’t have one quit me when things get tough.”
And the best part of working stock, is knowing you have a dedicated companion.
“That’s kind of the fun part, just having your buddy there that you know will always be there,” Barrett said.
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