A bit of competition is healthy

By Country News on December 21, 2015

How is Rex as a working dog?

He’s a better yard dog than paddock dog. Ted (the other working dog) is a better paddock dog though. It’s hard to get them good at both.

Rex seems to be obedient from the small demonstration I just saw. Is that accurate?

He’s not too bad. I’ve had two kids in the past two years so Dad has had the dogs a lot more than me — but he’s not as strict as I am. If it’s hot and we’re working sheep, Rex will run off to get a drink and have a swim, like he did just before. Ted doesn’t do that.

Rodger Kemp (Annalise’s dad): He’s the smallest dog, but he’s the boss. He’s good at penning up sheep in a drenching race — he can get them nice and tight to work with. He might only spend a few months in the year working.

Often he just likes to ride around on the bike or in the tractor. The dogs just like to be with you all the time. They’ve wrecked the motorbike though — Ted and Rex use it as a launching pad to jump off.

How do the cattle and sheep respond to Rex?

Rex needs to be a bit aggressive with the beef cattle, otherwise they don’t move. He prefers the sheep though. Usually when he works the sheep we put a muzzle on him because he nips at them.

How would you describe Rex’s personality?

He’s pretty gentle and friendly. He’s a working dog but he’s great with kids.

How do Rex and Ted get along?

They don’t always. They fight a fair bit, especially when they’re on heat. They compete a lot when they’re working so usually we have to use one of the female working dogs to work with Rex.

How are Rex and Ted related?

Annalise: Ted’s mum was Rex’s grandmother, so Ted is Rex’s uncle. Rex learnt a lot of his training from Ted.

Rodger: Ted’s mum, Jess, was actually in one of the Man’s Best Friend pages about 15 years ago.

Is Rex’s mum still around?

Annalise: She is but she’s retired. She’s 11.

Rodger: We’ve been trying to train Rex up to take over from his mother’s duties. His mother was a very good working dog.

Words and pictures:

Emma Carinci

By Country News on December 21, 2015
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