PEOPLE who say old dogs can’t learn new tricks haven’t met the working dogs at AgQuip.
Nicholas Seis has been showing and selling his Kelpies at the Gunnedah field day for about 30 years, but even this AgQuip veteran learnt something new this time around.
AgQuip is the biggest trek for Gulgong-based Winona Merino and Kelpie Stud, who also make regular visits to the Ornage and Mudgee field days.
“It pays for us to come here,” Mr Seis said.
For the first time, Mr Seis was able to see the trade from the point of view of Shaun, his working dog.
With a camera strapped to his dog’s back, the kelpie breeders were beamed a live feed of the action.
“It was hilarious in a way,” Mr Seis said.
“But it would be interesting to have a good look at it and see what the dog was doing wrong and see how the sheep actually react to the dog.”
The role of technology in agriculture is becoming more prevalent, and Mr Seis saw no reason why working dog studs couldn’t capitalise.
“I can’t see why not, if you could get ear phones on him, I can’t see why you couldn’t sit at home and do that with a little bit of practice,” he said.
“It did [effect him] a little bit with his style and his footwork, because he was a little bit restricted.
“If a dog grew up with that on him, I guess he’d get used to it.”
Mr Seis, a joint-partner in the stud with his father Colin, said there were two key elements in making a good working dog.
“The breeding and probably the handler,” he said.
“The handler can turn an average dog into a great dog.”