We are a small, ethical kennel based on the boundary of the Clutha and Dunedin Districts. Every one of our border collies has a job with the stock and are trained here by my husband and I.
Jason and I have 35 years collective dog training experience between us. All of our dogs are trained solely by us and up until 5 years ago we spent a large percentage of our time training dogs and owners alike mostly for pet – manners, correctional techniques and of course basic training – sit, stay, heel and the likes. As such we have handled a very wide range of breeds from the Fox Terrier to the Rottweiler. We have collectively trained several dogs that have obtained permits for entry into the National Parks of New Zealand. The obedience required for this is stringent and the dog must be unfaltering in following commands and the slightest slip of the paw will see the permit declined. All of the dogs we have trained for this purpose have luckily passed this test first time round without requirement for improvement in any areas.
Jason is a very competent and persistent trainer and handles the stock training (i.e. sides, pulling, casting, stop, keep, hold etc) while I work on the manners and basic training such as lead work, sit, stay, heel, etc. Our training methods complement each other well and the product is generally a well rounded, obedient and happy dog, all of whom are a pleasure to own.
Our interest in the pedigree border collie was peaked when working on a large station near Te Anau several years ago. This station was 4,500ha in size ranging from rolling hills to scrubby faces and was intensively farmed with 37,000 stock units and another 15,000 on the way. Our foundation bitch Jess was just a young pup when we came to this station and having come from a rolling to flat farm where I always remembered my father being so gentle and unobtrusive with the stock and Jason from England where the farming practices were also a lot more gentile we were to say the least surprised to see the number of dogs that were used to move a mob of sheep. Granted a mob could vary from 4 – 6000 sheep but it was not uncommon to see 15 huntaway’s and 10 NZ heading dogs bail out of a truck and the mayhem that followed. This sparked an interest in the true border collie as a working dog and we set too with training her. Jess had no easy road to learning all about stock work as we were kindly given the stations rams to train her on! She took it in her stride and once I had the basic commands on her stop, come and walk-up Jason started to take her out on the station to work. At the age of 8 months Jess had a full range of working commands on her and when Jason was sent to move stock he would take her and only her. She would move a mob of 6000 sheep on her own, quietly and gently without any fuss. Jess begged for the scrubby country and has such an instinct that she knew if something was hiding. Jason often said that he would call her back and she would come but would be quite edgy, it took him a little while to realise that she was saying there is still a sheep in here and eventually gave her her head to go back out, every time without fail she would flush a sheep out of a little hidey hole and bring it back down to the mob. Hence the passion was born.
At Southridge Kennels we do not believe that a “working strain” is required for a successful working dog. The Border Collie was bred for stock work and most all border collies have that instinct somewhere in them. There is a key to unlocking the instinct and every border collie regardless of breeding has it in them, persistence and training is foremost in importance. To find out about the rest of the family please visit each dog’s page.