Just thinking out loud...
Kilt comes to mind when I think of this topic. I hear exhibitors say that if you have a good open dog they would make just as good a ranch dog. Not so sure, in my thinking. Yes, for some of them, but no, not for all of them. Can a ranch dog be a trial dog? I think yes. Can I trial dog be a ranch dog? I think yes. Can all ranch dogs be trial dogs and can all trial dogs be ranch dogs.....I think NO.
Lately we have been working "light" sheep at some of the trials and some of the trial dogs have had difficulty working them. The sheep picked out the dogs instantly. How fast do you think stock pick out a weak dog on a ranch? Pretty darn quickly. Soon you have a dog that doesn't want confrontation and you're looking to replace him with something else. Sheep are far from dumb. Once they have a dog's number, they don't forget.
I see Kilt take care of business that Jet and Yoko wouldn't even consider. Jet was a great first dog, and Yoko has lots of nice qualities. But, Kilt has GRIT and INDEPENDENT thinking going on for her. Just the other morning I was trying to sort some specific sheep out of a flock of 100 goats and sheep. A couple of goats slipped through. I NEVER have to say anything to Kilt. This girl is so savvy. She can wrangle a goat like no other. And, sometimes they need some wrangling. :0) And, if any sheep or goat think about leaving a holding area with a gate open, think again if Kilt is watching. This is what I LOVE about KILT.
Kilt is very difficult for me to handle in an open trial. You've all heard me whine about it. Why is she so difficult for me to get a handle on at a trial? Because, she likes to take control. She will team up once in awhile, but sometimes I don't know what her game plan is. Wayne loves her, because you can always count on her to bring you sheep.
I do hope that I can breed this bitch again. She is athletic, has fabulous endurance, good eyes, and OFA excellent hips. I'm still thinking about what may be a good cross. I like an independent thinker. It won't exactly help me in trial competition, but that's okay in my book. I love Kilt's qualities. Well, maybe I wish she wasn't as "snarky" as she is with other strange dogs. She's a bitch, that's for sure. :0)
Not sure what the future holds ahead of us, but it's fun thinking about it. :0)