There is a reason I bred this bitch twice. I absolutely ADORE her. It's not always your trial dog that is your best dog and Kilt is proof of that. The only open class we won had a marked shed. When it comes to ranch work, that's what she is all about. That's what I love about her. She knows when to be gentle and she knows when to be tough. She would no more (not even at a trial) allow a sheep to give her back talk. She is all business.
When I go out to the desert, she can drive her sheep a half a mile without any commands at the perfect pace. She rarely if ever looks at me, but will take a whistle if I give her one. Maybe her greatest flaw other than taking over the chain of command at trials is her sensitivity to pressure. She feels pressure way before I can even see it. She isn't keen on walking into pressure. Regardless, she always gets the job done. She may not want to walk into pressure, but guaranteed, the stock will go where ever she tells it to go. She has the perfect amount of eye and an all business presence about her.
Lately, my geese have been stinkers. They are spoiled. They will go after a dog, especially Champ since he puts more pressure on them than they would like. The mailman got out of her truck today to watch the geese work. They were being very bad. I brought Kilt out. One or two of the geese thought they would go after her. She held her ground and gave the perfect jump into their faces and off they went the other way. None of my dogs are rough. No one bites the birds. No one pulls feathers. They are learning just what the right amount of pressure is to put on them to get the geese to respect them. It has been an interesting learning curve for all of us.
I had brought some 3-way hay up for the geese to eat in my hay cart from the barn. Kilt walked the geese several acres down to the sheep barn while I wheeled the hay cart back to the feed shed. Then she walked them up the hill, around the house and took them back to the arena. While I watched her handle the birds, my love for her grew. I remembered when the sheep got out years ago in the dark on the side of the mountain. The brush was 3-4 feet high. We couldn't even see the sheep. Kilt fetched them back to the barn without any help. We were amazed.
So when she does things her own way at the trials these days, it is difficult for me to get too upset. We will never be a team on a course, but as a ranch hand, she is my right arm. She puts a GRIN on my face more times than I can tell you. Kilt is worth her weight in GOLD. :0)