It seems like the subject of stock-dogs always comes up at some time during the schools and seminars we conduct around the country. People are proud of their dogs and like to tell about the wonderful things they can do. But sometimes, during these discussions someone will say “My dog doesn’t know how to do any of the things you are talking about, but he is still a big help to me.”
Sometimes we get so hung-up with perfection that we forget that man and dog are individuals and not everyone is interested or capable of being that perfect dog, or perfect handler. It’s great if your dog will stop stock and bring them back to you, but even if it will only stop them and hold them until you get there it is a big help. Maybe he just wants to stay with you but he will help you drive the stock and you enjoy his company. No matter what your neighbor says, if you think you have a good dog, then YOU HAVE A GOOD DOG.
Working a dog should be pleasant for you and your dog. Know what your dog is capable of doing. Don’t ask him to do things that he can’t do. No matter how you try to hide it, he will know you are disappointed and both you and he will be unhappy.