Sheepdog Videos – Natural Ability

On this page are various videos of completely untrained pups (unless otherwise stated) around 4-5 months of age, let do their own thing with sheep (I will gradually add more videos as I get a chance).

This is about the age I evaluate all of my pups, given a free rein to gauge their natural ability. What I look for is explained in my book  “Working Sheep Dogs – A practical guide to breeding, training and handling”, and also in my DVD  “Natural Ability – The instincts of the high-caliber working dog”.

I look for pups that can hold sheep together and get them under control, even wild touchy sheep, without any training whatsoever, and then show signs of wanting to force. In contrast, the majority of pups around would not be capable of handling touchy sheep at this age, for example splitting them up and just chasing and so on. In my view this means they will never be top dogs. They may look passable, even highly capable, at a later age after much handling and training, but it is more the handling than the dog. And if the dogs where let work on their own initiative or out of sight, things wouldn’t look so rosy! 

DescriptionVideo LinkYear of birthBreedingPedigree link
Campaspe pup by Campaspe Sam x Campaspe Tammy. Litter brother to Campaspe Connie & Campaspe Nellie, 2 bitches I retained from that litter.

Lovely calm pup, showing very nice breakaway break and heading instinct.

Campaspe pup
2014Campaspe Sam x Campaspe Tammy
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Campaspe Sandy untrained 6 mths old. Showing her calm strength and walk up force.

Sandy is from the last litter sired by Campaspe Bounce, out of Campaspe Joan (see video of Joan as a pup below). As an older dog with some training she has fantastic square break, a lovely natural cast and natural pull, a natural heading and driving dog, with lots of distance and plenty of force.
Campaspe Sandy 6 mths2014Campaspe Bounce x Campaspe Joan
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Campaspe Bruno just turned 4 mths.

Full younger brother to Campaspe Sam. A strong, forceful pup with plenty of break and heading instinct. Looking to force, but also happy just to watch. Calm and keen with just a nice amount of eye.

Campaspe Bruno 4 mths
2014Campaspe King x Campaspe Ebby
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What do you do when you want to raddle a few sheep, but have no race or pen handy? Why, enlist the help of the 4 month old pup of course...

Campaspe Connie

Campaspe Connie 4 mths
2014Campaspe Sam x Campaspe Tammy
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Campaspe Tammy about 5 mths old on fresh sheep.

Fantastic breakaway break, calm strong steady temperament, gets fully to head to turn sheep back, cover and block and hold, and desire to force.

Campaspe Tammy 5 mths
2013Campaspe King x Campaspe Maggie
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Campaspe Joan 4 1/2 months on quiet sheep.

Showing her ability to both fall in behind sheep and drive, and break out around them to head, and also both to break wide around them, and work in close. Calm and brainy, thinking about things.

Campaspe Joan 4 1/2 mths
2013Campaspe King x Campaspe Maggie
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Campaspe pup about 4 months old. On quiet sheep here (see next video below on fresh sheep).

Campaspe pup 4 mths
2013Campaspe King x Campaspe Maggie
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Campaspe pup about 5 mths old on fresh sheep.

Breakaway break, heads fully, calm and relaxed, no busyness happy to do nothing when nothing needs doing. Does overrun a bit, and not as much short cover as Tammy. See clip above of same pup a month earlier on quiet sheep showing that she also has plenty of strength and walk up, which will only strengthen further with age.

Campaspe pup 5 mths
2013Campaspe King x Campaspe Maggie
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Campaspe Kallo 6 mths old untrained.

A nice pup showing lovely square break around his sheep and nice heading ability. Moves smoothly and also shows signs of falling in behind and driving. More eye than most of Holly's pups. As an adult dog he has freed up a lot in the eye department, and using very little in general but has plenty when required.

Campaspe Kallo 6 mths
2013Campaspe King x Campaspe Holly
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Campaspe pup by Campaspe Ring out of Monmore Mist.

Lovely breakaway break, square short cover, keeps eyes on sheep, bit more eye than ideal for allround dog.

Campaspe Sandy 4 mths
2011Campaspe Ring x Monmore Mist
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Campaspe Male pup by Campaspe Ring out of Campaspe Bella. 4 mths old, untrained.

Showing some lovely smooth balance and mob cover, nice width, distance and eye.

Campaspe pup 4 mths
2011Campaspe Ring x Campaspe Bella
Campaspe Male pup pedigree

Like to see more? The DVD A Few Good Dogs includes over 2 1/2 hours of video of many of the foundation dogs and others.