Monday, April 2, 2012

T-N Ford

My nursery dog this year is Ford.
My young nursery dog, Ford.
 Well, maybe it's not fair to him to call him my nursery dog just yet.  He will be running in the nursery classes this year but will only be 16 months old when he steps out on to the field for the first time. He's far enough along in his training that as long as I keep in mind that it is a learning year and not a go for the gold year, we should be good.  Since our trialing season doesn't start until May and is quickly over in July, we only have a short time to qualify our nursery dogs.  I thought it might be a good idea to get Ford out this year and get a feel for the different sheep, fields, and situations that can only be gotten at a trial.  That will leave us another winter to polish up his training before his real nursery year starts in the Spring of 2013.
Ford in training this winter
 Ford is out of Norma Stewart's Lena who is out of a long line of her own breeding that goes back to Tommy Wilson's Roy.  Lena has had success on both sheep and cattle.  Ford's father is Tom Forrester's Pete.  Pete's lines go back to Nathan Mooney's Max and is heavy to a long line of Tom's dogs with  quite a few Kuykendall dogs in there on both Pete and Lena's sides of the pedigree. Pete was the USBCHA Reserve Champion Cattle Dog at the 2010 Nationals and went on to make the double lift finals at the USBCHA Sheepdog Championships in the same year.
I wanted a Pete/Lena pup ever since I saw Lori Cunningham's Matt when he was about the same age Ford is now.  I was impressed by his cool head and bidability  but yet he still had plenty of forward. Matt proved me right by making the Open double lift at the USBCHA National finals when he was just a nursery dog.
Ford's older brother, Lori Cunningham's Matt, prepares for the International shed at the 2010 National Finals
  Shortly after the finals Norma repeated the Pete/Lena breeding for the 3rd and final time.  We were lucky to be on the list but I had to do alot of begging to Scott before I was allowed to add him to my string of dogs. (by the way, although I do drive a Ford Ranger, he is not named after the truck but after a good friend, Bobby Ford, in TN)  Ford got a nice start on being a confident puppy from my friend Joan Shelton in TN who took him into her house and raised him until I was able to pick him up when he was 5 months old.
Baby Ford - photo by Christine Koval
 By the time he was 9 months old he was craving work and Scott felt that he could hold up to some training so I've been working him ever since.  Although I see alot of similarities to Matt in his cool head and forward, Ford has a stubborn streak that you can't fight.  Once I learned to quit arguing with him, we got alot more done and I learned to enjoy him.
 As long as we are both continuing to learn and not cause any harm to his training, we'll muddle through our courses this year and prepare for the next. 


Canines 'N Ewe said...

Handsome Boy!!!

Doniene said...

My Pete resembles your Ford! It will be exciting to see how Ford does this year!

Donna Brinkworth said...

I love his looks and size, and forgot about that baby picture - I thought you got another breed at first, with his wirey face! He grew up! Good luck this year with him, and have fun.

Joan said...

He sure grew up good!

Kristi said...

Good-looking dog! Is his tail really that long? Last time I saw him, he was a pup in an ex-pen. My, how time flies!