Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Australian Kelpie and Hangin Tree Dogs - Buddy and Sissy's Story


A story of my introduction to two amazing dogs and life with canines   

I had to write this article because, where ever we go, we get such compliments on these two. People are amazed how well they are socially and how they work together.  If you are considering a new Pup and have the room for one of these breeds you wouldn’t go wrong with one of them. Remember that these two are working dogs and need stimulation to keep their minds and bodies active.

     I have always been an animal lover, but never had much experience with dogs, but I became fortunate to have two wonderful pets that have changed my opinion of the canine world. See, I had always been a cat person, had pet rats, turtles, fish, ant farms, and a few birds, but never a dog.
The only memories that I have of dogs in my life are; a childhood camera clip of a dog my parents had for a short time, the home movie clip shows me at about the age of three in my dad’s arms as he is holding me on his lap swinging me on the swing set.  The dog appears, jumping on me and leaving muddy footprints on my holiday dress, as I am bent in half trying to pet the dog.  Then my aunt runs into the frame of the pic and shoos the dog away.  The only other memory is one of my aunt’s Chihuahua, Cindy, which seemed to always have some sort of nasty black stuff in its eye, and that when we would babysit it, I would dress it up in my doll clothes. One other memory of it was when it was sleeping on my bed and became sick on my quilt my grandmother made me. By the way the stain is still there. My mom never could get it out. Well, those where about the only encounters that I had ever with dogs.
     It wasn’t until I had kids that a friend of mine found a dog that was fully trained.  She put ads in the paper, called local vets, and posted on veterinary hotlines for missing dogs. This was before they had the missing pet internet sites and chips. She felt that the dog would be great for my kids, which he was. Needless to say, I had no experience with taking care of a dog or how to make a companion out of one. My son and daughter adopted the dog right away and pretty much took care of its needs, besides me walking it at night around the block a few times to get my exercise.

    Later in my life, I meant my new husband. He had two dogs. One was his old gal that and another was one that a friend abandoned on him.   After his dog Casey passed away, the other one was lonely.  My husband talked about all the dogs he had in the past and how much they were a part of his life. It made me want to go out and find him a new dog.  That’s when I ran across Buddy, an Australian Kelpie. (This is a good site for info on a Kelpie was a pup that someone purchased from a breeder as a companion for their dog, but their dog would have no part of the pup and attacked it a couple times and was living in a small house, locked in the bathroom so that the other dog wouldn’t attack it.

    When I brought Buddy home, he didn’t have a real name yet.  It was to be my husband’s dog.  He said the name would come naturally to the dog as we became more familiar with its character. When calling the pup to him, he would naturally use the term “My little Buddy”.  Well, the name stuck. Buddy, it was.
     My husband had all the experience with training dogs, so I let him be in charge. The pup was going to be his anyways.  Well, it didn’t end up working that way.   I picked up Buddy right before the school year ended.  I work at for the public schools and I am off for the summer.  All that first summer Buddy spent with me. I took him everywhere because I didn’t want to leave him alone for fear of the other dog and Buddy’s past experience with his previous owner.  Buddy joined me on my hikes and camping events with my women’s hiking group.  He met all of the members’ dogs and had such a good time with me.
Buddy Camp out at Spicer Lake Calif

    Buddy soon became my companion dog and not husband’s.  I took Buddy to training and I learned how to work with a dog. Buddy now can run a full obstacle course and do a search/rescue for me if I became lost. He has never left my side and has been an inspiration for me to develop a line of leashes,, dog soap, and I'm creating a new line of dog accessories that will be introduced later this summer.
    After the friend’s dog passed away the following year, Buddy needed a companion and my husband wanted a dog that was his Buddy, not mine. The search for the perfect dog for him was on. It looked like it was going to be a challenge for me. He wanted something that was; small that he could put in a canoe, one that could withstand high desert sand and heat; a dog that would keep up with his pace on runs and hikes, and especially one that wasn’t a bird dog, since we have homing pigeons, chickens, rabbits, and cats on our little Hilltop Haven.
    I researched a bunch of different dogs and suggested many.  The answer was always “No, that would not work”.  I finally settled on looking for a small cattle dog, possibly a Blue Healer ranch dog.  They are loyal, have great endurance and are easily trainable. Then one day I ran across a lady who had posted an ad for a couple pups. They were ranch dogs, but not Healers. They were a custom mix of a Catahoula Hound, Australian Shepard, Border collie, and Kelpie.   This mix is called a “Hangin Tree Dog” named after the Hangin Tree Ranch, where the owner wanted the perfect ranch dog; dependable, has high endurance, no fear to be around cattle, great temperament, intelligence, and easy with hardly no maintenance coat.  You can read more about these amazing dogs here,

    When I went to pick up the new pup, the lady had one female and a male and the mom. I was able to see what this pup was going to look like as it grew older. A great asset for I was looking for a smaller dog. The mom was about knee high, strong muscular legs, extremely large paws for her size, short slick coat, markings of a Catahoula hound and a Border Collie. She was very friendly once she was given the Ok that I wasn’t a threat.  I chose the young female. It looked more like the dad, which was not a true Hangin Tree dog, as the mother was. Dad was another rancher’s Border Collie.  This litter didn’t have the true Hangin Tree blood line of both mother and father. But, it was still basically the same mix in my mind, with a bit more Border Collie.
    My husband named her “Sissy”.  Sissy has turned out to be such great dog. She is everything my husband wanted in a dog and more, and such a personality!!  She was a bit of a handful at first, with wanting to do as she pleased, even turning her head away from my husband when he was trying to get her to work a command. That’s the Border Collie in her, but she learned so fast and is such a devoted dog. She will jump at anything he tells her now.

    This pair combination, of Buddy the Australian Kelpie and Sissy a Border Collie Hangin Tree mix has been amazing! Buddy mostly uses air scenting and eye contact, Sissy is mostly eye contact, searching as she is running.  When she locks on to something she is focused on it intently. She will ground scent too, when commanded to “Go search”.  Many times we take them out to play hide-and- go seek. They have never failed to find one of use on the trail.  Neither one of them have had issues with thunder or noise.
    I have learned so much from these two about the canine world and how to be companions. These have adopted our cat Brat into their pack and heard our chickens from my vegetable garden.  They keep wild animals, as foxes and skunks away from our home, and even have learned the sound of the rooster calls when a predator bird is in the air above the hens.  Buddy and Sissy will look up barking while searching the sky for the predator, most of the time able to scare it away.

    Thank you for reading about my introduction to these two unique breed of dogs. They really have become a special part of my life. I hope that you find your perfect companion, and if you already have, I would like to hear about it..