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Howdy everybody!


Curious what you regard as serious enough faults to send a dog on. What would you say is something that you don't want to deal with in your dogs, and what do you regard as flaws you can work with. I know all dogs have strengths and weaknesses, just wondering what you would regard a serious enough weakness to send the dog packing.


Obvious things aside: lack of interest, lack of focus, etc. More interested in working styles and traits you dislike and why.


Thanks in advance for your time.

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Welcome to the boards.


To me the bottom line is, is the dog useful in hillwork.

At the moment my working dog is Gláma, fine dog but imo useless for trialing ( if you are interested in our misadventures, read the "second try" topic in the trial section).

But she is a good working dog when we collect our free range sheep from the Icelandic high land. Not to mention the undogged ones from our neighbours...

She is not a stellar dog and she has weaknesses/flaws I can work with, but I would never get rid of her.


On the other hand I gave up on a dog last year who, allthough having received lots of training and was not that bad under direct and near supervision, turned untrustworthy as soon as he thought the handler was far enough to get away with (serious) mischief.

I cannot use a dog I can't trust.



At the moment I am waiting for a puppy, he'll come to us around the middle of March, if all goes to plan he should be fully trained around the time Gláma retires. High hopes...

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Hum well if a dog quits with me in the mountains that is one. And for Any reason, Gunshot, thunder storm, range bulls.....people yelling.....whatever.....They cannot ever ever quit.

Regroup, yes.....come at situation a different way, yes. But quit and sulk- No. A dog like that I might keep but will never be a first string dog. And chances are he might find himself placed into a situation that suits him better.


I have to trust the dog to do his/her work out of my sight, where there are no commands. Dog must be diplomatic or tough depending on situation without being told. Like, rousting out a bull in deep brush on a summer day. Or bringing new ewes and lambs off the hill. The dog must come from lines that have this in them.


Loyalty- Dog must stay with me. I cannot look around and find my dog is 1/4 mile away sniffing scat. Must want to partner up and stay with me. Without me doing anything.


Stays sound, tough feet, good bone.....general good health- STAMINA- Heat/Cold Tolerance.



Ok, now I got that out of my system. I learned this stuff the hard way in real life situations. (The fire) But Every dog has problems.....My Jake and Joe are top of the food chain grand in my work. But Jake can't tolerate cold as well. Joe you gotta watch with tiny lambs, as he can be overly 'pushy'


I like a good natured dog too, one that likes people and will work with anyone.

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I don't like quitters or dogs with any sort of silly streak (on stock). I don't want a dog whose first inclination under pressure is to pull stock down. I want a natural outrunner and a thinker. I don't have time for a dog that needs to be told what to do all the time. And I don't want to have to put an outrun on a dog.


Last, my dogs live together with me. I'll take a certain amount of snarky behavior, but those who can't get along, especially if they go after the vulnerable, aren't likely to stay.



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I most enjoy a natural dog, one that looks to be a team player and is willing to give me 150%. I have had super working talented dogs that want to always do things their way, super frustrating when they are working only for themselves and you are just along to open the gate.

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