Julias Cowboy Stories: A Cow Dog's Story

Vince, a friend of mine from WY raises some nice horses that he sells. He has a real nice stud and a good band of mares, that by now are pretty well known all over the region. He likes to also keep a dog around to help him with some of the cowboying he does.

Now Vince was raised on a fair sized ranch, and is no stranger to training a good stock dog. But the Blue Heeler mix he got a few years ago just never turned out to be any good. Whenever Vince would send that dog toward the cattle, he would run full tilt around 'em towards the right, until he got to the opposite side. Then all of a sudden he would turn and run straight thru the herd, biting and nipping anything that didn't get out of the way fast enough, and then come back to Vince wanting his "Ataboy Award".

Nothing Vince did to get that dog to work right, would help. The dog would always do the same thing, run around the herd like a crazy man, and then run right thru the middle, scattering the bunch from here to breakfast. The only thing that kept Vince from getting rid of that dog were his good looks.

One day a horse buyer came to look at Vince's colts. He had been to Vinces place before, and knew Vince would trade on just about anything. So they looked at horses for a while, shot the bull for a while, and drank some coffee. It was getting on towards evening time and the buyer was talking bout headin' home.

As they loaded up the colts that had changed hands, that dog was putting on a good show of "helping" (most folks would argue with that term). That buyer took notice of that dog, and said to Vince: "Say, that's kind of a good looking dog. You wouldn't want to sell him, now, would you?"

"I don't know, John, that's a pretty good dog. I'd have to have at least $200 for him." "$200!!! That's a lot of money for a dog! Does he work at all?" "Well, let's go to the feed ground and I'll show you." So they jumped in the pick up, told the dog to hop in and drove right on out to where the cattle where on the feed ground. Vince stopped the truck, and hollered at the dog: "WAY-AROUND, BUCK, WAY-AROUND!!" (That's the collie command for going around the herd to the right).

That dog came flying out of that pick up going nine-oh. Sure enough, just like always, he ran as fast as he could go to the right and around the bunch spooking them up until he got to the other side. Then, just before he got to his usual spot where he would turn and run thru the middle scattering the whole bunch to pieces, Vince leaned his head out the window and hollered at the top of his lungs: "SPLIT 'EM IN TWOOO!"

That dog had a nice new home that day.

© Slater Horse Training, LLC.

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