Shelties Online: The Weekly Online Magazine for Lovers of the Breed

2016 Performance Week: Kiely's Journey

By Christa Medaries


Kiely in action

Kiely is that once in a lifetime sheltie to me. There is more than one venue I love doing with her -- herding and agility being the favorites. Kiely has her Graduate Novice and we are working on Open A, but obedience isn't her favorite. She excelled in conformation with me handling, except one major. She earned her GCH before she was three years old.

She is a joy to run with in agility. If I can run the course, she can do it very well. At 3-years-old she won her MACH at the 2014 ASSA National. Approximately one year later is was MACH2 and we were just having fun.

Kiely also loves herding, so much so, that my husband and I bought a farm and have sheep and ducks for her to work. She has become a very good stock dog and helps me with daily chores. Kiely won HIT on sheep at the 2014 ASSA National. In June of 2016, at the age of five, she earned her Herding Championship and that made her a Grand Champion Triple Champion! I could not be more proud of my first home bred girl! She has taught me patience, humility and I've met some of the best people I would not have met otherwise. I feel very blessed to have Kiely and look forward to the rest of our journey together. I honestly was just enjoying doing things with my best girl and ended up with a dream of a lifetime!

Kiely Herding Ducks in April of 2016

For me, the single most challenging aspect of participating in herding and agility at the same time is that in agility Kiely is "keyed up" and full of excitement, barking and ready to go fast. In herding that can get me in trouble. If she is barking and excited in herding it can make my whole run go crazy. It makes the stock scared and ready to run. That is not good. In herding I need her to be quiet and have the correct, calm attitude.

Doing performance events is worthwhile to me because it shows that a sheltie can do more than just be pretty. Herding is what the breed was bred to do. Agility is a team sport, as is obedience. These events are based on having a relationship with your dog to work as a team, depending on each other for the end result. It is a great feeling! Win or lose, you still get to take the best dog home with you and maybe even get some ice cream with whip cream along the way.

Kiely at 2014 ASSA National taking High In Trial

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