It is great fun to watch Red on his spectacular outruns – I love watching his glorious outbursts of joy. But the truth is, I'm not an Irish farmer or a herding trialer. The tasks that are important to me are the simple ones – get the sheep, hold them at the gate, keep them out of the barn, get them out of the barn, get them into the pen for the vet, get them into the barn for safety or medicine. These are not uplifting perhaps, but they are much more important to me, and Red does them efficiently and with great skill and intelligence. Red is a very bright creature, and he figures tasks out in much the same way Rose did.
The great border collies, I believe, are not only well trained but intuitive. They help their bumbling humans along. That was Rose. This is Red. Perhaps because Karen Thompson trained Red, he is almost astonishingly in tune with me. So I shot a video showing one of the simplest but most elemental tasks: get the sheep, bring them to me. A border collie always wants to keep the sheep between himself and the herder, and will always drive them to the herder if he knows what he is doing. Come and see.