Jeff Clausen knew he had a good working dog on his hands when he brought the 3-year-old Border Collie Skittles on Red Bluff Bull and Merin Sale in California. A man from Melba spent the last year training the Scythians as a general dog who was to help breeders move cattle.
In three days Clausen and Kegley competed in Red Bluff runs, showing how the Skittles could drive a herd of cattle into a corral or select one animal from a group simply by following Clausen’s whistles and vocal commands. Skittles performed quite well – the judges put her in fifth place among 17 dogs.
Clausen estimated he would receive about $ 8,000 to $ 9,000 for the Skittles at an auction the next day, where participants bid on dogs that would become valuable hands of the ranch.
Instead, the Skittles began a bidding war that broke the record for Red Bluff dog sales set by Clausen and another red border collie, Hardyin 2018.
Idaho dog beats auction record
Since the Skittles took fifth place during the promotion, she was the fifth dog to be sold at auction at the Red Bluff sale on January 29th. The first four dogs – the best competitors – were sold for $ 6000-11000.
When Clausen and Skittles went up for auction, Clausen said he felt the mood had changed.
“When we got in there, the aura of the whole place just changed,” he told Idaho. “Everyone started shouting and yelling.”
Several people began betting on Skittles, who watched the crowd with interest from Clausen’s hands. Bidding quickly surpassed the previous day’s high of $ 11,000.
“I lost my mind at $ 23,000,” Clausen said. “I didn’t even know what was going on.”
“Sold!” Said the auctioneer, pounding his hammer as the crowd rejoiced and clapped. “$ 45,000.”
Skittles broke the $ 30,000 record that Clausen set in 2018 with Gurdy, the Border Collie, who took first place in the dog races.
Clausen was shocked. Skittle was a good dog, but not as good as her competitors. Instead, she won over her new owners, Neil and Andrea Seeler, with her bright, affectionate face.
“In Red Bluff, they want a dog that goes ahead and strongly stops cattle. She wasn’t that dog, Clausen said. “She wasn’t the strongest dog in the competition, but she had the strongest character.”
Clausen said he believes his training technique distinguishes his dogs. He doesn’t consider himself a dog trainer, and that’s not his full-time job. Each year he trains only one dog, takes the puppy to work with him on the fattening he manages, and allows his children to play with the dog. Clausen said some people are worried that excessive communication will ruin a working dog, but he found that friendly, representative dogs are what people want.
“These cowsheds used to be tools,” Clausen said. “They’re no longer tools, and I think modern society wants a pet while making a partner work.”
Skittles will graze long-legged, hang out with family
The partner was exactly what Seelers was looking for in Red Bluff. The family is running away a small longhorn breeding operation in Texas in Penn Valley, California. Because they show their cattle, they were looking for a softer dog that wouldn’t bite their cattle and potentially hurt him, Andrea Siler said.
The Sealers looked at the Skittles, seeing how carefully she moved the cattle while jogging with the dogs. When they had the opportunity to meet her on the eve of the auction, they fell in love.
“She was extremely loving and could be said to be a family dog,” Andrea Siler said.
Sealer said that after meeting Skittle, she and her husband talked to friends nearby. When her husband got down on his knees to pet their friends ’puppy, Skittles ran up to get Neil’s attention.
“He looked at me and said, ‘She’s coming home with us,'” Sealer said.
When the Skittles were put up for auction, Sealers thought they would get a good price for a puppy that finished fifth. But other bidders also looked at it. Although the final price tag of $ 45,000 was caused by some shock, Sealer said Skittles has already proven how valuable a working dog she is – and a valuable family member.
Sealer said her family recently acquired 8,000 acres and she will need a dog to help move her herd of about 100 cattle. They currently do all the work with their family and one staff member at the ranch.
“We called friends to help (move the cattle),” Sealer said. “We assume Skittles is working with us that we don’t need anymore.”
However, the life of Skittles will not be just work. Sealers also own a construction business, and if the dog doesn’t accompany Neil to work, she lounges under Andrea’s table or plays with 12 other dogs belonging to the family.
“She fit in perfectly with our family,” Sealer said. “She is now living a spoiled life.”
A man from Idaho is preparing the next dog for sale
Clausen said people may find it difficult to understand why he is breaking up with dogs with whom he is so closely related. But he said he knows working dogs will live better if they do what they were bred to work full time for.
Clausen joked that Skittles quickly settled with the Seelers and never looked back, but Andrea Seeler said she could say the dog was missing Clausen.
“As soon as the auction was over and we took the Skittles, it broke my heart because I knew they must have the strangest connection,” she said.
The Sealers plan to invite Clausen to their ranch to work with Skittles and their other Border Collie, Ruby, whom they also purchased at a Red Bluff auction. Ruby took second place on the stock exchange and sold for $ 11,000.
Meanwhile, Clausen is already preparing to train his next dog – another red border collie nicknamed Ponchita.