He was the cleverest puppy, mastering the potty training in a few days. The only thing is, he does not bark to go outside, something I am still working on with him. The boundless energy he had the first two years was incredible and like an ADHD child, he did not know where to channel it. We tried herding sheep, but he just wanted to chase them. I found that he was bred from a long line of cattle dogs, which explained why he would come from the front and bite the noses rather than go from behind. So, we have been learning off the grid, so to speak, by training with sticks and toys first, then transferring those skills to herding. Getting him to slow down was a challenge. Instead, I have taught him to sneak and not touch it, it being the stick or the ball. He literally shakes when he gets so close, but he does not touch it. Now he will sneak up to the sheep from behind, though he still wants to herd them off at the pass and chase them from the front. But, he is learning. He knows a variety of commands now, go back, this way, that way, which are the same as away to me and come by used by professional herders and their dogs. I have been giving him arms signals with the this way and that way, and he knows them, but getting him to pay a quick glance when he is with the sheep is another issue. For a nearly two year old he is well started and on his way.
He loves agility too and with the farm, he has a natural agility course. He can jump over my head from bale to bale at a distance of about 6 feet across. He know up and down and back, left and right. I can speak quietly to him to go find his ball or stick or toy and he will remember exactly where he left it and go get it, sometimes clear across the yard. He herds the chickens with me and chases the goat back to her pen. He can stand down a ram down, too. Robbie stays on his mat when he is told to and will go to bed as well if he is asked. He is forbidden near the table and will not beg for food, though given a chance to have some, he won't turn it down. Now he has found his place in the pack too, once trying to be the alpha, but succumbing to Harley, who lets Robbie rule until he decides to. Robbie knows that Harley is king and does not push him anymore. But he is second in command and even Ofcharka gives him a wide berth when he puts his ears back and starts growling.
He is a pleasure to have as a pet and a wonder as far as dogs go. And, best of all, he now comes 99% of the time when he is called. I love that dog!