Some of our customers that have Noonbarra Kelpies as companions often decide to have a go at a dog sport where both the handler and the dog can enjoy a good fun day out. Because our Kelpies are bred to run along the backs of sheep, jump yard rails and turn quickly to block sheep they have a high degree of agility so do very well at most dog sports. They are also bred to listen to commands and be compliant in that regard. They need to be fast. They need to be intelligent and learn quickly. They need to be able to work with noise and people around them and still focus on the job at hand. It is these traits that makes them easy dogs to work with. They are now winning at high levels all over the world.

Lucky Star in Agility. Owned by Sallie in the United States.
In the first film, Lucky barks at me because I am
too slow to send information on her future path

In the second film, Lucky must perform two of the contact obstacles
during the course. I was in the process of training Lucky
 to do "running contacts" -- i.e., don't
look at me, no worries. Lucky just missed placing a paw in the 
Dogwalk contact zone (and the judge swings her arms to say, Major Fault), 
but that doesn't affect Lucky's superb time through the course. I work on speed
and flow during trials, and repair the contacts in training. Also,
I won't yell, as agility is purely fun.


NOONBARRA MASSEY (South Australia)

"An update on Massey. He has earned his JDX, JDO, ADX and ADO titles this year. He already has a couple of masters passes"  - Jane Lawrence South Australia.  [ Jane has recently purchased a second Noonbarra Kelpie called Noonbarra Mikki ].

NOONBARRA PHOENIX (Western Australia)

She is going very well and is just such a lovely dog. She is getting more confident and our team work is improving for our agility. She has gained a number of wins now and I am hoping for more over the next few weeks. This weekend we have the State Trials and the following weekend is full of trials leading up to the Nationals at the end of April. A big three weeks ahead.

2010 : ... the weekend just gone WA had it's State Agility Trial. There was a Qualifying Trial on Fri Night and also Sat morning, followed by thte finals on Sat afternoon. 

Phoenix was competing in Novice Agility and Excellent Jumping classes. Fri night she ran nicely and got a clear run and First Place in Excellent Jumping and a spot in the finals. Sat her runs were even better and she had clear rounds in both Agility & Jumping - and also managed 3rd place in Agility - plus a spot in the Agility Final. 

Well..... Her finals runs were great - her Excellent Jumping was the best run she had all weekend. As such Miss Nix won both her finals - I was over the moon to say the least!!  

So Phoenix is....

WA State Agility Winner Novice Agility

WA State Agility Winner Excellent Jumping 

I have done a huge write up with lots more detail on my blog about it and there is also some video on there too if you are interested. Nix was such a good girl!! I have attached some photos and am hoping to get a good one of Nix and her ribbons / trophies over the next couple of days which I will send through too.


Sheena was sold to Japan to compete in Frisbee competition. Her owner Shinji Yasuda already has a champion Frisbee dog. We made sure he got a puppy that was compliant and outgoing and good with people.

"Hi, Sheena is growing well . She is friendly pup...Now I just play with her using a ball and a mini frisbee. She is enjoying the play very much . After a few days I will start 'leader walk' . Yes she is perfect dog for me." Shinji Yasuda

Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports


NOONBARRA RUTHLESS (United States of America)

She just loves her agility so much and I love to work with her. She is so much fun and so willing to learn and also just so smart! She has really turned out to be an amazing dog in every way. We are now competing in the masters level and she just keeps getting better. Her athletisism is very impressive. She is truly lovely and she just means the world to me.


Daysie got a 1st, 2nd, 8th and 12th at the ADAA Australian comp at Tamworth in October. She is a legend..

Noonbarra Elmo in Hungary

First of all, I have to say, he is a very special dog to us and as always said, we can't thank you enough for him. Since we have him, we can't imagine our life without a kelpie, and we are sure that our next dog will be a kelpie too. He is talented in every dog sport that we try out with him. 

He knows now every obstacle in agility, we will now improve his contact zones. I love to do agility with him. He reacts to my movement in a fracture of a minute. Sometimes my teammates ask me if they can run with him. Everyone is amazed by his turnings, he can turn around in the air.


Hunter was sold to Julie in Sydney. Julie is a Vet who does some obedience training with her Noonbarra Kelpie.


"Hi Mary and Stephen, I wanted to let you know how Hunter was going as he has now just celebrated his first birthday! He received a new soft toy which has taken the position of favourite very quickly and is already looking slightly worse for wear and in need of a wash."

"He is just beautiful and I feel very lucky to have such a great dog. He is going very well at obedience and I have recently had a number of comments from other participants and a couple of trainers about how fixatedly he looks at me, ready for the next command or praise! (I think he's just after the liver treats but I'm happy to believe that maybe he is just very attentive). He is by far the sweetest, gentlest and most affectionate dog I have ever seen and is winning the heart of even my least doggy friends and all the local children particularly our neighbours children who are very shy but love to take Hunter and our other dog out for extra walks in the park. "

"I have also started going running with him which he seems to enjoy and no doubt will keep his natural kelpie endurance up to scratch. Hope all is well with your dogs, particularly Flash who I owe a thank you to for fathering such lovely puppies. " Take care, regards Julie van Bavel

Noonbarra Scamper: Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports

Noonbarra Scamper doing Agility (USA)


Re training: we have done several obedience sessions and are currently repeating the advanced class, both as a refresher and to get Scamper around more dogs.  We like the classes as they are in a large Petsmart store, so there are a lot of distractions, etc. 

We previously took a "Click a Trick" class, which teaches behaviors via a clicker.  Some tricks Scamp picks up after a couple of demos, others she can't quite get the hang of (or doesn't want to do).  Let's see, she can spin both directions, roll over, crawl, back, etc.  She is real good at "leave it", which is really more obedience than a trick.  We worked on teaching her to bow, but she didn't quite get that one. 

We got second place in a little competition where we had to introduce an original trick to the group--we had Scamper pushing (herding) around a black stuffed sheep (shows up good against her light fur), with her nose.  It was cute, but we haven't really followed up on that one lately. 


"The Frisbee is her favorite toy, she will drop it at my feet while working in the garden and even drops it in front of the lawn mower (cheeky) so I have to pick it up and throw it for her. Bronte will chase it all day, sometimes I have to take it off her so she will eat her dinner and she is not much better with the tennis ball."

Noonbarra Oscar: Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports

Noonbarra Oscar springs in the air to catch frisbee


I do not mean to imply that Krypto is not without challenges. She does like intelligent play, and she has started frisbee. Krypto tells me what she wants to do, for example, she gets the leash from the  closet or brings the frisbee to me. When she does that, it is I who must be obedient (or be stared down by a stubborn Kelpie). She is a "larrakin" and a sprite at the same time.


I have tried to make training into a game for him, using a clicker, toys and food rewards and this has worked well. So far he has sit, drop, stay (briefly) recall, stand (almost!) and he heels off lead over a short distance. I am now trying to transfer this to lead.

I won't do formal agility training with him for a while as I want him to have basic obedience commands (with distractions!) first, but we'll play 'agility games' together and he runs through the tunnel, negotiates a small puppy A frame (about 60cm high) onto a deck and jumps poles on the ground. He loves to jump and would attempt much higher things if I let him. He also goes through a tyre on the ground with no problems. He loves these 'agility' games more than anything else and judging by the speed at which he has learned other commands, I think I could also trial him at obedience fairly successfully - although I am not planning to at this stage.


Noonbarra Atilla: Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog SportsHe is absolutely starring at agility.

First week back after the break he got promoted to Class 2 (Intermediate) spent 2 weeks there and has now been promoted to Class 3 (novice trialling class) . 6 months or more in class 2 is usual. I have also been invited to become an agility instructor, I'm sure it's only because Atilla is making me look good - guide dog for the agility impaired !

 People have often come up and commented on how good he is, but now people are coming up and asking where I got him from ! (I'll be handing out those business cards you sent)

If you're still planning on those baseball caps, please let me know as I would love to order one.


Indy has just gone past 7 months and his training is going very well. I am off food rewards now as I have found a new love of his.. the tennis ball and frisbee. He absolutely frets over me throwing the ball or frisbee for him so it's a good way to motivate him out on walks or to get him to perfect his downs in situations were he definitely wants to be doing other things (like chasing the frisbee).

Noonbarra Delboy: Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports

Big agility news! The stats for the Top Ten/2010 agility dogs in our league (across North America) have been tabulated and announced. The summation is made across all height levels, and compares the quantity of my dogs are in the Top Ten/2010, even though they all jump in three different height classes and thus compete against each other for Top Ten spots:

Sky and Krypto are fairly close in the compilation, which indicates how bad the winter was early and late in 2010 -- with icy/hazardous pastures shutting down sheepdog training, Sky was able to compete in many agility matches.

#1 is 1 is Noonbarra Krypto (her second year in first place).

#2 is Noonbarra Sky  [Sallie also got 7th place with her 12 year old Terrier, which attests to her training ability].

Handling Krypto the "mind-reading kelpie"  in agility is a dreamy, serene time where I scarcely say anything except sometimes a whispered "out" (lateral distance) or "go" (forward distance) or offer a verbal discrimination by quietly naming an obstacle if the field of view seems confusing.

Sky on the other hand is high comedy (for onlookers), and brain-rocketry for me. As you may recall, I do not run alongside Sky (no human could keep up with him, and why slow him down?). For most of the year's competitions, Sky would wait at the start line in Down/Stay while I settled  myself optimally positioned approx. mid-arena. Only then I would release Sky and draw a path for him. He is not meant to return to me (unless explicitly called with Here, here) nor is he to look directly at me -- he should remain focused on the next segment of the course. It is my task as the handler to deliver forward information to Sky, and position myself so that I appear in his field of vision while he runs, or perhaps deliver a verbal cue, depending on the sequence. Physically undemanding (as I had planned), but mentally challenging when Sky runs at his top speed. Exciting to see how quickly he finishes a course, with me not running.         MORE ON SKY'S AGILITY


Both dogs (Noonbarra Will & Noonbarra Brynn) are doing agility, and Brynn also does search and rescue.  She was probably the first kelpie doing avalanche search and rescue, as far as I know it. She enjoyed herself very much.  I really love working with her, she is so smart and learns so quickly, I have never seen that before in a dog. I only need to show her once and she knows it, and even better, she doesn't forget, like ever. She can be reminded at everything I ever taught her in few seconds. Will is also doing great. He enjoys agility so much and is really fast and extremely motivated. I will try to make some videos of him doing agility soon so I can send it to you. Maybe you can upload it on your web site. Thank you again for those wonderful dogs. 

P.S. We started going to Hungary on agility competitions on regular basis, so we met Noonbarra Elmo and Anna. He is lovely. Fawn and tan! I was so jelaous. He seems to be doing great to, and growing fast.  

Noonbarra Brynn is a very dark red & tan Kelpie who is doing Agility and Avalanche rescue work overseas in Croatia.

Avalanche Dog Rescue Team in Croatia. Noonbarra Brynn and owner Nina on left.

See Noonbarra Brynn doing agility in Italy -


Noonbarra Tess was sold to Jane Tong of Canberra to do mostly Arena Three Sheep Trial work but Jane is also an obedience instructor so Tess gets to do Obedience and Agility work as well. There is a lot more on Noonbarra Tess at NOONBARRA TESS

Jane wrote in August 2004; "Tess also passed the control & physical tests for agility & will start that this Wednesday night. Tess is also in Novice trailing class for obedience but we are no where near ready to trial. Tess always has a great time though. My only concern is that out of 8 dogs, 5 are dog &/or people aggressive and Tess is by far the youngest in the class at 15 nearly 16 months and still very much the happy friendly little character. "

A little later she followed up with more feedback on Noonbarra Tess and her progress:

"Tess had her 2nd agility lesson last night. I know that I'm biased but she is an amazing little dog (& hopefully it's not beginners luck)! Last night I was using cabanossi as treats but she will try anything without any show of fear - ie baby dog walk rocking on jump poles etc, a frame, weave poles etc - and Tess is so eager."

 "She gets a buzz out of the activity. Tess has a great little nature and wins people over quite quickly. The instructor that we have at present is good (that's partly why we go  to this class!) and Tess will happily work for Jenny as the demo dog. I still haven't got Tess worked out but we are working on it! I find it interesting that she can be anxious about some things and yet is so keen when you ask her to do a task or activity."

Feb 2005

"Tess has been promoted from level 2 agility at the end of last year to level 4 after the classes over the holidays. Not bad for a dog that only started training in August last year!

"I took the punt and trialled her for the first time last Saturday night. There were thunderstorms around so Tiny wasn't very happy but Tess doesn't seem to worry about them. The agility run was beautiful even the weavers, till we got to obstacle 10 and then we ducked the lollipop tyre and last jump. Apparently my voice pitch changed and poor old Tess picked up on it. I'm really pleased with the runs as I knew it was a bit early but wanted to see how Tess would relate to me when I get nervous as we have not been in that situation before. I have entered Tess (and Tiny) again next month and over the Easter weekend in agility and jumping trials."

Noonbarra Mudgee in Switzerland - Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports

Noonbarra Mudgee in Switzerland

Noonbarra Mou in Italy

Sallie, in America bought Noonbarra Krypto from us in 2003 as a companion dog only. She had no intention of doing obedience, agility or stockwork. In 2007, she purchased another puppy from us, Noonbarra Sky. Again as a companion only. Since then she has trained both these dogs in sheepwork and agility and had astounded other competitors. This is especially so in the sheepdog world as Sallie does not live on a farm and had no exposure to sheepwork until 2008. We are very proud of her and what she has achieved with her dogs.


In cold wintry weather and blisteringly hot summers here in New England, agility events are scheduled indoors on matting. Hence, the  dogs run agility on gym matting much of the year, as a result of our weather extremes. The mats are fine for the first hour of competition, but after that the dander, hair & fur shed by running dogs makes the mats slippery -- I can see the dogs recalculating their strides based on the slipperiness of the footing.

Also, I've slipped and fallen several times (once was quintessentially Krypto -- she was atop the A-frame when I slid while rounding the corner of the A-frame to position myself for the forward obstacles, and flop, fell flat on my face. Krypto paused at the apex of the A-frame, and I was fearing that Krypto would leap to me from
atop the A-frame to nurse me, and I wanted to urge her not to jump from that height.

It took me a fraction of one second to inventory myself, and lucky me, no pain or injury. Ergo, while prone on the floor I craned my neck and faced Krypto with a smile to reassure her, raised my arm with the rest of me flat on the mat, and pointed forward to the finish line, with one verbal command, "Go," uttered mostly to the mat. The command means continue forward ahead of me, and do every obstacle in front of you. As we were four obstacles from the finish line, and they were relatively aligned, good Krypto zoomed down the A-frame properly to hit the yellow contact zone, then roared ahead to the finish line. By then I was standing up and brushing off the floor debris collected on my clothing, Krypto was returning to me to kiss me, and the crowd was cheering. While everyone was pleased to learn that I wasn't injured, many colleagues were thrilled with Krypto's ability to finish without me).



Speaking of Krypto, she earned her agility Championship title last weekend -- 40 Quallies at the highest level of difficulty. Krypto is working on another title, called Extraordinaire, which requires approx. 180 Quallies at the highest level, and earned without incurring any faults.
Good Krypto has already 50+ of the Clean Level Quallies.

May 2010: Krypto finished her 50th Qually, and has amassed 10,000 Lifetime Qually points, a monumental achievement.  Krypto competes at Level C (which stands for "clean run"), and
to qualify at Level C requires that the dog run at the most challenging level (Level 5 of Levels 1-5) and without the tiniest fault in time or performance. Hence, at the end of the weekend, after running ten classes, Krypto ended with ten quallies out of ten possible.

NOONBARRA SKY (USA) Also owned by Sallie

Sky is a very fast dog, and I'm no sprinter, hence, my goal of allowing him to run fast, with me timing his directional cues from a distance (near the arena's center) with accuracy. That way I do not retard Sky to my (slow) running pace. I leave him at the start line, walk to the center of the arena, release him and draw his path in the air. I can also direct or support Sky with added verbal cues, for instance, to drive forward or across to tunnels in the corners of the arena, should they be in his path, as long as I am careful to delineate his run-line to the tunnels. (I now wish I had trained Krypto from the beginning the same
way Sky is training, and I am retraining Krypto towards that goal, and although she typically works 4-5 obstacles ahead, she could go further ahead.)

Sky earned his Level 1 agility title last weekend, in only two trials. In his first trial, Sky managed a Perfect Weekend, with eight/eight Quallies/1st Place. Sky was also an  entertainer -- he adores people and if we were to round the course near the audience he often leaped over the fencing into the audience to greet onlookers. As long as I neither touch the dog nor do we run out of time, audience visits are not faulted, and Sky heeded my recall commands. Sky is fast enough that he visited people, returned to the course and earned his Quallies.

In his trial last weekend, Sky visited the judge and arena volunteers only once, and then settled to focus during the remaining 11 runs that weekend. As a result, it was exhilarating to stand in the middle of the arena, and direct Sky four or more obstacles ahead. It felt as if I were Mozart conducting an orchestra of virtuoso musicians. Perhaps it was more like my conducting an orchestra of Mozart musicians.

You may recall that my sheepdog trainer clocked Sky sprinting at 35 miles per hour one day in the sheep field when  we used the four-wheeler to chase Sky (and enforce a LieDown when Sky was a rascal). No human can run that fast, nor did I wish to slow Sky in agility to have him plod along next to me, so I trained Sky in agility to go/come with me moving as quickly as possible to strategic positions, and issuing forward cues as accurately as possible. One onlooker thought this a "parlour trick," but I guarantee it is a challenge. It is easier to slow down a dog and run to run an obstacle or two ahead of a running handler, but it slows the dog.

Sky's runs were discussed among the scorekeepers. In one run he ran so quickly -- 12 seconds -- that the tabulators returned to the arena to query the timekeeper, "Were the digits transposed on the time such that Sky's time run-time was actually 21 seconds, not 12 seconds?" No, the timekeeper explained, Sky actually ran the entire course, successfully and unfaulted, in 12 seconds.

In another game where dogs at any level run on the same course and collect points within 30 seconds (newer dogs require fewer points to Qually than the experienced dogs), Sky's points were exceedingly high, and again the scorekeepers rushed out to ask how it was done. Silly me, I explained to one of the scorekeepers the path that Sky had run. That scorekeeper later ran his experienced border collie, which runs most advanced level, and ran the same path. Because the border collie was experienced and Sky so green, Sky had missed one extra jump that the b/c could complete, and the b/c held the "highest score" for the entire class, besting Sky the newcomer by only one point. Next time I may withhold my strategy!!

My directing Sky from the middle of the arena also caused much happy discussion among competitors, who run with their dogs (as I do with Krypto and Ava terrier, although I send them ahead as much as possible in order not to slow the dogs to my pace). As our sheepdog trainer emphasizes, it is Sky's stockdog training
that allows him to work at a good distance from me, and I founded Sky's agility training in distance work.

Sallie's team - Krypto, Sky, Ava and Spikie.

Noonbarra Sky showing great form doing stockwork which has helped with his agility work.



Hi Mary and Stephen, It's getting hot and humid here in Japan . Lady will be 6 months old soon and weighs nearly 12kg now. She is becoming a great companion dog and sport dog.

We often take her to various dog sports competition places and many people often ask us what breed she is.

Last a few frisbee dog competition, Lady competed in retrieve category and won the third prize! She even caught the soft frisbee several times!!! I didn't really train her to catch it in the air but she naturally did it!

Enjoy some photos of her top form. 

 Ritsuko, Koshi, Manly & Lady

Noonbarra Lady in Japan- Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports



NOONBARRA JILLAROO IIJillaroo was sold to Switzerland to be trained as a search and rescue dog. She was a friendly pup with a very good nose and wasn't worried about noise or distractions. She was professionally trained in snow rescue.

"Hi Mary and Steve, How are you and your Dogs? Jillaroo is in a very good condition and she is a marvellous bitch. She fulfils exactly my expectation of a working dog and I love to work with her. She is a quick learner and precise worker."

"Jillaroo stared once on Swiss TV as they made a documentary about rescue dogs."

"Jillaroo is such a charming and powerful creature and she has such open and friendly eyes. I think she is a real true-blue. My sons and I have become fond of her at once. Matilda an Jillaroo "talk" kelpie-tongue together and everything seems to be ok between them. My old Bouvier-bitch Yalou and my son's Yanca are ignoring her."


Rose loves it when I throw balls, sticks...whatever into the water and she leaps in and swims to get them...BUT she will never bring the object out of the water. She lets go of it about a meter or so from the edge and then looks at me and waits for me to throw it back in....which is sometimes very hard if I don't want to get wet feet and we've lost a few things as a result......

Today I brought my daugther to the park as it's school holidays...and guess what! I've been trying for weeks to make this dog bring things out of the water and suddenly she does it for Helena...over and over again! I asked her "how" and she just said "I told Rose to do it". Then I tried to throw the ball in...and she did the same old thing...dropped it in the water...not until I left did she bring it out of the water and gave it to my daughter!! Explain that!

Noonbarra Scamper - Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports


Noonbarra Will in Croatia

Hi! I haven't written you for a while so I thought you might wanted to know the news. Things are great here, as usual. Both dogs are now a little over 3 years old, and finnaly some real results came into place. Will is amazing at agility, we have a lot of wins on different competitions


Later this year I will start him in beginner's Agility class. I'm not in a huge hurry to do this as there is so much foundation training that he can do that doesn't involve equipment , have also seen a lot of people ruin very young dogs from starting too early and expecting too much from them, an easy trap to fall into with him, because he's just so good ! The agility training he's been doing here (uprights with poles on ground, tyre on ground, tunnels, small A frame, ) has been amazing. I can already put him on a stay and get a 2 jump lead out - I can't even do that with my titled dog !

Noonbarra Atilla - Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports

Noonbarra Atilla

Just wanted to update you on Atilla - we entered our first agility trial yesterday, a NADAC trial at Bacchus Marsh. Did this one more as a test as I wanted to see where we were at and what I needed to focus on in training. 

We had six runs, three passes, two first places (agility) and one second place (jumping) so I was certainly pleased with the outcome! 

Nearly had our jumping title in a day, but on the jumping run that he didn't qualify on, he got to the last jump and saw people/dogs he knows outside the ring in direct line with the finish so he bypassed the last jump and ran off to socialise with them instead, ran beautiful up to that point, I actually consider that a better run than the one we qualified on.

I am so proud of him, he never broke one stay at the start line and got every single contact (colours he has to touch at the bottom of dog walk, seesaw and A frame, without jumping off early, a common problem with 'high drive' dogs) and weaved perfectly in every agility run.

Hope everything is going well at Noonbarra, would LOVE another puppy but I have to talk Liam into it first, maybe next year some time ???????

Noonbarra Oscar - Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports

Noonbarra Oscar and Frisbee

Noonbarra Ruthless in the U.S.A.

"I have nothing but absolutely wonderful things to say about this dog! She has really done a lot of maturing in these past months. I can not even begin to tell you how wonderful she is and how much I love her. ..

"She and I have just become the best of friends. She sleeps against my side every night and follows me everywhere I go. She is just the happiest and sweetest dog I have ever known. I don't think there is a bad bone in her body. She always does as told and she always seems to have a big smile on her face while doing it. She has really grown into an amazing companion.

"She and I have really started to do a lot more agility work now that she is almost 18 months. I got her x-rayed and her growth plates were closed so it is safe to do a bit harder of work now. I have mostly been working her contacts and she is just now learning how to weave. We do some sequences as well. Those are a bit harder for her though. She has a lot of drive and a huge stride and she is not quite sure what to do with it all yet. We are working on that though. I have had a lot of kelpie people tell me that they are a very difficult dog to train in that they can be stubborn but I have not seen any of this in Ruth. She is so eager to please me and she tries so hard for me. She wants nothing more than to do the right thing which makes her an absolute joy to work with."

I get a lot of questions about where she came from and I tell everyone what a great job you guys did for me in picking my perfect dog. I really don't know how to thank you both for such a wonderful dog. She is more than I could have hoped for. After having Ruth, I'm not sure if I can have anything but a Kelpie from now on!!

Noonbarra Lady in Japan - Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports


More on Noonbarra Atilla...

He finished both his Novice titles (Agility and Jumping) over the Easter weekend. We had a great day on Saturday, 4 runs, 4 passes, plus the club member's sashes for fastest qualifying Agility run and fastest qualifying Jumping run.... At the end of the day we also won the club member's sash for 'Best Performing Dog at Trial', without even competing on the 2nd day.

The Open is harder (for me - not him) but he got his first Agility pass last weekend and 2nd place (0.03 seconds off 1st). He also has a new 'best friend' at trials - little Noonbarra Bob. It's funny to see them together, they seem to understand they're part of the big 'Noonbarra family' and seek each other out.


He earned his first two agility titles with very limited showing. He earned three Novice herding titles, on goats and ducks, and has been worked on sheep and cattle too.... "Here are some pictures of Sessho in an agility fun match, a tune-up for some shows I was planning for next month. I tell people I'm having to learn to handle a Ferrari after driving a pick-up truck, as Sessho is so fast and responsive to my cues. Which means I can also send him off course just by twitching at the wrong time! But most of the time we get it right. Then we're usually first as he's so fast."

Noonbarra Scott (and Noonbarra Mate) (Germany)

"I have a lot of work for Mate to do, he is such a big help. When I get around I take Scott to the cows too. The cows have a lot of respect of him. The more work he gets the better it works. If he had some time off he is still quite fast and tight. I still take him to agility if there is spare time and everyone is impressed about his jumping ability and speed."

Noonbarra Elmo in Hungary


We were trialling last Saturday and got a novice jumping & a novice agility pass so we now have 2 novice jumping passes (need 1 more) and 1 novice agility passes (need 2 more). The other 2 runs only had 1 mistake due to my poor handling! In the agility pass, I was saved by Tess & we made the course time by 0.03 sec and were the only novice qualifiers. In the agility run, I ran 2nd to my mate & our 2 kelpies were the only qualifiers! There were approx 12 - 15 novice dogs running.

The weekend of Rob's workshop was really good and I was really pleased with both dogs. It rained on the Saturday but a little rain doesn't dampen Kelpies on sheep! On Sunday, I had Tess on 3 sheep in a large yard (only 2 of us tried 3 sheep) and then had her on approx 30 - 40. Tess is amazing and handled each situation really well and calmly worked. I even got Tess to bark in the race! We spent the weekend with Mort which was also good & he gave me some good ideas & perspectives.

Three Agility Kelpies - Noonbarra Kobe - Noonbarra Cobber - Noonbarra Matilda Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports

Noonbarra Kobe II  - Noonbarra Cobber- Noonbarra Matilda III

At a Flyball Competition

Kelpie: Noonbarra Matilda III in Agility Competition

June 2006

"Here is Matilda in her first Agility Comp, she went really well for her first one. She is great and very well behaved now after a few obedience lessons. She will compete next month and hopefully will get better."



May 2006 - "As for the higher agility class that we got into, Tess is lapping it up! Last night we only made a couple of little mistakes due to my handling - I wasn't fast enough! Tess works beautifully at a distance and our team skills are slowly improving. Tiny is enjoying the running as well. I cheat & run Tiny first to get a feel for the course & then run Tess. I'm trying to change my tack when I walk courses and walk them for Tess as Tiny can cope with my crappy handling! This was after a chat to an experienced handler with a few dogs. The challenge for me is that Tess is quite a bit faster than Tiny & is also happy at a distance - we used to slow dogs down to handle them rather than learn to handle the dog as it is! I'm assuming the distance comes from working."


DEC 2005

"I have exciting news! Ruth just had her very first agility show this past weekend. I wanted to let you know how wonderful she was. Most dogs, when they have their first trial, get so excited they almost seem to forget all of their training but Ruth was wonderful. She went out there and acted like a professional from her very first run on. She knew that she had a job to do and she did it beautifully. Of course she was a LOT more excited than when we practice but this makes it all that much more amazing. She was so excited but held her brain together and remembered all of her training. She qualified in her jumpers run. She is an absolute joy to work with and I got a ton of compliments on her. I wish the photographer had gotten some good pictures of her so I could send them to you. Next time I guess. Every time that I e-mail you or talk to you, I am going to thank you for such a wonderful dog.

Noonbarra Lady winning Agility in Japan - Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports

Noonbarra Lady winning Frisbee competition in Japan

Noonbarra Copper III in the USA

Copper is finally going to agility class and absolutely loves it. He's easy to train, not afraid of anything and very, very fast. In fact, he's so fast that he frequently has to wait for Edward to catch up - I wish you could see it, because what he does while he's waiting is run in small circles until Edward gets there, sort of like an airplane in a holding pattern! Once he gets the next command, he's off again. I feel a little guilty about not working him on stock because he's clearly talented, but that's just not possible right now.  

This information appeared on the Blue Mountains Dog Training Club list

Noonbarra Bindi CDX.AD.JDX - Working Kelpie
owned by Angela Kracht

“Bindi” is competing in U.D. in obedience, open level agility and masters level jumping. As a true working dog, she also completes in yard dog trials, where she is required to move sheep around a set of yards and gates.
In her TV career, she plays “Red” the farm Kelpie in the movie Jessica and also appears in the series All Saints and numerous TV ads.
“Bindi” represents Blue Mountains Dog Training Club at demonstrations and Inter Club challenges. Being a very agile dog, she has learnt many tricks such as jumping up onto Angela’s shoulder or weaving through her legs, she runs backwards, jumping through hoops, fetches and carries many articles to the delight of her audience. All this from basic obedience taught at B.M.D.T.C.

Noonbarra Cobber

One of the fastest Flyball dogs in Australia


I have been doing agility for 9 years. During that time, I have WON the AKC Nationals (twice) as well as the USDAA Nationals (twice). I have also been a member of the USA/ FCI  World Team in 2000 (Helesinki, Finland) "TIMEFLIES"  placing 8th in jumpers individually and 4th overall in the Team. I   have 15 agility AKC Championships and 10 USDAA Championships. I have WON every major USDAA AND AKC event at least once.  ALL I do is teach agility and I travel across the country teaching and giving seminars and showing.

One of my top agility  students  ( at my suggestion) has one of your puppies! Her name is Kristen Clarrkson (from VA) and she ha a black & tan bitch. Her puppy "RUTHLESS" is turning out to be a super agility dog. I am glad that Kristen got "RUTHLESS"  and I have enjoyed working with the two of them.

What amazes me is that Kristen's pup got herself fit, stays fit and is smart with her body. She had asked me at the time (last year if I wanted to get a puppy with her and share the expenses) I am now sorry that I didn't... Paulina Hope USA

I recently saw one of your male pups working in Cairns and up on the Tablelands, the dog belongs to Tricia and he oozes drive. Tricia's dog in Cairns out of your Noonbarra Jenny by Noonbarra Flash has what I believe I am looking for, drive, drive and more drive, I have moulded four dogs to Australian Obedience & Tracking Champions and none ever had great traits like him,. .. I would like to keep in touch with the option of still acquiring a great working line bred Kelpie, the rest would be up to me to mould the bitch through training and sound conditioning. I am pleased to have found your website and I will be following Tricia's dog very closely. - Mal Holland.

Noonbarra Billee in full flight

Noonbarra Atilla was injured in an accident but returned to Agility in mid 2006.

"Hi Mary & Stephen, just wanted to let you know that Atilla got his JDX (jumping dog excellent) title last weekend, finally after such a long break (no pun intended!)

Since returning to trialling in July his results have been :

July : 1 excellent agility pass (2nd)

         2 excellent jumping passes (5th)

August : 1 excellent jumping pass (1st)

September : 1 excellent jumping pass (4th)

So he has certainly made up for lost time with his jumping. We need one more agility pass (need 5 all up and we have 4) for his ADX.  If I can just get my act together and stop stuffing him up ! 


Noonbarra Will is doing extremely well at Agility competition in Europe and he now is so muscled that Nina says the other competitors joke that she must be giving him steroids and he should do a doping test. A look at the photo will show you why.


"Krypto (was) in an agility demo at the oldest agricultural fair in the United States -- the Topsfield Fair. Krypto was asked to show off her beginner-level skills.

 The Fair Demo meant to please the audience, and was not a competition. (Krypto also did Rally-Obedience Demo at the beginner level for the fair goers.) And in the Knock-Out Races -- where the agility course is divided in halves, and each dog starts at the same time and first dog to finish at the table wins; the races are crowd favorites -- Krypto won.

This surprised me, because she was running against a speedy schnauzer. Anyway, Krypto's win occurred when the schnauzer left the course. Krypto won a squeaky koala bear toy! (She hasn't nearly enough toys.)

Krypto started agility in July, with a skilled, calm, patient and caring teacher, whose dogs have multiple championships. The instructor knows we are not going for competition, but for exercise and fun. Krypto does have extraordinary concentration and drive for accuracy. Krypto strives to earn her
treat by doing the agility obstacle correctly. And while the humans are listening to a lecture, Krypto will slide down to rest on her side for a brief nap, because she is conserving energy.

One day early on in the classes Krypto was napping while the teacher explained the new piece of equipment we were about to try -- a hurdle. The teacher told the humans that we would encourage the dog with a step forward of the left foot accompanied by an outstretched
left arm, and a verbal "Jump" command. As soon as the teacher began to demonstrate the arm and leg motions, Krypto hopped up from her nap, ran forward, and jumped over the hurdle, just to let us know that she was paying attention. Then Krypto gave me that knowing, pretty smile and tail wag. Yes, she got a treat for that trick!



You know how smart the kelpies are. Sky taught himself something new in the agility  arena last month, and I face retraining him – more likely I won't bother because our primary mission is sheepdog work. Here's what Sky figured out. The matches use electronic timing to ensure accurate run-times for the dogs. The start/end posts have electronic eyes nested around the start/finish jumps.  Further, the electronic control box is managed by a human "timer" who oversees that all is functioning, e.g., the clock is running when the dog crosses the first set of eyes. However, the posts are visually noticeable to the dogs -- I have often seen Krypto figure the last arc of a course when she spies the timing/eye posts. 

At the beginning of a run, I walk Sky to the start line with leash/collar (required in our league), remove the leash/collar (dogs run without any collar, for safety), place Sky in LieDown/Wait while I walk to the center of the arena. The timer/manager, signaled by the judge that the judge is in position to monitor the run, presses a button on the electronic control box that emits in a mechanical voice, "Go," which signals me to begin the test, and with the Go voice, I release Sky. You are already imagining what a smart dog will do when it hears the mechanical Go voice. 

Of course Sky has learned that the Go-voice means we are beginning the agility course. Sky is highly enthusiastic about agility, especially during the first run of the morning. Last month I was at the start line with Sky for his first run of the day -- Sky was all exuberance -- and was removing his collar when the human timer pressed the "Go" button (well before I had been able to settle near the center of the arena). As for the Go voice, that was Sky's cue to begin to jump the first jump and  run, no matter that I was still holding his leash/collar,  behind him, at the Start line!

Our league's agility rules say that with the dog's crossing the plane of the start line, the test has begun. I decided to see what SKy did on his own, as the class is one where the path is free-form, chosen by the handler/dog team, and requires specific obstacles to be performed and points collected within 30 seconds. At the end of the time period for point collection, a buzzer sounds and the dog has 5 seconds to reach and touch the Pause Table, which is always located at the exit gate.

Rather than run after Sky, or reprimand him during the test with a hearty LieDownYou (frowned upon in our agility league), I experimented to see what Sky would do on his own -- so what if we did not earn the Qually, the entertainment value of Sky's self-test was high.

Sky ran around the arena three times, doing whatever he saw fit to do, and the judge, trying hard to contain laughter, smiled as he called out the points, "Five, three, one, three, one, one, five..." Then the buzzer rang. I'm still at the entry gate/start line, wondering what Sky will do next. No worries -- Sky heard the buzzer, ran to the exit gate, bouncing on the mandatory Pause Table along the way. Sky finally skidded to a Lie Down while I walked over with his leash/collar so we could exit the arena. Yes, Sky was grinning with wide tail wags.

Immediately following, my colleagues asked if Sky had qualified, and I replied that I had no idea, and we waited for the scores to be posted. No worry -- Sky not only earned the Qually, he earned First Place.

That was the onset of Sky's breaking his Start Line stay, which, as I mentioned, I ought to fix with training, although agility is low priority for us this year. To retrain, I will need to borrow the electronic gear box, the posts with the "eyes" and work with the Go voice -- as Sky is happily anticipating the start with the sequence of events/visual and verbal cues. 

In the interim, without retraining, the handler decided to retrain herself. Sky is launching himself from the Start LIne, so be it -- it doesn't seem fair to recall him from a test without retraining for the electronic gadgetry on which he is cuing. Ergo, I have been running Sky not from the center of the arena, but from the Start LIne, an even greater challenge for me. Apparently not a big challenge for Sky. Releasing a dog to run a sequenced course from the start line is a happy compromise while I ponder the retraining. Meantime, my colleagues laugh, "More parlour tricks for Sky!"  - Sallie


"We graduated from puppy school last night....and she won the encouragement award...thanks mostly to dad who has taught her to high 5, shake and has almost got speak on command happening. She is bringing balls etc back now (in the backyard) and by running our hand down her nose (not touching her) and saying drop, she will let go of the toy and wait till we throw it again for her...."Fiona. Melbourne Victoria.

Noonbarra Tally and soccer ball - Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports



She has been coming everywhere with Charlotte and I and has been to many agility trials, so far only as a spectator! She graduated easily from Puppy Preschool, even if she doesn't like to take tablets!!

She has been coming to Obedience training from the very beginning and can be very focused on me which is fabulous. Especially when I compare her with other pups there of a similar age. She can already sit, down, spin, touch my hand with her nose (very useful for agility) and I have just taught her to shake hands (still getting paws mixed up though!).

Noonbarra Bindi

"Bindi is doing well. She got her Agility Title and 1st place at Oberon Show in Yard Dog Enc. Trial. "

Noonbarra Bindi has done extremely well in Dog Obedience Competition and now has her CDX title as well as a hurdle jumping title (JD) for agility.


"Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know things are coming along perfectly. Indy is a gem. Best dog I've ever seen. He picks things up so easily it astounds me and challenges me to try and teach him more complex tricks and commands. - Greg Payne NSW.

Noonbarra Daisy and Tally in Melbourne: Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports




"Miss Nix is growing up into a fine young Kelpie!! ... Still has the sweetest nature and makes friends where ever she goes. I had her in our club Members Obedience comp last week. She did extremely well, we finished with the highest points but unfortunately came Second as she moved in her sit stay. Still a fantastic job though and I was very proud of her. She is up in the 'big kids' classes now which will be good. Will let you know how she goes."


He has started puppy playgroup at the local Vet Clinic and will start puppy classes at our Obedience Club in about 3 weeks. He goes down to socialise when we take our other two to Obedience and everyone loves him and can't believe what he has learned so far. (I've had two instructors ask if I will take their puppies for a week and train them, although I suspect it's him, not my training!!) He gets lots of pats from people when I take him into town and reacts well to the attention.

The 'old timer' at the local stockfeed store has also had a good look at him and pronounced him 'the best bred Kelpie I've ever seen'. Our Vet was very impressed with the folder that you sent with Atilla and his wife couldn't wait to check out your website. They are now planning on getting a Kelpie some time in the next 12 months or so as they have a small number of sheep and are looking to expand.

I have noticed a slight change in him just over the past week,  he seems to have become a lot more attentive (not that he wasn't before) and is following me everywhere. He is doing really well in Obedience class, I'm sure he would be doing even better if I wasn't off trialling most weekends so that he actually got to go more regularly ! I feel really bad about this.

He is becoming less fixated with the other dogs at training and much more on me, this is what I have been working at, keeping his attention in really distracting situations (group training classes - ultimate distractions!)


Krypto graduated from Puppy Kindergarten with great grace and aplomb. She complies with her commands extremely well, including "down" and "come." Krypto is a splendid dog. She is so intelligent that I expect her to get out the frying pan from the cabinet and cook eggs one morning for breakfast.


"Hi Mary and Stephen, thought I'd update you on how Hunter is going. We just started obedience last weekend which he loved! He is very interested in watching everything that is going on and meeting all the other dogs. At the park near our home he insists on going on the play equipment and often races off to go down the slide without any encouragement at all.. perhaps some agility is what he would be good at. "

"I'm not sure of Jill has contacted you, but much to my amazement, at the obedience class, I saw a pup that have lovely markings ,very similar to Hunter, went to speak to his owner and was delighted to find out that it was "Lucy", Hunters sister. "

"I had a similar experience over summer when we were in Melbourne at the beach and saw a pup also with lovely markings and got speaking to her owner only to discover that she too was a Noonbarra pup. Her name was "Daisy". It seems that not only do you produce very striking dogs but the people you sell them to have an uncanny knack of bumping into each other miles away from where the pups originated. "

"Hunter is growing to look so much like Flash now he is a little older, and like Flash loves to be inside and is very well behaved there." Julie Van Bavel (A Sydney Veterinarian)


Scamper has turned out to be a wonderful dog.  She is super friendly, and pretty much loves all people and other dogs.  Whenever there was a "shy" dog in our obedience classes, Scamper would always be chosen as the safe, friendly dog to help socialize the timid ones.  Speaking of obedience, she has passed the advanced level, and earned her Canine Good Citizen award. "

Noonbarra Scamper: Flyball Frisbee Agility: Australian Working Kelpies and Dog Sports


"I can't express how thrilled we are with Chance. I have been smitten with him since I brought him home from the airport and still can't believe how lucky we are to have been sent a wonderful dog like Chance.

Chance's vocabulary is growing daily. He totally understands when he is asked to do something and he will not only comply but will also wait for his release word to go back to doing whatever he wants to do. At times I forget how young he really is.

The little daily things we do like automatically sitting at doors or for me to take his lead on or off, sitting and waiting for release word. Wait is a command I use frequently, wait when the door is open for permission to go out, solves the problem of rushing through the door. Wait is also used in the truck for the same thing. When I open the door and get out he has to wait till I release him to come out of the truck." - Alabama USA


Well she is just over five months old now and the only thing I can say is, she is one impressive dog. I started training Megan with tricks to begin with, the very first thing she learned was the wave (Oh by the way, she is right handed, just in case you are wondering), & of course this is her favourite thing to do now, she will sit and just keep waving, hoping for that reward.

Then we moved on to the drop, this almost seemed to be a natural position for her, so once she had that one mastered I moved her on to a drop at some distance, we have been working on this the last few months and she is now dropping around 15-20 meters away from me while on the move.

She has now learned to roll over, this one took slightly longer, but again she just loves doing it now. I started her on foundation exercises for Flyball when she was about 13 weeks, mainly things like getting her focus and attention, on that subject her focus and attention span is amazing, only the other day I got a comment that she is more like an adult dog then a 5 month old puppy.


"Well, we've had Lilly now for two and a half weeks and are really pleased with her. Of course, she is very cute, so it's hard not to like her, but she also has a really nice personality."

"Lilly has learned "sit", "down" (the formal kind), "leave it", "come" (she needs more work on this), "off" (mostly), and we just started work on "stay" tonight. There should be an obedience class starting in a couple of weeks, and I will take her to that. Also, as soon as we can schedule it, we will be taking the dogs for a stockdog training session with a professional trainer.

We have been taking Lilly to the Saturday Farmer's Market, and she has gotten compliments on how well socialized she is, including from the veterinarian/animal behaviorist who has been helping us with Daisy.

Noonbarra Rose

Just a happy note to let you know that Rose graduated from level 2 obedience at Gold Coast Dog Obedience Club last night. We'll get the certificate next week at a ceremony held at the Dogs' Fancy Dress Christmas Party. Not sure Rose is too keen to wear a fancy dress so a red bow will have to do! - Aida

Noonbarra Tammi

"At Stephen's request I've attached some recent pictures of Tammi.  They're all taken during a couple of training sessions.  As you can see I haven't exaggerated.  Tammi is quite wonderful."


Noonbarra Tammi coming over hurdle

Noonbarra Tammi on 'down' command

 We hope to expand this page so any customers that would like to contribute their comments or photos would be very welcome.


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Noonbarra Mitzi loves to play ball

Noonbarra Ned also loves ball games

Noonbarra Working Kelpie Stud
Mary and Stephen Bilson.
'Bimaru' 539 Lookout Road, Mullion Creek via Orange.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 1374, Orange NSW 2800, Australia
Ph. (02) 6366 0499

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