GREAT TEAM: Kluger and Karen Manton from the Gold Coast after their first-place-getting run in the Queensland Working Dog Championship Encouragement Trials on Saturday.
GREAT TEAM: Kluger and Karen Manton from the Gold Coast after their first-place-getting run in the Queensland Working Dog Championship Encouragement Trials on Saturday. Emma Boughen

Encouraging result at dog trials

KAREN Manton has shown a little teamwork can go a long way, even if you're not the most experienced on the circuit.

With eight-and-a-half-year-old dog Kluger by her side and a combined score of 122, the pair took out first place in the encouragement trials of the Queensland Working Dog Championships in Warwick at the weekend.

Originally from Lowood, but a Gold Coast local these days, Ms Manton's love of dogs started just a few years ago with an attempt to shed a few kilos.

"I wanted to lose some weight so I thought a dog would make for a good walking partner but he turned out to be a bit more full-on than I'd anticipated," Ms Manton said.

"So we went to basic dog training and then herding with the Australian National Kennel Club and eventually moved over to three sheep trials three years ago.

"I just like doing something with my dogs."

Ms Manton has trained with Dale Formosa's Shaundar Herding School at Greenbank, the Geoff Gibson Herding School and the Southern Downs Working Dog Club.

Although it's a fair way for her to travel, she said the enjoyment and socialising she gets out of it makes the long drive worth it.

"To me it's not that far for the results I get. When you get to work with a good dog like this one, it makes it fun, and everyone is really encouraging and welcoming," she said.

"It's also a good social outing. I would say it's about 50:50 whether I show up for the dogs or the socialising.

"And it's nice to pick up on the training techniques and the ways people handle different situations."

The win at Warwick was made all the more impressive by Ms Manton's lack of time in the ring in the lead-up to the championships.

"I haven't worked him since the Kalbar Trials (August 8-10). It's just one of those things that we get out there whenever we can make it," she said.

Ms Manton also competed with Kluger in the open trials on Saturday morning, walking away with a score of 67.



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