Get ready, because this month’s Dog Tails Dogs of the Month are always on the move! Border Collies Kip and Velvet and Jack Russell Terrier Murphy hail from Essex, Ontario, Canada. Young, athletic and smart, these three DogWatch dogs enjoy participating in a variety of dog sports. We spoke to mom Emily Renaud about training her dogs, bringing a special needs dog into her family and keeping her high-energy pack busy and active!

How old are Kip, Murphy and Velvet, and when did they join your family?

Kip is a three year old Border Collie who joined our family at eight weeks and started my love of the breed! Murphy is a one and a half year old Jack Russel Terrier who joined the crew at eight weeks, and Velvet is a six month old Border Collie who came to us at nine weeks!

Two Border Collies and one Jack Russell Terrier – that’s a lot of energy! How do you help them channel that energy and keep those active minds and bodies working?

We participate in a lot of different dog related sports and activities. Most through Essex County K9 (who is also our local DogWatch Dealer). All the dogs go through basic to advanced working obedience and agility. Kip actually has 6 titles and 2 merit awards in Scent Detection.

Kip the Border Collie and mom Emily competing in agility

Kip leaps high while competing in agility with mom Emily

And we just started learning to herd! So it’s only a matter of time until Velvet starts herding as well. She definitely has the eye for it! Kip and Murphy enjoy lure coursing any time they can! It also helps living on several acres with a nice big DogWatch Hidden Fence!

Do your three dogs have any other “siblings” (human or other pets)?

Yes! 5 horses, 2 cats and 24 chickens LOL.

What is your favorite thing about each of your dogs?

I love everything about them really! But for Kip it’s definitely the amount of love he has to give. Seriously he has THE BIGGEST heart of any dog (or human) that I’ve ever met and he would do anything for me.

Murphy is the comic relief of our lives. One day doesn’t pass without him making us laugh. He is such a tough little dude. It’s a blast watching him explore through the tall grass hunting grasshoppers.

Velvet is a true working Border Collie. Her intelligence is unmatched and again like Kip she would do anything for me. She is smart, sensitive and athletic. Really she’s everything I wanted when looking for a second Border Collie! But my favorite thing has to be her attentiveness! She’s never far from me, always waiting to see if I need something.


Velvet (left) and Kip (right)

Who’s the boss among the three?

Hard to say! Murphy seems to always get his way but Kip is the “Fun Police”. When ever anyone gets too rambunctious Kip is always there to step in!

How does training Murphy, who is deaf, differ from training your Border Collies?

The only way it differs is me using a different means to communicate with him. The help of the BigLeash Vibration Trainer has been fantastic as I’ve been able to use the vibration setting to teach him a fantastic recall which he responds amazing to even from out of sight. I can also use a very brief vibration to act like calling his name so he will look at me to wait for his hand signals.



Is Murphy your first deaf dog?

Yes he is!

What would you say to a person considering adopting a deaf or special needs dog?

They are a joy to have around! And it’s really not too different! It has taught me so much, don’t bypass a dog just because of a special need. It may just mean communicating in a different way!

How did you find out about DogWatch Hidden Fences and the BigLeash Vibration Trainer?

I found out through my amazing training facility Essex County K9 owned by Dave and Fern Walsh. I first was introduced to the BigLeash when I was having issues communicating with Murphy. So Dave and Fern taught me how to use it properly to help me communicate in a way Murphy and I could both understand.

Would you recommend the DogWatch Hidden Fence and the BigLeash to other dog owners?


Kip, Velvet and Murphy playing in their yard

Kip, Velvet and Murphy playing in their yard.

Would you like your dogs (or other pets) to be featured on our blog? Tell us about them in the comments, or reach out to us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email. We can’t wait to hear to your stories. And a big thanks to Emily (and of course, Murphy, Kip and Velvet) for sharing your story and for choosing DogWatch!

We would also like to thank Desiree Nickerson for permission to share some of her fantastic images of Kip, Murphy and Velvet. You can see more of her work at her website