Weird names all the rage at dog trials

Arriving at the championship sheep dog trials in Blenheim yesterday, I was met with calls of 'Dufus', 'Freak' and 'Thug'.

"Charming," I thought, and carried on about my business.

It wasn't until one competitor shouted, "Oi, Whanga" that I drew the line.

FULL FORCE: Taranaki man Bryce Jensen had good reason to call his three-year-old huntaway ‘Forste’, after he was ‘‘forced in, forced out and force fed"
FULL FORCE: Taranaki man Bryce Jensen had good reason to call his three-year-old huntaway ‘Forste’, after he was ‘‘forced in, forced out and force fed"

Clearly, I misheard the stocky, rugged farmer-type, at least twice my size, and was soon regretting my instinctive retort, "you're the only whanga around here mate".

As it turns out, competitors at the Tux South Island Championship dog trials have some bizarre names for their companions.

How was I to know?

My attempts to backtrack fell on deaf ears and quoting Shakespeare probably made matters worse.

"What's in a name?" I said. "That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."

I think he thought I was coming on to him.

Taranaki man Bryce Jensen, though, had good reason to call his three-year-old huntaway ‘Forste', after he was "forced in, forced out and force fed".

Forste's mother was artificially inseminated using semen from a New Zealand champion, Mr Jensen said.

Complications during birth meant she needed a caesarean section to remove her single pup, Forste.

Even after birth, his mother struggled to feed him herself.

"He was forced in, forced out and force fed," Mr Jensen said. "So I called him Forste, which also means ‘first' in Danish."

Forste was quite a character and he was very entertaining for people to watch, he said.

"He is a little bit . . . how do I put this? . . . he's not quite settled yet. The anaesthetic is still affecting him."

Forste needed slightly different training methods.

"He has always been keen but different methods suit different dogs. I'm not professing to be an expert. In fact, the way I went this week, maybe I need to change all my methods."

Other interesting dog names at the Tux South Island Championship dog trials : Sledge, Donkey, Brew, Punga, Zoom, Tweed, Bolt, Scorch, Coke, Troll, Moon, Drum, Rock, Norm, Pound, Thump and Zoom.

Marlborough