I first met Dr Viola Hebler back in 2015 and the European Nursery Championship. I was attracted to her dog’s way of working and got to see him run again in the final there.

Viola works as a veterinary surgeon yet finds time to train her dogs to compete at continental and world class competition.

Whenever I want to know a thing, I tend to skip a few steps and just go and find someone I consider to be an expert in the area I want to know about. Viola is someone whose opinion I value when discussing good working dogs who are capable of competing at top level but also, Viola is the one person whose opinion I want to hear whenever I want to know about genetics and more particularly Border Collie health or implications for future health of the breed. I know her opinion is frequently sought by canine societies outside of ISDS Border Collies too.

In this interview Viola explains how she got started with working sheepdogs, the traits she looks for in a dog, where she gets her dogs from and the type of training facilities she uses.

This part 1 of 2 interviews. in our second interview, Viola educates me on some misconceptions I may have with regard to the importance and implications of dna testing. Viola has organised a bundle at reduced price with Laboklin as a research product to test for 3 additional genetic diseases to Cea and she will explain reason that she went to the effort of doing it for sheepdogs.

I enjoyed a long evenings conversation with Viola and we tried to do distill out Viola’s perspective as a handler in this interview so see what you think!

I hope you enjoy listening