Our sheepdogs and puppies

Get to know the sheepdogs and pups past and present, here at Kings Green Farm

Maddie & Ezra's pups at play today!

Maddie & Ezra’s pups at play today!

We thought you’d like to watch Maddie and Ezra’s pups at play today. This is just a short video with no commentary, but we know you’ll love it – especially the part when young Harvey decides he wants to take the dustbin lid from his big sister Portia. There are three male pups available for suitable active homes. View our Puppy FAQ, then use our Contact Form to tell us … Read more
Photo of a group of Border Collies sitting in a thistle patch

Where did the Border Collie come from?

We’re often asked how and where the Border collie breed was developed. It seems that everyone has a theory, and there’s an undercurrent of dispute as to whether the Welsh collie is/was the Original and Best, or if the collie was developed in the Scottish/English borders. At a household auction, this would definitely be described as “a mixed lot” Here are my thoughts on the origins of the Border collie … Read more
Photo of seven Border Collie Sheepdogs looking very alert and ready to GO!

Our Dogs in TV Film and Video Productions

Trained Border Collie Sheepdog Animal Actors for Television, Film and Video. IMPORTANT!
We no longer offer dogs for work in TV and other public media, but we continue to show this page for those who may be interested to see some of the things our dogs did in the past.
Occasionally our dogs take a break from their daily sheepdog training routines and do something really different! Television, film and video … Read more
Close-up photo of Novice Champion glen lying under a bench, with puppies all around him

Novice sheepdog trials champion – Glen – 238575

A great Scottish Sheepdog – Davidston Glen (1998 – 2011) From a long line of champions Glen was bred by N G McEwan in Kincardine, Scotland, by Scottish Team member Davidston Cap 201111 (owned by Mary Caul) and out of Gael 192892 (N G McEwan). When he was a year old, Glen was sold to a farmer in Perthshire before moving to Suffolk a few months later. He became a … Read more
Lovely portrait photo of Kay in the snow

Cammen Kay – our unsung hero?

Quietly in the background, with no fuss or bluster, we didn’t always give Kay her due! When we bought Kay, at about one year old, our intention was to train her but not, necessarily, to keep her forever. Yet I think Kay is probably the only dog we haven’t ever suggested we could sell. When Andy first started to plan First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training (as much as … Read more
New dogs - new opportunities

New dogs – new opportunities

It feels like a new term at Kings Green. Boz, born 18th November 2017 from Pippin and Oliver. This year’s puppies are ready to start training, and they’re giving us lots of filming and photo opportunities Without actually planning it we have a real mix of dogs to bring on and, of course, they’re presenting us with a range of natural talents and individual problems that we’ll reflect in our … Read more
The essentials of sheepdog puppy training

The essentials of sheepdog puppy training

Spring time is puppy time! The promise of longer daylight hours and milder weather makes puppy ownership more appealing than during the cold of winter, and it’s a time of year when there are more puppies to choose between. We have our own puppies in the spring, and are eagerly awaiting our (Ezra and Meg) litter in early April. Fun and exercise will help your puppy develop mental and physical … Read more
Smooth coated border collie Pippin's doing really well in her new home.

Pippin – Super Little Sheepdog and Super Mum!

Great things come in small packages! “Hi Andy. Just to let you know the dogs have settled in lovely. Pippin is already working groups of 300 ewes like she has been doing it for years. Thanks again. Brilliant dogs.” This was the text message I received a few days ago from Pippin’s new owner. It’s always a great relief when we get a message like this, because some dogs take … Read more
Close-up photo of two very smiley sheepdogs Glen and Dot, in the back seat of a car.

Fifteen years ago these two changed our lives

Little did we know what was around the corner! This photo of Dot and Glen in the boot of Gill’s car, after a January training session, brought memories flooding back to us. Once Dot (left) and later Glen came along, our sheepdog training took on a much more serious and informed nature. (Left to right) Dot, Reiver, Mossie and Hattie Gill and I had been living here at Kings Green … Read more
Sheepdog Carew standing on a tree stump - looking wonderful!

Sometimes I Really Miss Carew!

Since Carew left here, Kay’s hearing has deteriorated badly, and occasionally we’re stuck for a skilled dog It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly two years since Carew left here and to be honest, there have been a few occasions when I’ve wished she was still here. One such occasion was only a week or so ago. Our landlord John needed to move some very lively sheep from a field … Read more
Photo of ten or more puppies crowded into a bed. Nearly all of the pups are looking towards the camera and looking bright and cheerful!

Too Many Puppies in One Bed!

Lots of memories, but was it really six years ago today? We couldn’t resist showing you this photo of a whole bunch of puppies crowded into one bed! There are lots of fond memories here for us – and it’s a lovely picture too! The pair at the front left are Dulcie (tricolour) and Gloria, who both showed great potential as sheepdogs, then there’s a pup with its tongue out … Read more
Lovely close up photo of the big sheepdog, Ezra looking to his right as he shelters from the rain under a tree

Big Fella in the Rain!

Ezra looking the part as he shelters from the rain Out with the dogs a few days ago, Gill and I took shelter under our big oak tree as the light rain became heavy. The dogs joined us under there, and as I had the camera with me, I used the opportunity to take some photos. Pick of the pics for both Gill and myself was clearly this one of … Read more
Extreme close up photo of a cheerful looking Bronwen

Farewell to Bronwen (her talent was wasted here)!

Bronwen’s gone to a new home in Gloucestershire where she’ll have a much larger flock of sheep to look after It’s difficult to take a bad picture of Bronwen Training and selling sheepdogs is all very well, but, when it comes to selling a dog that you’re very fond of, it can be an extremely difficult decision. For a long time we felt that Bronwen’s sheep herding skills were wasted … Read more
Close up photo of Molly lying on the grass

Wow! Kelpie Molly gets our ‘Man of the Match’ Award!

It’s taken a while, but Molly’s showing real commitment and keeping her sheep together very well If you’ve read our Kelpie vs Collie blog, you’ll know that we’ve had our ups and downs with Kelpies over the years, and I’ve personally been on the receiving end of some bitter comments from enthusiasts for what I wrote about Kelpies. Our collie pup Mossie (left) was exceptionally easy to train, whereas Red’s … Read more
Photo of Kay (lying down on the left) and Carew (standing) keeping an eye on the sheep they have just put into some buildings

All Safely Gathered in

Memories of Kay and Carew at Dean Farm on this day four years ago! Regular readers will know that we often gather sheep for our landlord John, at Dean Farm. This is a typical picture of Kay (left) and Carew keeping an eye on the sheep which they’ve just put safely into a building. Kay gathering a small flock of sheep on a sunny day at Dean Farm Our regular … Read more
Photo of three herding sheepdogs walking up on a group of sheep

A Surprise Turnout to Move a Few Sheep!

Scylla and Ezra join Kay’s fun! We only have five acres of land here (about two hectares) and at the moment there are just twelve sheep on it. (More sheep coming soon). Because the land is where we exercise the dogs twice a day for their recreation, we need to be careful that the dogs don’t chase the sheep. Normally they don’t. They learn that when the whole pack goes … Read more
Close up photo of a very pretty black, white, tan and merle border collie with pricked ears (and her tongue out).

Border Collie Sheepdogs Come in Assorted Colours!

We love coloured dogs and we’ve had a few over the years! Yesterday’s post about so-called mis-marked puppies sparked a lot of response, mostly on Facebook and Twitter. One of the questions we were asked was whether we train Merle or Red and White dogs. Yes, we’ve trained quite a number over the years, but (and this may not go down too well in some quarters) we honestly feel that … Read more
Close up photo of two border collie puppies lying together. One has a white face and one of its eyes is blue

How do you feel about mis-marked puppies?

We love coloured dogs and we’ve had a few over the years! Yesterday’s post about so-called mis-marked puppies sparked a lot of response, mostly on Facebook and Twitter. Guess which pup is Stan! He’ll be going to his new home soon. There’s nothing unusual about this. We’ve noticed over the years that some people strongly dislike unusual markings on dogs. I can remember once when we had a really promising … Read more
Closup of Kay looking quizzical

Kay – always there, giving her best

If we’ve had any success in the sheepdog training sphere, we owe much of it to Kay. Kay’s taught us such a lot over the years. She’s one of those dog that somehow just knows what needs to be done, and despite not being in the first flush of youth, and being partially deaf, she’s still a very useful sheepdog. She came to us as a very scruffy one … Read more
Closeup photo of Dot looking out over the Welsh mountains of Corwen

Andy’s First Dog, Dot

Fifteen years ago today. This is little Dot, the herding dog that changed my life! After a turbulent start, Dot went on to become an excellent dog with both cattle and sheep She features in our Sheepdog Training Article (written in 2003). We had a lot of fun with Dot. In the early stages of her training I very nearly returned Dot to her breeder because she wasn’t doing the … Read more
Close up of Fay (and Kay) splashing about in the pond on a hot day

Cooling off in the pond on a hot day!

Puppy Faye and the dogs don’t like it too hot Three years ago today, the weather was unexpectedly hot – just as it is in the UK today. Unlike today though, we’d just had a spell of really heavy rain, and our (normally dried up) pond had some water in it for a change, so the dogs wasted no time in enjoying it to the full … Read more
Three young puppies huddled together in an upturned dog bed

It’s our bed so we’ll sleep in it!

Dog beds are for sleeping in – whichever way up they happen to be! This time last year, these pups weren’t put off by their bed being propped against the wall to dry. They just climbed in and went to sleep as though nothing had happened. Go to the original blog and photosRead more
A large group of sheepdogs lying on the grass. One of them has possession of a ball

Meet the Sheepdogs (from Five Years Ago)

Some of our working sheepdogs at rest We thought you’d like to see this picture of some of the dogs taking a break from playing. The picture was taken on this day five years ago (20th May 2012) … Read more
Smooth coated black and white collie puppy enjoying the spring sunshine

The Girls are growing fast

They have different personalities, but Maddie and Mew are in full agreement when it comes to sheep I know I look cute, but I’m actually in mid-bark The Girls have attained the great age of five months and the honeymoon’s over, so far as playing in the field is concerned. When the dogs move out into the field the sheep (generally) retreat to a far corner, where they can watch … Read more
Side on photo of Mew, facing the camera

Puppy Mew at sixteen weeks

Four months old and full of life, Mew’s a real character Young Kelpie Molly’s another of our favourites. Here she has a very serious-looking young Maddie, and her friend Mew in close attendance, with Isla in the background. Some very welcome sunshine this morning prompted me to take the camera out with me when I took the dogs for their twice-daily run. I noticed that Mew’s still eager to get … Read more
A rough coated black and white sheepdog watching sheep in the corner of a field

Young Victor on a frosty morning

Even though it’s cold, the weather’s glorious! A favourite with visitors to this website, Mew must be one of the fluffiest dogs we’ve owned There’s nothing quite like a bit of sunlight to brighten up a frosty morning and Victor’s morning was certainly made brighter by the prospect of some training with these sheep. He’s a lovely young dog, with a natural instinct for going round the sheep rather than … Read more
A close-up photo of Mew - a very fluffy tri-colour border collie sheepdog puppy, with frost on her face.

Mew’s update!

The weather’s turned chilly, but Mew’s not bothered! One of the less well known but nonetheless amusing sides of puppy rearing, is the way the youngsters seem to grow in stages. Hector’s ears went awry for a few weeks when he was growing up, but they soon sorted themselves out (Click to enlarge) The most obvious example of this can be the ears, but often the front legs grow later … Read more
Border collie sheepdog puppy Mew bounding towards the camera

Hello! My Name’s Mew

Meg and Ezra puppy Mew enjoying herself in the garden this morning This is Mew – one of Meg and Ezra‘s latest litter and of course, granddaughter of dear old Mel. Mew’s not for sale, she’s staying here with us! Click the image to enlarge it Mew’s certainly a good looking pup and she’s got an awful lot to live up to. Her “aunt” is Carew who together with MelRead more
Victor and Scylla love to share the same bedroom

Two in a dog house

Victor and Scylla are happy to share the vantage point of an upstairs bedroom When we first started our collie collection, we had a routine. We’d buy the dog/dogs/puppy/puppies, get them home, put them in the yard and then build a pen around them. Sometimes it was just substantial enough to contain them overnight, and others we used for years. Ezra and his litter-sister Carew (below) would generally take a … Read more
Jet's a smooth coated prick-eared border collie sheepdog

Our Cat Dog, Jet

Jet’s one of our favourite young sheepdogs but she might even be part-cat! Tall, slim, mostly black, and very fast. That’s how we think of Jet. She gets her tall and slim stature from her father, Oliver and her pricked ears from her mother Kay, but other than the ears, Jet has very little in common with Kay. Kay’s more of a short, wide shape, with a rough tricolour coat, … Read more
Kelpie Will and Border Collie pup Jago standing side by side

Two of our Favourite Boys!

Young Kelpie Will, and his Border Collie friend Jago Kelpie Will and Jago (above) are two of our favourite trainee herding dogs. Will’s training is progressing a little slowly, but he’s definitely getting there, while Jago (a Kay and Oliver puppy) is making great progress. Jago seems to have inherited his mother’s natural talent for working sheep, as well as her looks! If anything, Jago’s a little too keen. He … Read more
Three five month old puppies leaping as they play very hard in the field

Border Collie Puppies Like to Play Hard!

They’re the best of friends really! Despite appearances, Hattie (with her back to the camera) Jago and Hector (right) are great friends really. It’s just that they like to play really hard. This picture was taken on this morning’s run and I dare say there will be similar fun and games when they go out on their evening jaunt, too! … Read more
Dramatic photo of a Kelpie Sheep and Cattle dog running towards the camera

Remember our “Stolen” Kelpie Puppy?

After a dramatic start to his early life, Kelpie Tucker’s doing really well Five of the seven stolen kelpies. Can you tell which one’s Tucker? Our regular readers will remember the high drama back in January of this year, when a Kelpie puppy we had ordered was stolen during the week before we were due to collect him. Fortunately, thanks to immediate and very successful Facebook and Twitter sharing campaigns, … Read more
Border Collie Scylla jumps to catch a falling Kong

Sheepdog Recreation Time

Our dogs love to play just as hard as they work Every day of the year, our dogs go out morning and evening for at least an hour of hard play. Whatever the weather, they love nothing more than to race around after frisbees and balls and Scylla (above) is no exception. She loves to monopolise a certain toy for the duration of their playtime. Bronwen jumps to catch a … Read more
Three young puppies huddled together in an upturned dog bed

You can find shelter in all sorts of places

These are a few of the border collie puppies we sometimes have for sale to suitable working or very active homes Spot the odd one out! Kelpie Molly is swamped by a mass of very wet border collie puppies The puppies come from excellent sheep and cattle working lines, and will be ideal for farm work as well as agility and other very active homes. Some will be rough coated … Read more
Molly is a red and tan Kelpie puppy aged eight weeks

Molly Completes Our Kelpie Trio

Molly joins us as Kelpie number three! We’re very pleased to welcome our latest Kelpie puppy Molly to join our other Kelpies Will and Tucker, as trainee sheep and cattle herding dogs. Mollie is super-obedient at the moment, a real pleasure to have around but of course, she’s only been with us for a few days. Once she begins to settle in fully and gain confidence, we’ll see the … Read more
Pic of the Day - Eric's finding his place

Pic of the Day – Eric’s finding his place

AND his name! It turns out that the Chihuahua, formerly known as Emrys, is actually called Eric. “Anything they can do!” – Eric’s pretty sure he’s in with a chance to catch that Frisbee Eric’s been with us for a week now, and is starting to find his place within the pack. I’d assumed that Eric’s “pack” would be the existing small dogs, Alfie and Chester, but Eric’s clearly aiming … Read more
Lovely black and white border collie with litter of day old puppies

Pic of the day – Puppies! Hurrah!

We’re delighted that one of our favourite collies, Isla, has produced a litter of seven fabulous puppies. Isla’s puppies will soon get used to wet legs – family commitments won’t keep Isla out of the ditches Of course we’re just assuming, at the moment, that they’ll be fabulous, but with Isla for a mother, and a father like Ezra, what else could they possibly be? The puppies, four girls and … Read more
Smooth coated border collie sheepdog

Happy sheepdog, happy shepherd & vice versa

Smooth coated, but no smooth operator, Max is the focus of our next tutorial. What a sweetie! But when Max first joined us, this was his natural expression In 2011 we bought a dog who’s since become famous (or infamous) in our household. We expected Max to be a problem, that was why we chose him, but he tested our resolve on more than one occasion! We know, from our … Read more
Border Collie sheepdogs squabbling with snow flying around!

Three Years Ago Today!

As we await the coming storms, remember March 2013 As we bask in glorious sunshine today it’s hard to imagine there are some unpleasant storms approaching the UK. I was looking through some old photos recently and came across some which I took on this day (March 25th) in 2013. We don’t expect (or want) snow in late March, but there was more than just a covering when the dogs … Read more
Mel lying on the grass looking happy

The End of an Era – Mel

So sad to report that Mel died yesterday One day I’ll write a page in memory of Mel. She’s probably the greatest sheepdog we’ve ever had the privilege to know and work with. Mel’s “yampy” (quirky, carefree) look, that we loved so much Mel’s daughter Carew was far easier to control around sheep, and was definitely easier to stop (I couldn’t actually get Mel to stand still with her four … Read more
Red and tan Australian Kelpie sheepdog

Pic of the day – Catching up

Life’s slowly returning to normal after a trying month Tucker, with his hero Bronwen, and Odo’s hairy self in evidence at the back There’s been a distinct lack of news here in recent weeks, due to our domestic ‘flu epidemic (if two makes an epidemic). Luckily we weren’t ill at the same time, but for some weeks we’ve been operating with a skeleton staff, first Andy and then me, just … Read more
Blue merle border collie sheep dog puppy

Pics of the day: The morning run

A random selection of sheepdogs, out and about Odo and William may be different breeds, but they have the same interests: “Is it me, or do those sheep need tidying up?” If a fox were to carry a Frisbee, then it would look like this. I say “if”, but we’re pretty sure that foxes do carry the dog toys out of the field sometimes. We’ve found long-lost soft toys a … Read more
Australian Kelpie sheepdog puppy, looking stylish

Pic of the day: Post “Storm Imogen”

After five days in Storm Imogen’s clutches… …the dogs are enjoying some watery sunshine, and Tucker’s looking stylish. One dog’s perch is another (smaller) dog’s shelter! We’ve had a wet and windy few days, in common with most of the UK of course. Although we still made sure that the dogs had their usual exercise sessions, it always seems unfair to bring the dogs out simply to get them soaked … Read more
Sheepdog puppies, two border collies and a kelpie

Pic of the day: Tucker gets promoted

Tucker’s in charge when we collect new puppies And seems to change from bouncy puppy to calm, sophisticated young “dog of the world” in an instant! Currently known as Del and Jazz (left to right) the girls will make their chosen names known to us when they’re ready We’re told that Kelpies are especially good travellers. Tucker’s already pretty well travelled, within Wales anyway, but we thought we’d give him … Read more
Pic of the Day: One last Kelpie fix

Pic of the Day: One last Kelpie fix

Perhaps the Kelpies have been getting more than their fair share of “Pic of the Day” attention recently. Trouble is, they’re so darned cute… Will and Tucker are best friends and, although Tucker’s tiny and Will’s adolescent (Will could easily flatten Tucker if he felt inclined) they get along really well. Well, perhaps not so easily flattened – Tucker’s nothing if not a plucky chap – but he still … Read more
Border collie and Kelpie in the frost

Pic of the day: Frosty dogs

Whatever the weather, the dogs are always ready for the morning run and don’t seem to notice the temperature. “Sorry – can’t stop!” Can’t say the same for Andy and me, but even frost and fog have compensations. It took strength of will to get me out into the cold this morning but, as is often the case with weather, it seems worse when you look at it from indoors … Read more
Pic of the day: Take a look at Lottie!

Pic of the day: Take a look at Lottie!

Another new dog dialect in the pack But unlike the Kelpies, Lottie the Bearded Collie has fitted in immediately. Despite some very traditional Border collie markings, Lottie is a Bearded collie (known as a Beardie). She’s only 7 months old (so perhaps she hasn’t grown her full beard yet) but Lottie’s eager to work sheep, so we thought it would be interesting to add Lottie’s training to our online … Read more
Ezra did really well on his debut at working in a pen of sheep

Did I say I might miss Carew?

A Huge Test for Ezra and Bronwen at Dean Farm Regular readers of our blog will know that we parted with Carew earlier this month. Carew’s such a talented sheepdog that because we have so little work for her (especially in winter) we took the agonising decision to let her go to a large flock on Dartmoor in the South West of England. Of course, we have other dogs … Read more
Muddy Kelpie puppy

Pic of the day – Talking sheepdogs

Does dog language have accents and dialects? “I didn’t know what Isla meant, so I asked her to show me.” And she did. It’s a while since we introduced a new dog that wasn’t a Border collie. Now we’ve added the Kelpies, William and Tucker, to the crew, it’s fascinating to watch them finding their way around the collies – and vice versa. We’ve learnt that collies have their own … Read more
Close up photo of Carew the sheepdog standing on a fallen tree

Farewell to Carew, we wish her the best

Would you part with one of the best sheepdogs you ever had? The last few days at Kings Green Farm have been something of a roller coaster. At the end of last week we had the trauma of the Kelpie puppies being stolen, and then huge relief when we heard they’d been recovered from North Wales. Right from the early days of her training it was obvious that Carew was … Read more
Tucker is one of the litter of kelpie puppies stolen from a Shropshire farm

Our ‘Stolen’ Kelpie – Tucker!

Tucker’s safe in his new home after his ordeal Handsome little chap! Hopefully little Tucker will become a worldwide star in sheep and cattle dog training circles. Tucker’s a puppy that we had reserved from a litter of Kelpie pups before they were dramatically stolen from Clunton in Shropshire this week. Thankfully, after many thousands of Facebook shares and Twitter retweets, someone over a hundred miles away in North Wales … Read more
Close up photo of Kelpie Will looking at the camera

Meet Our New Kelpie – Will

Llwyfen (UK) William – Red & Tan Male Kelpie Will’s the first of our new Kelpies. We collected him today from his home in Brecon, South Wales. For some time now, we’ve wanted to include Kelpies in our sheepdog training tutorials and DVDs so we’re especially pleased to introduce Will. At seven months of age, we’re hoping Will might be ready to start his training – as soon as … Read more
The puppies stolen yesterday from Shropshire are on their way home

Kelpie puppies found SAFE and well!

The Kelpie Puppies stolen yesterday are on their way home! Seven Australian Kelpie puppies were STOLEN yesterday from Clunton, Shropshire UK The wonderful news is that thanks to the power of Facebook (11,000 Shares) and Twitter, these puppies were located (abandoned) in North Wales today, and as I write this, they are on their way home. Thanks to everyone who helped by sharing and spreading the word. We’re pleased … Read more
Picture of the puppies which were stolen from Clunton in Shropshire (January 2016)

Kelpie puppies stolen – Shropshire

Seven Australian Kelpie puppies were STOLEN yesterday from Clunton, Shropshire UK There are 6 males and 1 female in the litter, 1 brown and tan, and the remainder black and tan. Please help to get these pups back to their rightful owners if you possibly can. Kelpies are not very common dogs so they should be easy to spot. If you are approached by anyone trying to sell one, … Read more
border collie sheepdog soaking wet and covered in mud

Eli in the Mud – 2013

It was muddy in 2013 too! The persistent wet weather we’ve seen in the UK recently can be quite depressing, but it prompted us to cast our minds back three years. 2013 got off to a REALLY wet start! You can’t see it in this picture, but our field was a vast expanse of liquid mud – with very little food for the sheep. It got so wet that in … Read more
Oliver is Gill's favourite of all our collies

My boy Olliepop

You CAN have brains and beauty! Oliver is our “other” stud dog. Ezra considers himself to be the Main Man, generally swaggering around the place looking self-important, but Oliver is a quieter, more gentle character. Kay’s daughter Jet, with her father Oliver in the background. That grey rosette in Jet’s tail is Oliver’s trademark in his puppies. He has the sweetest nature, which he passes on to his puppies … Read more
Sheepdog trainer Andy Nickless introduces Kelpie training

NewTutorial: Sheepdog Selection and Preparation

The Sheepdog – Selection and Preparation We start 2016 with a tutorial dedicated to two topics about which we receive the most emails – choosing a working puppy, and what to do with it before you start training for cattle and sheep. So many handlers seem to find those early months very stressful; anxious to raise the dog in a way that will spark and preserve the all-important working … Read more
Pic of the day - somebody to lean on

Pic of the day – somebody to lean on

Jet usually picks Isla. One of the joys of keeping a group of dogs is to watch the interplay between the various personalities. Who plays with whom, and which dogs completely ignore each other (though entirely without animosity) is endlessly fascinating. Jet and Isla are great friends, often to be seen racing around the field, dodging trees and other dogs, in a highly competitive game of tag that Bronwen and … Read more
Two border collie sheepdogs. One is carrying a very large stick

Stick of the day!

They say you should never throw sticks for your dog! Whenever we publish a picture of one of our dogs with a piece of wood in its mouth, we get a stream of correspondence from people who’ve had really bad experiences when their dog played with a stick. If Carew would carry all her sticks like this she’d be OK but often they protrude from her mouth like a cigar … Read more
Pic of the day - beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Pic of the day – beginning to look a lot like Christmas

In January 2013 It’s not that I’m obsessed with the idea of a white Christmas, but a little snow round about now, just enough to bring public transport to a standstill, would be atmospheric. Will (on the right) demonstrating his hand brake turns for Eli Please someone, remind me of that in February, when the novelty’s worn off the frozen mud and my waterproof clothes haven’t dried out for days … Read more
A group of sheepdogs with a frisbee

Pic of the (shortest) day – Hurrah!

I don’t think we’ve ever had so much grazing in December. We reduced the sheep numbers, assuming there wouldn’t be enough keep for the 30 we had through the summer and autumn, and now our small flock (flockette?) is making very little impact on the grass. The orchard still has plenty of windfall apples under the trees; a sure sign that the sheep are finding plenty of more familiar … Read more
sheepdog Carew, staring at her sheep

Pic of the day – sheep by numbers

An unseasonably sunny (is it really December?) morning was the opportunity for some sheep maintenance Primarily we were checking the ear tag numbers on our most recent intake of “training assistants”, but it’s important to check the sheep regularly, just to make sure they’re all the right way up. The ear tags show the sheep’s individual number, and the number of the flock they belong to, and are legal … Read more
Pic of the day - Tesla's first morning

Pic of the day – Tesla’s first morning

Introducing Ezra’s daughter, Tesla. She arrived here on Thursday afternoon, and this photo was taken on Friday morning. She’s quite happy to mix, and to meet the other dogs, but Tes likes to have a “den” when the going gets a bit too rough (mentioning no names – Isla and Scylla). We don’t use our dogs widely at stud, but when we do (and dog pens permit) it’s a great … Read more
Scylla, Merlin (the merle puppy) and Jet

Pic of the day – New, borrowed and blue

“It smells like a collie, and tastes like a collie, so I guess it must be!” It’s a novelty for us to have a blue merle border collie around the place. “Mine, I think?” Merlin is one of Ezra’s daughters. She was born in Shropshire, to an ISDS registered red merle, and has come to stay with us for a few weeks to keep our own puppy, Tesla, company … Read more
Pic of the day - why puppies are best in groups

Pic of the day – why puppies are best in groups

…provided the toy has enough handles. Taken three years ago, almost to the day, this photo shows the lovely Oliver, with his litter mates Justin and Jess, and (nearest to the camera) a friend of the family, Tiny White. We can spend/waste hours just watching puppies play, and trying to identify their developing personalities. Oliver (2nd from the left) is looking a bit self-conscious, and that trait has stayed with … Read more
Border collie puppy learning to herd with ducks

Pic of the day – How Isla got her spots

Proof that “naughty spots” are earned – not just inherited For a while we considered using ducks for training, so a friend brought his own ducks (Indian Runner crosses, I believe) for us to try. Isla was one of the dogs we picked for the experiment. I used to think that females don’t have as much sense of humour as male collies. I was wrong! In fact, Isla has rather … Read more
When the dogs are not working sheep, they love nothing more than a bit of play-fighting

Pic of the Day – Best of Friends Really!

A bit of “rough and tumble” in the sunshine When it comes to being friends, Bronwen, Isla, Scylla and Jet are very close, but they love nothing more than a good hard play-fight. It usually starts with one of them provoking the others by dashing off very close and fast, so they can’t resist giving chase. After a few noisy and boisterous laps of the field with various dogs taking … Read more
border collie sheepdog, Bronwen

Pic of the day – Bronwen

Bronwen – what’s in a name? Pure Bronwen – if you see what I mean I’d be the first to admit that, when it comes to naming dogs, I try to avoid the traditional sheepdog names. There’s nothing wrong with them, it’s just that I prefer something that seems to describe the dog or its personality, if at all possible. If the dog “tells” me a name, so much the … Read more
Most border collies are predominantly black with white blaze, collar, and tail tip but Isla is mostly white.

Pic of the Day – Isla

Before and After – Isla’s unusual markings When it comes to border collies, Isla really stands out from the rest. She’s a black and white border collie all right, but instead of predominantly black, with white blaze, collar and tail tip, she’s predominantly white with black face and “naughty spots”. When she’s not training to be a sheepdog, Isla loves to play with the other dogs, and most of all, … Read more
The dogs give Andy their full attention

Pic of the Day – Gather Round!

From April 2004 this is Andy with the dogs Words of wisdom? (Pic from April 2004). The dogs appear to listen attentively to who knows what? On the far left is Mel, then Mossie, Reiver and Pearl then (?), Patch (tail in air) next to him is Glen and I can’t remember the dog on the right One of my favourite pictures, this is me with the dogs in April … Read more
Bronwen keeping the sheep under control during her training

Slow down you’re cornering too fast!

Bronwen’s lesson in tackling sheep in tight corners The eyes have it! Bronwen has a sheep under control while watching some others in case they try to escape. I tore myself away from editing sheepdog training videos this morning, to take Bronwen to the sheep. Our poor dogs don’t get nearly as much training as they should do at the moment because we’re so busy making videos (and fulfilling DVD … Read more
Border collie sheepdogs Bronwen and Odo

Bronwen – play nicely with your brother!

Bronwen with her “little” brother Odo. Bronwen (looking predatory, on the right) would really like to take possession of the dog disc, but she knows that we like Odo to have a chance with it sometimes. Odo has Ezra’s build (short legged and stocky) and he doesn’t have the svelte Bronwen’s acceleration, so often misses out if speed is of the essence. Bronwen doesn’t mind though. She knows that … Read more
Two Border Collie Sheepdogs dispute ownership of a squeaky toy.

Pic of the Day – Scylla and Oliver

Pic of the day turns vid of the day – Scylla and Oliver in hot property dispute! The dogs have had some new toys recently, and this morning’s addition was a small, squeaky space hopper. (Those “of a certain age” will know what a space hopper was.) Oliver, who doesn’t usually play with toys, desperately wanted the space hopper, but Scylla, who also rarely plays with toys, was quicker … Read more
No one plays quite like a litter mate, but even a litter mate can surprise you!

Pic of the day – Dulcie & Gloria

Dulcie and Gloria – such devoted sisters! No one plays quite like a litter mate, but even a litter mate can surprise you! Just before Christmas, 2011, we bought a litter of well bred Border collies in readiness for training during the following summer. They were all individuals but, typical of litter mates, played together endlessly – and at high speed – whenever the opportunity arose. All the puppies, four … Read more
trainee border collie sheepdog Isla

Pic of the Day – this is Isla

Isla’s a complete “nutcase” but all the same, we’re very fond of her. When she came to us in the spring of 2014 she was as white as snow, apart from her face and a spot at the root of her tail, but now her body’s covered in “naughty spots”, and quite rightly too. One of the things that we love about Isla is that she’s always ready to … Read more
We want to find a working Kelpie

We’re Looking for a Working Kelpie Pup

Can you help us find a Kelpie from good working parents? Red and Mossie were the best of pals but Mossie went to work on a sheep farm long before Red could be trusted with sheep. Regular visitors to The Working Sheepdog Website may remember that five years ago, we acquired a Kelpie puppy and called him Red. Red was a lovely little chap, and we were so impressed with … Read more
Scylla waiting for instructions

Pic of the day – Here’s Scylla!

Pic of the day – here’s Scylla Granddaughter of Mel (probably the best all-round sheepdog we ever had) this is Scylla Scylla is a sister to Odo (see yesterday’s post) and has the makings of a really good sheepdog now that she’s through that “difficult” stage that some young sheepdogs go through when they begin training. You can watch several videos comparing the training of Scylla and her litter-sister Bronwen … Read more
Border collie sheepdog puppy, Odo

Pic of the Day!

We’re going to try our best to bring you a photo of our sheepdogs every day if we can! Odo was born on the 27th of May this year. This is Odo. He’s a lovely pup from Ezra and Meg, but just look at his face! At the moment, he’s not keen on having his photograph taken, and that clearly shows, but he’s going to find out that living here … Read more
A puppy gets squished as the dogs leap through the fork in an oak tree

Creating Sheepdog Videos For 10 Years!

It’s ten years since we made our first sheepdog video The featured image at the top of this page came very close to being used on the cover of Border Collie Sheepdogs – Off Duty but eventually we settled for this one because it shows more of our favourite dogs at the time Many years ago, Gill and I realised that our love of border collie sheepdogs had given us … Read more
Medium or smooth coated black and white border collie puppy

Puppies available (Sold)

Home bred puppies for sheep or agility All the available puppies are now SOLD. There’s a mixture of coats among the brothers – this is one of the shorter coated chaps The puppies (all male) were born on May 27th and will be ready to leave here on, or around, July 22nd. They will be ISDS registered and microchipped. The first thing our puppies learn is to look into the … Read more
Sheepdog Kay watches while Audrey and Eli wrestle for the frisbee

Shuffling the pack

We’ve been lucky (so far) this winter; the snow and ice in the weather forecast has missed us! We still have a covering of grass, can walk easily across the field and along the bridlepaths, and the strong winds brought down only one tree in the orchard. Amy and Ivy take advantage of the new log It’s always sad to lose a tree, but it means we have some firewood … Read more
A closeup of a new born border collie puppy

Kay and Ollie’s new family! (Sold)

Take a really close look at Kay & Oliver’s pups Click any thumbnail to see the picture at full size, then click the image to see the next one. Feeding time brings competition for the best places If you must look at my puppies, please be careful. Just a few hours old and already crawling around Kay keeps a close watch as one of the pups learns the basics There’s … Read more
Border collie puppy, bred for work and already showing style and confidence

For sheep or agility – collie pups available

There’s only one puppy still available from this litter. Although you still have a choice of pup the rest are all ours. Every dog we sell is covered by our “no quibble” 30 day money-back guarantee, together with a free online tutorial subscription, and DVD if required. Even at 6 weeks of age, not everyone entirely trusts a photographer. (Click an image to enlarge it). Meg and Ezra produced a … Read more
Fatherhood, second time around, for Ezra

Fatherhood, second time around, for Ezra

Ezra confounds us – yet again! October’s a busy month for us; DVD sales start to pick up for Christmas, there’s a clutch of family birthdays and, often, a litter of puppies. We like our puppies to get out and about as young as possible, so even October is a bit late in the year for comfort, but somehow October seems to be Puppy Month. Pearl, one of the early … Read more
Sheepdog Carew with her friends Meg and Jan behind her

Carew injury worry for Evesham Sheepdog Trials

We’re worried that Carew may not be fit for Evesham SDT. On the downside of Carew’s heroic cattle herding on Sunday, we noticed in the evening that she was limping on her left front foot. Carew was excellent in her last sheepdog trial at Mathon in Worcestershire. (Click to enlarge). With all the fencing we’d been doing that day we assumed she’d picked up a thorn, but when we examined … Read more
Close-up photo of three mainly white border collie puppies

Holding the fort

Behind every aspiring trials dog, there’s a woman who knows where the kibble’s kept. It’s all very well, but when someone spends an entire day gossiping at a sheepdog trial then someone else has to stay behind to look after the day-to-day stuff. With Andy away testing his handling skills the care duties fall to me, not that I’m complaining. Apparently it was my nagging that drove Andy back out … Read more
Even Aled Owen's Roy struggled with the sheep, but completed the course in the end

More surprises at Felindre Sheepdog Trial

Carew recovered from a very bad start – Kay was just Kay! The weather went from one extreme to the other and the sheep at Felindre provided an interesting challenge for dogs and handlers. I had intended to get up really early on Saturday morning and be at Felindre Sheepdog Trial ground before the first run, but somehow I couldn’t get myself organised and we didn’t arrive until nearly nine … Read more
Collie with issues becomes collie with issue

Collie with issues becomes collie with issue

The reason behind Nell’s recent rise in status within the pack, in her own eyes at least, became clear. “We have to look into the camera. Mum says we’ll have to get used to it.” Four weeks ago Nell gave birth to 5 tiny, but perfectly formed, puppies. That girl’s full of surprises. I’m fairly sure that the sire is young Remus. The evening before I discovered Nell to be, … Read more
Border collie puppy Gretchen showing typical sheepdog style

Gretchen’s talents come to light all at once

Hayley’s sister Gretchen develops new skills. Gretchen looks a little awkward as she waits for the rest of the pack to decide what they’re doing next. For several weeks now, young Haley has been confidently working sheep (confidently for a puppy, that is) but her litter sister Gretchen has shown a far more passive interest in herding. Until now, that is. Suddenly, Gretchen’s become obsessed with sheep – and cattle … Read more
Working Kelpie sheepdog during training to work sheep

A Kelpie and a Beardie brighten up our training course

A working Kelpie and Bearded Collie joined us on our sheepdog training class yesterday Hugh Emerson teaching his working Beardie Bessie to give the sheep some room Monday’s group sheepdog training class provided plenty of variety as well as entertainment with a bright young working Kelpie called Tess along with one of our more regular Bearded Collies, Bessie. When Emmanuel Dumouchel introduced his collie Jaffa to the sheep she made … Read more
Border Collie sheepdog puppy Jack perched high in a hedge, watching the sheep below him

Watching the sheep go by

Jack’s not ready to take an interest in sheep Being a high drive yet biddable (obedient) border collie puppy, from excellent working parents, means that, on paper at least, Jack has the potential to be a good sheepdog. Safe haven! Jack watching the sheep from his safe position between Gill’s boots Jack’s delightful character is a bonus for us, because we always prefer our dogs to have something special about … Read more
Young sheepdog puppy confronting a group of sheep

Taking a sheepdog puppy to sheep

Training a sheepdog can be much easier if you introduce the dog to sheep at an early age.
But only attempt it if you know what you’re doing. Dash and Hayley moving the sheep with Carew keeping watch. Note Hayley has made the division to flank around the sheep. Our regular readers will know that we like to introduce pups to sheep at an early age, but they will also be … Read more
Collie puppy resting on a log

To the woods!

Puppies learn that the world’s bigger than they thought Audrey and Eli’s daughter, Dill It’s been a wet and windy winter, as I think we may have mentioned before, so the puppies who were born at the end of last year have really only known mud and puddles. After a week of much more settled, and sometimes almost warm, weather the field, footpaths and woodland walks have dried enough to … Read more
Border collie puppy

Jack’s growing – and going – up

Jack becomes a little more adventurous every day, and keen to take his place among the big dogs Master of all he surveys – until Carew shoves him off, of course Despite a considerable increase in his weight (Jack’s not a tall chap, but he’s very stocky) Jack’s not losing any of his enthusiasm for climbing. Whereas previously his tree climbing antics were a means of escape, it seems now … Read more
Collies can make their own games

Collies can make their own games

This girl just wants to have fun – and will organise anyone willing to join in! It started so well, with the sight of our first local primroses and snowdrops on Monday, but by Wednesday the weather seemed worse than ever and we lost our favourite, bravest damson tree (and the roof off the wood shed). It started so well – snowdrops braved the elements on Monday Despite the wild … Read more
A small pack of female border collie sheepdogs

Nell’s finding her place

Nell’s decided it’s time she had some status in the pack When Nell arrived, last July, she was pretty mixed up, and very nervous of us. She was anxious about life in general, spending much of her spare time pacing in tight anti-clockwise circles, but dashing to the back of her bedroom whenever anything happened in the yard, or to her, that would potentially break the secure monotony. Nell’s expression, … Read more
Close up portrait of a tricolour border collie sheepdog - Pru

Dogs being dogs – do not disturb

How keeping quiet can make every command count “Is this how a paddy field works?” Ezra is up to his knees in it When I first started to keep Border collies (entirely by accident) I did what everyone does – I read everything I could find about dog training, and training collies in particular. Twenty-plus years ago there probably wasn’t quite so much material available as there is now, but … Read more
Beautiful white faced Border collie cross

What a difference some rays make!

Puppies meet sheep on a sunny Sunday “They’ve let loose the ankle biters – let’s go girls!” After what feels like weeks of doing the dogs’ morning routine in the rain, yesterday morning was bright, mild and wonderfully sunny. Of course there’s mud everywhere, but to see the dogs looking so happy with the sun on their fur made all the usual tasks seem easier and the work lighter. Rather … Read more
Most dogs enjoy eating fruit, vegetables and wild herbs and plants

Scavenging collies cleave to Cleavers

Collies find there’s something to be said for mild weather In tune with the current culinary trend for baby vegetables, Remus relishes the young goose grass I know, we really don’t have much to complain about; our roads aren’t flooded, we haven’t lost an entire crop under water, and we haven’t been forced to move our belongings upstairs. Nonetheless, I’m finding the weather pretty tedious, but you can trust collies … Read more
Sheepdog Kay feeding two of her own puppies, as well as five from another litter.

Puppy training continues despite the weather

Kay takes the training of her pups very seriously Gretchen has good reason to look worried. Kay’s about to pounce on her as part of her training programme! We only have two puppies (Gretchen and Hayley) left from Eli and Kay’s recent litter so Kay seems to have taken on Audrey’s litter as well as her own. Audrey’s pups are four weeks younger than Gretchen and Hayley, but Kay’s happy … Read more
Sheepdog Jan on a misty frosty morning

It’s Official – Sheepdog Training’s Suspended

Constant rain (with even more predicted) has forced us to stop sheepdog training for a while Whatever the weather, Jan will always grasp an opportunity to submerge herself in water! We managed to run both sheepdog training courses in January. That in itself is remarkable; last year we were forced to cancel all courses from October (2012) until March (2013). Last winter was the wettest I can remember and, to … Read more
Sheepdog puppy Jack can climb fences with ease

A sheepdog puppy with altitude!

Confining Jack to our yard becomes increasingly difficult Jack wants to join the fun out in the field. (click to enlarge). From the day he arrived here, we’ve been impressed with Jack’s determination. In our blog of the 19th of December, we reported that he’d rather perch on the back of a car seat than somewhere more sensible. As Jack gets older and stronger, his determination to be wherever the … Read more
Muddy sheepdogs Jan and puppy Dash

Sheepdogs don’t seem to mind wet weather

With training on hold, our dogs just play more seriously The Retriever’s Apprentice – Meg shows Pru how it’s done (for the umpteenth time) Predictably the continuing rain fails to dampen the dogs’ spirits, and every play and exercise session is greeted with the same enthusiasm as if the weather was warm and dry. While stylish Jan demonstrates the finer points of driving (well, creeping) for the benefit of Dash, … Read more
Sheepdog Meg leaps into the water

Rain almost stops work, but never play!

Training on hold due to wet weather? We’ve cracked it! Walking’s no fun on ground like this, and training’s worse. Sudden stops and sharp turns are definitely out! Training our own dogs is pretty much at a standstill at the moment, in an effort to preserve the training field for the training classes, but even so, this morning we came very close to cancelling Saturday’s class. Having managed to sleep … Read more
Dash is a predominantly white tricolour border collie sheepdog puppy

Despite appearances, Jack and Dash are good pals!

You may not think it, but Jack and Dash are pretty good friends really! Meg and Eli‘s little girl Dash is a very good looking young collie pup. Although she’s typically fun loving and mischievous, Dash is also very obedient and adores being with people. One of Dash’s favourite pastimes is what she regards as “training” poor little Jack. Here she pauses for a moment as she tries … Read more
Agility Border Collie Izzy meets her half-sisters

All clear for Sheepdog Training on Monday!

It’s OK for Monday’s training course – and we get a visit from Carew’s sister It might be a little wet underfoot (to say the least) but Monday’s sheepdog training course will go ahead as planned Occasionally we have to cancel a sheepdog course, and at other times we come very close! We don’t cancel lightly because we know how much people look forward to the day, and very often … Read more
Close up picture of a very pretty tricolour border collie puppy with fluffy coat and white tips on its ears

Sheepdog Puppy Jack – Update

Jack’s settling in very well with the bigger dogs Jack tries to get the torn-up football away from his friend Dash Since Jack moved here, in early December, we’ve been very impressed with him, and not just because he’s such a striking looking puppy. Jack’s curious, and quietly confident whenever he’s faced with a new situation. Confidence is vital in a sheepdog, so we’re obviously encouraged by Jack’s relaxed manner … Read more
Three border collie sheepdogs stalking towards the camera

A glorious start to the new year

Despite all the rain, the weather’s been mild and surprisingly sunny for the time of year! All this running around makes you really thirsty! Jan’s very photogenic You may have noticed that we’ve been really busy over the holiday period; we’ve been improving the look of the website and adding dedicated comments pages for people to ask questions and leave their thoughts on our tutorials. The next few days should … Read more
Sheepdog Jan leaps out of a puddle, leaving a shower of muddy water behind her

Today’s the shortest day

Daylight hours are in short supply at this time of year, but the weather’s been great for dogs! Jan has settled in really quickly. She’s proving to be a real character Well, the shortest day means it’s actually the dead of winter, but so far, the weather’s been great for the dogs. It’s unusually warm for the time of year in the UK and although there’s been a lot of … Read more
Border Collie Sheepdog Puppy - Jack (looking very cute)

Our NEW LOOK Website and Lots of News

We hope you like the new layout for the website Kay’s allowing the pups a quick snack before she joins the other dogs on their morning run We’ve been meaning to get around to updating the website for some time, because we’re aware that many of you visit The Working Sheepdog Website via phones and other devices. This design should be much more visible on all devices, but please let … Read more
Border collie puppy with wellington boots and a ball

In sheepdogs, a family likeness doesn’t make a clone

It’s important to train the dog you’re with! Pomme isn’t quite ready to join in the rough and tumble of pack playtime. Her half-sister Pru, on the other hand… Reggie – what a sweetie; but you can’t tell what he’s thinking Ronnie – looking heavenwards, as well he might My overarching impression of this time last year is of the dogs and me being wet, more or less constantly. (That’s … Read more
Successful young dog and handler

Sheepdog News Round Up

We love to hear about dogs that we’ve bred or trained, and it’s been a busy news week Particularly as some news came with photos, I thought it would be good to share (and yes, an opportunity to show off just how lucky we are with the people who choose our dogs). Kay and Max’s little boy, Dougal Ruari and Dougal with their trophy shortly after winning the New Handler … Read more
Puppy Pomme with cream all around her face

Pouding aux pommes avec crème

Pomme’s been in the cream pot! What’s everyone looking at? Having a dog, or a puppy or two, living in the porch by the kitchen means less wasted food and fewer walks to the bin or the compost heap. FOUR puppies can recycle an awful lot of carrot peelings and bread crusts, and will entertain themselves for hours with a cardboard box, or an empty plastic milk bottle (with, or … Read more
Young black and white border collie

After so many, we still get excited about a lovely new dog

Perhaps the novelty doesn’t ever wear off! Kim’s such a lively, happy little dog; a joy to have around Last Saturday we welcomed Kim to our pack, and we’re both looking forward to working with her. Kim came to our attention in a training class a couple of months ago. Over lunch, Andy gave me the run through the day’s dogs (as I always insist he does). He paused, before … Read more
Group of assorted Border collies

Handling a nervous sheepdog – Nell

Nell has good days and bad days, but on the whole she seems a happier dog Either Nell’s enjoying being part of the pack, or just believes in safety in numbers When we first mentioned Nell in the blog, back in August, she’d been with us for a month. We felt we were making some progress (inasmuch as we could get her back into the yard when we needed to, … Read more
Agility handler, Denise Wilkinson with Tinker Tia and Chai

Meg’s puppies are growing fast

…and now one of them’s left home! Denise and Tia with new recruit, Chai – still gazing This morning the first of Meg’s puppies to fly the coop left for an exciting new life – today Norfolk, tomorrow the world! (Well, the world may have to wait a year or two, but we’re entitled to our expectations.) We’re delighted that Chai has joined Denise Wilkinson’s agility team. Denise had Tinker … Read more
Black and white femail collie with a half-white face and a blue eye

Our Pearl – lovely sheepdog – great mum

A small tribute to a wonderful dog – PEARL – 258969 Pearl was born on the 8th February 2002 and died in 2018. She was the daughter of Ben 220939 (A D Scrimgeour) and Tillymauld Nell 241682 (T R Lawrenson) Pearl, one of the early sheepdogs who taught us so much (mostly that we weren’t as clever as we thought) As well as producing excellent sheepdogs and cattle dogs, Pearl’s … Read more
Carew calmly controlling her sheep

Our team of working sheepdogs – Carew

Carew is a highly skilled worker on a sheep farm Carew looks as well as she works Carew is a tricolour (black/white/tan) rough coated border collie sheepdog. She was born on 10th March 2011 and is ISDS registered. Equally at home gathering 200 or more ewes with lambs at foot, or pushing them up in tightly packed sorting pens, Carew’s highly skilled at flock work, driving, pen work and loading … Read more
Glen looking stylish as he walks up on some sheep

Relevant sheepdog skills and their prices – UK

The various levels of a sheepdog’s skills and their prices can be confusing Dan – a powerful sheep and cattle dog In recent years UK sheepdog and cattle dog prices have increased dramatically, despite the fluctuating prices of farm animals sold at market. To put an accurate price on a sheepdog can be very difficult but we try to be fair to ourselves as well as the customer. Our price … Read more
Closeup photo of Dot looking out over the Welsh mountains of Corwen

Little Dot – Andy’s first sheepdog

They say you ruin your first sheepdog . . . If I had Dot today, her training would be very different This is Dot, a daughter of Derek Scrimgeour’s Ben. Dot was my first sheepdog back in 2002. They say you ruin your first sheepdog, and there’s certainly some truth in that. I was much too hard on Dot right from the beginning because I knew nothing about sheepdog training … Read more
Sheepdog gathering a large flock of sheep

Sheepdogs for sale – but which to choose?

“I think we’ve decided we need a dog…” …is often the opening to an email enquiry, or a telephone conversation with a farmer, smallholder or shepherd who’s reached the size of flock that his friends and family are no longer prepared to spend a Saturday morning helping to catch. For a beginner to sheepdogs, what’s the best option? A well trained sheepdog is a great asset to a smallholder or … Read more
Black and white Jack Russell terrier cross puppies

The Benefits of a Sound Puppy Policy

You should only buy a puppy if you’re sure you have enough time, space and energy As yet, un-named sisters. The two Black and white Jack Russell cross Border Collie puppies – doubtless plotting a coup from a safe distance Yesterday’s To Do List consisted of Andy staying at home to work on the next tutorial, while I drove to Herefordshire to collect a dog. Andy was out of the … Read more
Nell is a rough coated tri-coloured female border collie sheepdog with psychological issues

A sheepdog can have psychological issues too

Training a sheepdog isn’t always as straightforward as you’d think Nell’s a good looking dog and she’s very keen to work sheep, but she has issues. Nell’s our latest work in progress. She’s been here for four weeks now, is desperate to work and showing power with sheep, but she’s quite terrified of strangers. When she first came to us she showed all the usual signs of a very nervous … Read more
Sheep standing watching a dog

When sheep don’t see a dog as a predator

How do you load sheep onto a trailer if they see the dog as a friend? The sheep weren’t afraid of Carew – they ran to her! Once again, I had no intention of writing a blog about today’s sheep gathering experience, but yet another extraordinary thing happened and I feel I should mention it. When I spoke to John yesterday about today’s gather, he mentioned that there were a … Read more
Trainee sheepdog Matt's work has improved dramatically

Sheepdog Training – that moment when the light comes on!

Matt reaches a major milestone in his training Matt loves to play – when he’s not working that is! One of the best things about training sheepdogs is witnessing that magic moment when the dog realises what it’s all about. Some dogs are very hard to train, others seem to take to it naturally, but it’s the moment when “the light comes on” for a difficult dog that gives me … Read more
The dogs are shaded by the tarpaulin over their runs

Giving the dogs temporary shelter from the hot sun

Today we rigged up a tarpaulin to give our dogs some shade The temporary “roof” is on, and the dogs are enjoying the shade For some time now I’ve been intending to cover the dog kennels with a permanent roof. It will shade them in the summer and keep the runs drier in winter, making it easier to keep the bedding areas clean. Last winter was extremely wet, and anyone who’s … Read more
Little tricolour collie puppy Reggie is out enjoying the sunshine

Maggot’s morning

What a glorious morning! After the snow and greyness of yesterday this morning was mild and sunny, with endless blue skies and an optimistic feeling of spring in the air. The sort of morning that can make me forget I don’t have a proper job or a stable income. Almost. Reggie looks innocent enough, but he’s probably just planning his next attack Instead of getting the yard cleaned up and … Read more
Two black and white smooth coated border collie puppies, taking a well-earned break.

Sheepdog comings and goings

I love this photo. It’s two of my favourite puppies, Maggot and Cotton, sisters from Kay’s litter with the lovely Max Maggot and Cotton – just chillin’. Cotton’s on her 30-day trial with a farmer in Oxfordshire, and it was with mixed feelings that we saw her go. She’s a pretty little dog, with a big personality and very obliging; she impressed us with her work when she was really … Read more
Sheepdogs playing cause a spray of white snow

It’s clear, border collie sheepdogs love snow!

We ‘enjoyed’ about 4 cm of snow overnight Our dogs adore the snow! A somewhat surprised Eli (left) staring at Cabbage, with Pru looking on from behind as the snow flies up in spectacular fashion Last night we were woken by the sound of our dogs barking so I got out of bed and went to the window to see what the problem was. To my surprise, I realised there … Read more
Muddy sheepdogs Carew and Kay sit on a fallen tree and are being watched from below by Meg

Rain stopped sheepdog training – but not play!

Muddy sheepdogs, Carew and Kay, relax on a fallen trunk, while Meg looks up at them from the ground below This seemingly unending spell of extreme wet weather has brought all sheepdog training to a standstill here for the time being. Our poor training field has not quite been reduced to a mud bath, but it’s close. The grass you see in the picture looks quite good, but in fact, … Read more
Three border collie sheepdogs jumping off a big straw bale together

Sheepdogs love to play as well as work

You did say GO – didn’t you? In the picture above, Eli (left) Cabbage (back) and Eli’s daughter, Pru leap off a big bale of straw, while one of the younger pups looks on from a safe distance! The dog’s don’t really care how wet and muddy it gets – they’ll always find ways to make the most of it. They’re not bothered whether they live inside or out, but … Read more
Border collies playing with a ball

The versatile Border collie – and its owner

She flies through the air with the greatest of ease… We know from the many conversations we have, and emails we receive, that Border collie owners are a versatile lot, and many of them thoroughly exploit the variety that collies offer. Necessarily, most of the people we know and correspond with have their dogs primarily for sheep work, but those who aren’t full-time shepherds or farmers will often also take … Read more
Black and white border collie sheepdog puppy - rough coated, mostly black with white chest, nose and feet.

Not just a lovely sheepdog puppy

Starting puppies and young dogs on sheep, cattle and other livestock A puppy from Audrey’s litter that we’re keeping back to train as a sheep or cattle dog This is one of the (as yet unnamed) border collie pups from Audrey’s litter that we’re keeping to train as a working stock dog. At just over eight weeks, two of the litter are already chasing sheep, whenever they get the chance … Read more
Tri-colour Border collie sheepdog with blue eyes

Sheepdog celebrities, and a ewe with a view

A sheep dog in Dire Straits? I was watching the younger dogs playing and suddenly realised who Lucas reminds me of: Mark Knopfler. Now just take a look at the link and tell me I’m wrong. Lucas, sporting a rather fetching head band. Very Eighties. Sheep/dog training
It’s an up and down sort of life as a sheepdog trainer. A young sheepdog (or even not-so-young sheepdog, eh Mel?) will take you … Read more
Border collie puppy watches while a young collie is trained with sheep

Pru goes sheepdog training

Pru decides to take at look at our sheepdog training class
Photo of 16 Border collies relaxing in the orchard

Life with the pack and the puppies

Dodging the rain and the pups! [Some months ago I made a solemn pact with myself that I’d update the blog at least once a week. Since then, it seems I’ve begun every blog entry with “It’s been a while since I last updated the blog, but the last week/s/months have just flown by.” So, being a creature of habit…] It’s been a while since I last updated the … Read more
A lovely group of young Border collies; red and white, black and white, and tricolour.

The Wichenford week

After my frenzy of dog acquisition last week, this week seems quite dull in comparison That said, even a dull week here is pretty good when compared with having a “proper” job! From left to right: Audrey, Rita, Scylla, Gloria and Dennis are waiting to see what’s in store for this week – us too! When weather and light permit, we’re getting on with filming for the next DVD and … Read more
Rough coated red and white border collie sheepdog, Roy

Never say never

One of Andy’s Rules for Life is that we never sell dogs at auctions (for reasons that I’m sure we’ve enumerated many times on the website) Another rule is that we only ever buy dogs at auction if we already know them, and it’s very rare that we do that (Eli’s the only dog I can bring to mind at the moment). Rules are all very well, but one should … Read more
Chester is a small dog who likes to climb

Life – with collies underfoot

It’s been a few weeks since I sat down to write the blog, though I know Andy’s been keeping it supplied with photographs. Chester takes advantage of the opportunity to abuse the collies from a safe height Apart from filming for the next DVD there have been new puppies to cater for, young dogs to start training and numerous odd jobs around the place (taking advantage of the mild dry … Read more
Rosewood Eli looking very regal on top of a tree stump with a glorious blue sky behind him.

Working hard on the new sheepdog training DVD

Forgive us if our blog entries are a little irregular at the moment, we’re hard at work on the monumental task of filming our new sheepdog training DVD Rosewood Eli is a superb stud dog – no wonder the girls love him! So far the weather has been unbelievably good for filming. March was one of the three warmest on record, but that in itself is a cause for concern … Read more
Border Collie sheepdog puppy Audrey asserts her authority over younger pup, Dennis

Somebody has to keep the puppies in order

OK – OK – You have the toy then! Young Audrey, the red and white bitch pup is beginning to assert her authority over the younger puppies lately. This morning, she showed Dennis that the toy is hers by right, whenever she chooses. At the moment, she has seven weeks’ seniority over Dennis (b. 14th November 2011) but soon, the young male will be much bigger and stronger than she … Read more
Puppies play-fighting in the early March sunlight

The puppy games get rougher as they grow up

Poor Bess is ‘it’ today! As far as I can tell, the dogs in the picture are: (l to r) Audrey, Bess (on floor) Meg (at the back), an unidentified puppy, and Gloria. Puppies love to play, and this morning was no exception. The sun was shining gloriously when I took the dogs out for their morning walk, and the youngsters were enjoying it to the full. Poor Bess seemed … Read more
Rita, the tri-colour collie puppy, loves to get out and about

Accidents and emergencies

Back in January I mentioned Bella, an ex-rescue collie living in Florida, and her heroic effort to alert neighbours to her owner, Adam’s horrible accident with some farm machinery. The latest news from Bella is that Adam’s hand is healing well, and there seems to be some feeling coming back into his fingers. Once the recuperation is complete, Bella’s planning on starting her cattle herding lessons, and will let Adam … Read more
Border collie sheepdog watching her sheep

A good looking sheepdog and a great worker too

Not just a pretty face, Carew is a very promising trainee sheepdog Carew continues to shine above the other dogs when it comes to working sheep. She’s desperate to please, a very keen worker, and shows signs of having power too. If anything, she’s a little too sensitive – not with the sheep, but with her handler. A very sensible head on very young shoulders. From the early stages of … Read more
Sheepdog puppy Lupin with her leg in plaster, eyeing the sheep through a fence

Just you wait till I get this plaster off!

Poor Lupin can’t wait to get the plaster cast off her leg Lupin watches the sheep closely. Note the plaster cast on her right rear leg. This is Lupin with her leg in plaster, the day before she went back to the vet to have it removed. She broke her tibia in two places and there was a fold in the fibula on the 31st of January – after she … Read more
Two dogs on the bonnet of a car in frosty weather

Security alert at Kings Green Farm

With things the way they are these days, you can’t be too security conscious When Midge (left) and Ezra are around, it’s perhaps, not such a good idea to park your car in our yard. Security is the buzz-word in these modern times, so if you come to one of our sheepdog training courses, be sure to park where we tell you to, otherwise Midge and Ezra might take it … Read more
Eli in the foreground with his daughter Midge looking on

Only a short spell of snow thank goodness

I must admit, I like to see snow – but it causes us all kinds of inconvenience Eli’s a handsome dog whose pups are proving exceptional. We took the dogs out for their morning run today, hoping to get some nice pictures of them in the snow but it was rapidly thawing thanks to the mild temperature. I must admit, I like to see snow – but it causes us … Read more
Some of the collie sheepdogs running along the bridleway in the morning sunlight

It may be bitterly cold, but the dogs love it

The dog’s don’t seem to mind how cold the weather is, as long as they can enjoy a good run morning and evening The dogs don’t mind what the weather’s like as long as they get their morning and evening run. I took this picture yesterday morning while we were on the bridleway that goes alongside our local wood. Luckily for us, when the dogs are in a pack like … Read more
Lots of Border Collie dogs and pups out walking in the woods

Border Collie Sheepdog Traffic Jam in the Woods

What a great morning for walking the dogs! OK – which way now guys? Sometimes, I think I have the best job in the world (but the pay’s nothing to shout about). We seem to have a great number of puppies at the moment (far too many if the truth were known) so it’s especially good fun to get them out with the other dogs along the bridleways and through … Read more
Border Collie puppy with it's leg in a purple plaster cast

Accidents will happen

Free access to the garden and all its interesting sights and smells are only a few of the advantages of being Very Special. Although Lupin has her back leg at a difficult angle while the plaster cast is in place, she’s learning how to cope with it and staying pretty cheerful. She can even enjoy being out in the garden and watching the birds. Every litter of puppies seems to … Read more
Bella is a smooth coated border collie

News from the DVD shop

New DVDs and other news from The Working Sheepdog Website Last October I added “Rocky Mountain Cowboys” to the online shop and it proved to be a popular title over Christmas. If any blog readers have watched it, then you might be interested in an email we received shortly after it went online: I have been looking through your website, as tomorrow morning I will be collecting my Border Collie … Read more
Our sheepdogs and puppies enjoy playing with a buoy

Oh BUOY this is fun! – dogs enjoying the mild winter weather

(Left to right) Eli shows some of his puppies how to tackle a buoy on a rope. (Click to enlarge image). Last winter, we were lucky to get some wonderful snow and freezing frost scenes while we were filming our latest Border Collie DVD (Border Collie Sheepdogs and Friends – Still Off Duty) but I much prefer milder weather, so this winter has been something of a relief to me … Read more
Five and a half month old bitch pup which shows no interest in working sheep

Me? Train to be a sheepdog? . . I don’t think so.

Hettie is five and a half months old and to date has not shown even a hint of any interest in working sheep. (Click image to enlarge). It’s my belief that somewhere deep in their mind, most border collies have the instinct to work sheep and other livestock. The instinct may well be dormant, but I believe it exists, and with the correct training, can be brought into useful service … Read more
Carew calmly controlling her sheep

A young sheepdog with all the qualities I like

Among the many important attributes that I look for in a trainee sheepdog are confidence, the power to move stubborn sheep, and ‘sheep sense’. By ‘sheep sense’, I mean a dog that can ‘read’ what the sheep are about to do and act accordingly. Carew – demonstrates confidence, power, a steady pace and a good helping of ‘sheep sense’ You wouldn’t expect a ten month old dog with little training … Read more
Border Collie Sheepdog Puppy, Dennis

Dennis – Our chunky new border collie sheepdog puppy

Dennis is the grandson of Aled Owen’s Bob – winner of the 2002 World Trial at Bala. This is Dennis – not to be confused with our original Dennis featured on the ‘Border Collie Sheepdogs – Off Duty!’ DVD Dennis has only been with us a few days. We waited until now to show you a picture of him, as he needed a little time to freshen up after his … Read more
Walking our sheepdogs in the January sunshine

A great morning for a walk with the dogs

Walking our sheepdogs in the January sunshine Yesterday was a lovely day to be out with the dogs – at least, the morning was! Later on, the weather deteriorated until the afternoon run was in fairly heavy rain. Still, we have been very lucky really. Last year was very cold and I’m not a lover of snow. Before everyone asks, the red and white pup in the foreground is Audrey … Read more
Photo of Alfie the Chihuahua lying on a green cushion

“All equal, each working according to his capacity, the strong protecting the weak”

Sitting here in the office, looking out at blue sky and bright sunshine, it’s hard to imagine the weather conditions of this morning In common with much of the UK, Worcestershire was being buffeted by strong winds, gale force gusts and heavy rain when we went out to walk the dogs. By a fair process of task-sharing (“You stay and do the yard, I’m going out with the dogs. Is … Read more
Dulcie has a slighly guilty look - and it's no wonder.

The CULPRIT – Dulcie the ‘Sheep Worrying’ Puppy

The sheep worrying puppy – Dulcie’s innocent looks don’t fool us! Don’t be fooled by the looks . . . If you think Dulcie is a picture of innocence, think again. She’s the one who’s leading the other puppies into bad ways – running off to have a go at the sheep when the rest of us are on our way back to the yard after a run. She didn’t … Read more
Sheep grazing.

Some things are easier said than done

Our sheep are quite placid when confronted with dogs, but some are not nearly so nice! On our Sheepdog Training DVD I explain that you must keep young puppies away from sheep. There’s a very good reason for this – if the sheep should frighten the pup, that fear could stay with the pup for many years, if not for all its life. Fortunately, our sheep (Welsh Mules) are very … Read more
Jill the sheepdog retires at last

Even Sheepdogs Must Retire Sometime

We’re sad to see her go, but we know that Jill will be happy in her new home with Pearl Today’s a sad day for us in one way, but a happy one in another. One of our favourite dogs, was collected by her new owners this morning. Jill’s been a faithful servant for years and she’s been a wonderful mother to some of the best pups we’ve had the … Read more

Networking…

Our modern forms of communication are wonderful things; just consider, for example, the mobile ‘phone. In my previous life (pre-children and pre-sheepdogs, that is) I was allowed out onto the open road in a company car, armed only with a mobile freezer full of shellfish and – wonder of wonders – a mobile ‘phone. The battery for it was roughly the same size as the freezer, the charge lasted for … Read more
Chester the Papillon doesn't enjoy having his photograph taken

More puppies, and more progress

“I don’t know what I did that was so bad, but please, just get this punishment over with!” A few dark, damp days have given us the opportunity/excuse to catch up on some indoor chores. Andy’s been digging out old photographic equipment to sell on eBay, and photographing it, so I took advantage of having a photographic set and asked for a portrait of Chester. He’s never liked having his … Read more
Border collie puppies at 4 weeks of age

Puppies’ progress

These much-photographed puppies are starting to take the camera for granted. The black and white puppy on the right is called Ronnie – and he has a blue eye Almost the end of the first week since putting the clocks back (here in the UK anyway). I always find it disorientating, and the dogs must do too. They can’t understand why we suddenly get up an hour later and it … Read more
Tan longhaired Chihuahua Alfie gazes wisely into the distance

Welcome return to form for Alfie

Regular readers of this column (as they say in The Guardian) will recall that a convincing sign of Alfie’s chest infection – read the full story here – was his complete disinterest in an open bag of pigs’ ears that I left in the car with him. Today, his behaviour has finally returned to something more recognisable. My car has a habit of locking its boot at the most inopportune … Read more
Close-up photo of a cute collie puppy, asleep with his tongue stuck out. Wonder what he's dreaming about?

10 days old already!

I wonder what this little chap’s dreaming about? And just look at those perrfect little paws! The new puppies are ten days old now All the books tell us that their eyes should be open, but we (almost always) find they open when the puppies are 14 days old. Perhaps we only ever breed late developers. I’d suggest that they hear the hooligans in the yard and feel they’d rather … Read more
Photo of black and white border collie puppies, less than a day old!

New puppies are always worth the wait

In a few weeks’ time we’ll look at this photo and say “Oh look, there’s Vic (or whoever)” but for now it’s just a sea of black and white By the time we went to bed on Monday night there were seven new puppies lined up at the milk bar – warm, dry and feeding enthusiastically. What a relief! I hate it when expectant mums go beyond their due dates, … Read more
An assorted group of smooth and rough coated Border collies

Puppies keep us waiting…and awake

From the left, Sheba, Jen, Midge, Eli and Mo – looking out for those pesky puppies. Mel’s there too, at the back, but Lord knows what she’s looking for! It’s been a week of new additions, though not the new additions we were expecting. The litter of puppies that was due last Friday has yet to put in an appearance. The mother, who’s usually a stickler for due dates, is … Read more
Red, long coated Chihuahua dog wearing stylish diamong studded collar

Finding grass in unexpected places…

I promise never to mention the weather again (probably) but we’ve had some damp cloudy days, and a few good heavy showers, this week and it’s amazing how much more green everywhere’s looking. Typical! In a week when we could have used a few dry days to do some filming… Considering it’s been a summer of very little grazing, we seem to have had more than our fair share of … Read more
The proposed cover of our latest Border collie fun DVD includes a Chihuahua, a Papillon, a Great Dane and a lurcher

Still Off Duty! – our new sheepdog DVD is taking shape

You CAN judge a DVD by its cover – Border collies are joined by friends this time round Today we’ve been working on the artwork for the new DVD, and it’s really starting to feel as though we’re making progress! I’m impatient to see the finished article, but I know there’s a way to go yet. We still haven’t finally decided on how many chapters to include; there’s so much … Read more
Tri-colour collie bitch puppy, Carew

Introducing the Class of 2011 – this year’s additions to our sheepdog team

Carew reminds us of her mother Mel, in so many ways We’re absolutely delighted with the puppies we’ve kept back for training this year – seven puppies, from three different bitches and three different dogs We have seven completely different characters, but all with one thing in common which is, thankfully, they’re all madly keen to work sheep. Again, it’s been looking back at the footage we’re using for the … Read more
Border Collie Sheepdogs in the snow

Remember December

We’ve had a nostalgic few days, watching clips that Andy’s turned up while he trawls the hard drives for footage for the new DVD He’s working on a snow sequence at the moment, and it’s difficult to imagine that we were ever so cold, for so long. It’s not that I’m obsessed with the weather (particularly) but now that I work from home, and spend so much more time outside … Read more
The sheepdogs of Kings Green Farm shelter from the rain under an oak tree

Little Mo – Sheepdog Training Course Assistant

It’s so easy to keep using the dog which proves best for any one task, and overlook the less experienced dogs These are some of our sheepdogs – sheltering from the rain under an oak tree. Kay has certainly proved invaluable as an assistant on our sheepdog training courses but for yesterday’s group training course, Kay was unable to help because she’s ‘in season’. This meant that I would have … Read more
Puppy with a green eye. The dye shows up damaged areas.

Grass seed in eye – Puppy much improved today

The poor puppy looking sorry for itself after treatment. Just a note to mention that the sheepdog puppy which had the grass seed in its eye is improving rapidly. She’s so active that we can’t help thinking the seed may have been there for a couple of days more than we thought. Today, she’s bounding around all over the place with her three brothers. Hopefully, the cornea has not been … Read more
Puppy with a green eye. The dye shows up damaged areas.

Ghastly Grass Seed in a Puppy’s Eye

The poor puppy looking sorry for itself after treatment. A couple of days ago, we noticed that one of our eight week old pups had a sore-looking eye. Normally, we can cope with minor eye problems very well by washing the eye with cold tea, or salt water, but on this occasion, our efforts were in vain. This morning, the eye was no better, in fact, it looked worse, so … Read more
Two border collies apparently about to fight - but are they?

Dogs fighting . . . friend or show?

The longer we keep dogs, the more we realise how little we know about them. Especially their behaviour. Mog and Maeve look as though they are about to fight but they’re the best of friends. If you keep a number of dogs together, there will inevitably be the odd disagreement but where possible, we try to remain calm and allow the dogs to sort out their pack hierarchy by themselves … Read more
Four puppies playing tug with a fabric toy monkey.

Sometimes you notice something special!

Puppies Ezra (left) Imogen, Toad and Headingley are all convinced the monkey is rightfully theirs. When it comes to toys for dogs and sheepdog puppies, we’re convinced that soft plastic flower pots are the best (certainly for value) but a toy monkey can be great fun too! Mel’s pup Ezra (left) feels the cloth monkey is his, but Gwen’s offspring Imogen, Toad and Headingley are convinced he’s mistaken. Allowing puppies … Read more
Sheepdogs Kay and Mel relaxing on a bench

Kay and Mel – two great thinkers

Kay (left) and Mel relaxing after work. Having great sheepdogs is an honour that I appreciate more and more. Of course, how you train a dog is very important but there are things that you can’t really train for; things that money can’t buy either. A dog which can think for itself is priceless and we are extremely lucky to have not one, but two dogs which can think. On … Read more
Border Collie puppies Lady and Ezra (right) with a pup from a later litter from Gwen.

The Sheepdog Blog has landed!

Border Collie puppies Lady and Ezra (right) with a younger pup from Gwen’s litter. AT LAST! – We’ve finally managed to get a self-hosted interactive blog on the Working Sheepdog Website! Please accept our apologies if you’ve been trying to follow us while we’ve moved around from place to place (and sometimes back again). THIS time, we’ve achieved our goal – an interactive website blog to keep you up to … Read more
Young border collie sheepdog - Brad

One of our ‘New Boys’ – Brad

Brad during one of his more restful moments Apologies for being away from the blog for a while. We’ve been hard at work shooting our new Sheepdog Training DVD which we are hoping to release before christmas 2011. We’ll try to keep you posted more regularly in future. Click here to get details and watch a preview of our current DVD – First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training. This … Read more
Border collie puppies asleep in a concrete pipe

News Roundup – Puppies, DVDs and Training Courses

Playing in a concrete pipe is great fun for a while but we all need a break sometime. Puppies everywhere!
Mel’s pups are having a wonderful time now. They’re into absolutely everything and making lots of noise. Every time we want to train a dog, we have to catch the pups and put them away because they want to join in. It’s not good to let pups loose around sheep because … Read more
Working Border Collie Puppy playing with a plastic flower pot

Puppies Playtime

Making good use of the plastic plant pots – “Apparently never sleeps” is in the foreground, with a Demon Twin in the background. Mel’s puppies are now spending their days outside on the lawn – weather permitting. It’s hard to believe they’ll be five weeks old tomorrow! Mel’s beginning to weary of their demands (until there’s puppy food around) and spends much of her time on her bench above the … Read more
Alfie the chihuahua watches the sheepdog training

At last – the Spring weather tempts us to linger outside!

Alfie looks on in disbelief – he really can’t see what’s so difficult about penning a few sheep. The last couple of weeks of dry weather have been a welcome relief after an unremittingly wet February. Of course, after spending the early part of the year worrying about wet ground and losing our grazing in a sea of mud, we’re now worried that the dry spell has stunted the grass … Read more
Young border collie sheepdog Reiver

The Family Reunion

Reiver looks very much like her litter mates, Kevin and Midge – but she’s much cleaner! It’s been a quiet week at Kings Green, quiet and very wet, but Midge and Kevin had a good afternoon with their long-lost sister, Reiver. (Not that she was actually long-lost, we knew she’d gone to live with Jazz (a daughter of Glen) in Buckinghamshire, and will, in time, be competing in agility.) Every … Read more
Gorgeous young sheepdog, Midge lying on the ground looking over her shoulder

Variety was the spice of this weekend!

by Gill As well as being a great looking dog, Midge is a great sheepdog. For anyone who works with livestock, one day is pretty much the same as another – you don’t get days off – so I suppose it’s just a habit that every Monday morning I reflect on the weekend that’s gone. This weekend was fascinating; over the two days we saw four dogs who couldn’t have … Read more
Working Bearded Collie Sheepdog at work

Another Beardie on our Group Training Course

Thanks to Hugh Emerson for this picture of Bess working, and thanks too to fellow course member, Liz Harper, for the camerawork. We were delighted to see another Beardie on our sheepdog training course today. Hugh Emerson brought Bess from their home in Cheshire to see whether she was interested in sheep. Bess certainly didn’t disappoint him. Bess got off to a fairly bouncy (puppy-like) start but soon settled down … Read more
Bearded Collie at work

A great little Beardie

Bearded collie Izzy working sheep. We don’t see many working Bearded Collies but today we had a super Beardie on the group training course. Izzy is from a Shropshire farm and was a delight to train. Working Bearded Collie Izzy was a credit to her breed on today’s sheepdog training course. She was fully focussed on her sheep, showed plenty of courage and easily gathered sheep from a fence. We … Read more
Portrait of Mel - a truly great sheepdog

News Roundup – and the Best Sheepdog in the World

Mel is semi-retired now, but in her day, she was the best sheepdog we ever had. Years ago, I said that if I thought it was possible, I’d say Mel (left) can read my mind. Time and again since then, Mel has convinced me she really can. I owe so much to this wonderful dog. (Click the image for a larger version). She’s getting old now, but Mel has repeatedly … Read more
Good looking boy! Border Collie puppy, Kevin

New Young Talent at Kings Green Farm

Six month old Border Collie puppy, Kevin Kevin and SpotTum are two very promising puppies. Despite the wet, miserable weather we’re experiencing in the UK at the moment, things are looking pretty bright for us as far as future sheepdogs are concerned. Kay and Eli’s pup, Kevin continues to impress us with his natural ability around sheep. He has only seen them four times and already, he flanks calmly around … Read more
Puppies at play in the snow

With Border Collie Sheepdogs, Things Can Change Quickly

Kevin keeps watch while his sisters Bo and Midge investigate something disgusting in the grass. There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when a puppy first takes an interest in sheep. On the 31st July last year, one of our best female sheepdogs produced a litter of pups. Kay’s litter was sired by Eli, a young dog who’s producing some exceptionally good puppies for us. We kept two of … Read more
Border Collie sheepdog Fran covered in frost, in a misty, frosty field

Winter’s Arrived Early This Year

In recent years, the UK has enjoyed relatively mild winters. Anyone who was around in 1947 (and I’m not one of them – I didn’t arrive until two years later) will tell you it’s been relatively tropical here since then. Even when we have had the odd cold snap, they normally don’t arrive until after but this year, we have an exception. The normally temperate UK is currently locked in … Read more
Working Kelpie Sheepdog, Red at twelve weeks of age.

Our First Working Kelpie – RED!

Working Kelpie Sheepdog, Red at twelve weeks of age. For some months now, we’ve wanted to train a Kelpie. They’re very popular in Australia of course, but you don’t see them winning sheepdog trials here in the UK – at least, not to my knowledge. We’re fascinated to find out more about training a working Kelpie sheepdog, so we looked around for some good working lines, and took the plunge … Read more
Border Collie Sheepdog Kay

Wonder Dog Kay!

Kay was just amazing during our sheepdog training course yesterday Kay has amazed me recently. She was wonderful on our sheepdog training course. I’ve trained quite a number of sheepdogs over the years, and sometimes, I think I’ve seen just about everything but Kay was just amazing during our sheepdog training course yesterday. Not only did she work all day with just an hour for lunch but for much of … Read more
Border Collie Sheepdog Mo jumping the sheep hurdles.

On Top of the World!

Mo’s fast becoming one of our best working sheepdogs. The only problem is she’s too fast! When Mo slows down a little, she’ll be as good as her mum (Mel) but for the time being, we love to see her enjoying herself. Mo doesn’t need an excuse to jump things – she just does it for joy! … Read more
This is a newly born Border Collie puppy

We’re expecting puppies!

A new-born border collie puppy – Ahhh! We’re expecting puppies at the end of July. They should be ready to leave by the end of September. Visit the websiteRead more
Border Collies Mog (on the floor) and Mossie relaxing in the May sunshine.

It’s not all work!

Mog (on the floor) and Mossie enjoying themselves in the field Sometimes you just need to take a break from work and get down to some real fun! Even though there’s quite a big difference in the ages of the young sheepdogs Mog and Mossie spend a lot of their spare time ‘sparring’ with each other. They’re the best of friends really … Read more
Mossie - Born to work sheep.

Mossie – born to work sheep!

This is Mossie – one of the survivors of Jill and Eli’s litter which met with tragedy in March. One of the most naturally talented puppies we’ve ever had is Mossie. She was born on 29th January and can already get the sheep in by herself. Mossie’s parents are Jill and Eli. We don’t normally recommend allowing sheepdog puppies to work sheep because of the very high risk of them … Read more
Border Collie Doris gives the impression she's already a great sheepdog but she's not.

Don’t be fooled by appearances

If style was skill . . . Border Collie Doris gives the impression she’s already a great sheepdog but she’s not. Doris is a beautiful young border collie with a fantastic sheepdog trials ancestry.
She was born in September 2009 and to look at her, you’d think she was already keen on sheep. Whoops! There she goes! Doris makes her exit during a training session on the 16th May 2010 … Read more
jackdaws drinking at a water tank

Phew! It’s So Hot!

Was May supposed to be this hot? Hot weather brings the jackdaws to the water trough for a wash and brush-up as well as a drink We just ‘enjoyed’ a few days of exceptionally hot weather for the time of year. May is normally one of my favourite months but the past week has been seriously hot and I have to admit, I’m not good in hot weather. The dogs … Read more
Sheep at water trough

It just gets busier and busier!

Even the sheep seem to appreciate the better weather. Well, after a couple of false starts, it seems spring is really here at last!
The fields are greener, the hedges and trees are coming into leaf and not least of all, the sun is shining! I’m not a lover of hot weather (I’ve never enjoyed sunbathing) but the last few days have been perfect for me. Plenty of warm sunshine but … Read more
Crufts 2010 Freestyle Heelwork to Music Winner Richard Curtis with Pogo

Working sheepdog wins Crufts Canine Freestyle championship

Who said you’ll ruin a sheepdog if you allow it to do tricks? It’s one thing knowing that a dog you’re helping to train as a sheepdog has won some of the greatest Heelwork to Music competitions in the past . . . but when that dog (and man) win Crufts (AGAIN) it’s quite breathtaking. Our heartiest congratulations to Richard Curtis and Pogo (pictured above) for winning Heelwork to Music … Read more

Uggh! . . . More snow,

Just when we thought the ground was drying up nicely and there were even small signs that the grass was beginning to grow, down comes the snow again. I hope this won’t be a setback for our first sheepdog training class on the 6th March. The weather forecast is not too bad, so all should be well. The puppies are still doing well – even though they are the fattest … Read more
Close-up photo of three mainly white border collie puppies

Barking mad – a lesson in dog training

I was thinking about dog training – on Saturday night, actually. Gill has long believed that the best thing to do about bad behaviour is to make it unrewarding, usually by simply ignoring it. This works well in the case of a first offence, especially with puppies that are really only craving attention. (This only applies to Border collies of course; she doesn’t try it with me. I look so … Read more

Training sheepdogs . . .

I may have suggested before that I don’t always agree with Gill and Andy’s training methods. Well, to be fair it’s the whole idea of training that I disagree with, but given my privileged position within the household training is something I’ve managed to avoid, pretty much. You’ll often hear dog trainers say that the key to training is timing. That’s so true. Chester is in awe of my timing … Read more

Those puppies!

Gill took me to see Jill’s puppies last night. They were 16 days old, and to celebrate they had their third consecutive day of worming. Poor little grubs, but their eyes are open now and what am I saying, “little”? They’re HUGE! The bigger of the girls is almost as big and heavy as me, I think. I’ll have to keep an eye on them and make sure they understand … Read more

Puppy progress.

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch with us about the puppy disaster. You’ll be pleased to know that Jill and her surviving puppies are doing really well now. The pups’ eyes are open and they’re starting to move around a lot more. Soon they’ll be into all kinds of mischief … Read more
Closeup of a border collie puppy in the sunshine

Do I detect a hint of spring?

Yesterday was such a lovely day! One of our puppies enjoying the sunshine There are snowdrops in the garden and some of the buds on the shrubs are just beginning to grow. It’s still very early, of course (there was heavy snow in the south east yesterday) and things can still get very cold indeed, but every day the days get longer and before we know it, it will be … Read more

The injustice of it all . . .

You know I’m not a great fan of border collies, and even less, of sheepdogs, but the puppy disaster that happened to Jill and Eli’s litter shocked us all. I wanted to write something on the blog but just didn’t know what to put. Now, things have settled down, the puppies’ eyes are open and they are growing very fast. Of course, this is because they are getting the milk … Read more
Jill's games led to her accidentally killing most of her puppies

Very bad news . . .

She’s an excellent mother, but Jill’s love of playing accidentally killed all but two of her puppies Apologies for the delay but it’s very difficult to bring yourself to announce really bad news and we’ve certainly had a big shock with Jill’s litter of puppies. Jill’s a wonderful character, she’s playful and fun loving. One of her tricks involves chasing her stainless steel water bowl around her pen (or preferably … Read more
A tiny border collie puppy with tricolour markings, just one day after being born

Oh – NO ! (Puppies again)!

Tricolour border collie sheepdog puppy – just 24 hours old When border collie puppies are first born, they’re just like little grubs. This picture is of a one day old sheepdog puppy Harmless, aren’t they?
Don’t you believe it.
Before you know it these sweet little grubs are big as chihuahuas – and they don’t seem to be able to take “no” for an answer. I hate border collie puppies.
Why can’t we have … Read more
Border collie sheepdog Jill produced a litter of puppies last night

We have PUPPIES !!

Proud mother Jill produced a lovely litter of pups last night. They’re all doing well despite the bitter cold wind we have today. We’ll post more news on this blog – or you can find out more about Jill and the pups at The Working Sheepdog WebsiteRead more
Alfie the chihuahua sharing his bed with border collie sheepdog Glen

Alfie’s Blog

OK Glen, if you really insist, I’ll sleep on the floor. Did you know our little chihuahua Alfie has his own blog?
Just recently, Alfie’s lost his tiny little chihuahua bed because the great big border collie Glen has taken it over!
For a great pic of Glen curled up in Alfie’s little bed, visit Alfie’s BlogRead more
Alfie the chihuahua sharing his bed with border collie sheepdog Glen

A dog in need . . .

OK Glen, if you really insist, I’ll sleep on the floor. Never let it be said that I’d overlook a fellow dog in need (to be honest, at my height it’s not easy to overlook anything). Towards the end of that cold, wet, snowy fortnight the old stager, Glen began to suffer more than usual from the arthritis in his shoulder. He’s normally quite a buoyant chap, and even if … Read more
Chihuahua Alfie with a border collie puppy

I’m in trouble again . . .

This is me telling a border collie puppy, who’s wears the trousers around here! No I don’t mean the picture – that was taken in April 2007 when I first arrived here. When you’re so much smaller than the other dogs (there are about 15 border collies, a great dane and a deerhound x lurcher to contend with) you have to assert your authority right from the word go.
The reason … Read more
Chihuahua x Papillon and Chihuahua dogs in the snow

Who said Chihuahuas aren’t tough?

Chihuahua x Papillon Chester (left) and Chihuahua Alfie, enjoying themselves in the January snow. I thought you’d like to see this picture of Chester and me in the snow today – and not a dog coat in sight! We both love a good run in the snow (as long as it’s not too deep). The cold doesn’t really affect us – unless it’s cold and wet. That really makes us … Read more

Elitist? . . Me?

I can’t believe it, but I’m getting complaints. I’m accused of elitism. It’s not elitism, it’s called noblesse oblige – we Chihuahuas have responsibilities. Chihuahuas are born to be adored leaders, firm but fair (ish). Collies, Kelpies, Huntaways and Corgis, for example, are born to work with sheep and cattle; Labradors collect shot birds (ugh) and St Bernards deliver brandy in the Alps. All dogs have different jobs. One of … Read more
Border collie sheepdog Jill produced a litter of puppies last night

Sheepdog in the making.

Mog may only be very young, compared to some of the sheepdogs, but she’s already started work (well, nursery) and Andy’s extremely proud of her. She can’t do much at the moment, but that’s not because she doesn’t want to – far from it. I can’t tell you how many playtimes Mog’s spoiled by slinking off to fetch the sheep. She’s so quiet that no one notices ‘til it’s too … Read more

It’s not that I mind puppies . . .

While I write this, Chester is sitting on the window ledge, watching the dogs in the yard and shouting out encouragement or disapproval as the occasion demands. Mainly disapproval. I know I said we’d have puppies in January, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t puppies here now. The current banes of my life are a bumbling 5-month old called Tony, Mel and Glen’s youngest daughter Mog – she’s about 5 … Read more
Great Dane Lily

And as though border collies weren’t enough . . .

Lily the Great Dane There are two other dogs here that aren’t sheepdogs. Lily is a Great Dope (I mean, Great Dane) and Eris is a half-Deerhound lurcher. Eris (whose name is borrowed from the Greek goddess for strife and dischord – and I’m not surprised) thinks it’s funny to follow me about, ruffling my fur and pretending to bite me.  Lily wouldn’t dare to even pretend. In fact, Lily’s … Read more
Rough coated black and white border collie bitch Connie, looking at the camera with her tongue out!

As if we don’t have enough collies around the place already!

Rough coated black and white border collie bitch Connie, looking at the camera with her tongue out! A nice man, who trains dogs for sheepdog trials, drove all the way from Powys a few days ago with some dogs for Andy to see. They seemed to spend the afternoon chasing sheep into pens and then chasing them out again, and getting very wet in the meantime. Thank heavens for the … Read more

Female border collies causing chaos as usual!

The yard has been in chaos all weekend. Some of the girls have come into season (apparently that’s what happens when females live together in a group) and they can’t play with the other dogs out in the field. Don’t they make a fuss when they get left behind! And I’m afraid that there have been some lewd comments coming my way when I walk past the pens. Of course … Read more
Alfie the chihuahua sitting upright, regally looking into the distance

I’m a chihuahua, get me out of here!

Alfie just knows he’s as good as any dog! I think it’s time to put the record straight. The Border collies around here are getting the impression that they’re somehow important. Just to explain things, I’m a Chihuahua called Alfie, and with my friend, Chester (a Papillon/Chihuahua cross – I prefer to think of him as a mongrel) it’s ME who keeps things together here at Kings Green Farm – … Read more

BORDER COLLIE SHEEPDOGS & FRIENDS – STILL OFF DUTY! (DVD)

WATCH THIS TRAILER!

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Watch Pearl Glen, Mel and lots of the dogs you saw in our first DVD Border Collie Sheepdogs – Off Duty! PLUS MANY MORE! The DVD is available from our DVD Store – and we automatically ship the correct format for your country. More info.