Great Sheepdogs We’ve Known

Our tribute to some of the finest working sheepdogs we've known.

Mel - 259090

Closeup of Mel looking noble - taken from a low angle

A dreadful accident prematurely ended Mel's promising trials career but that didn't stop her becoming the most reliable, most powerful and most intelligent farm dog we had ever known. We always knew if we took Mel with us, the job would be done.

I'm sure Mel wouldn't mind me saying that in more recent years, she was overtaken by her daughter Carew who has an (as yet unfinished) page of her own.


Glen - 238575

A sheepdog working closely with sheep

Novice champion may not exactly be the "dizzy heights" of achievement in the sheepdog world but there's so much more to this wonderful dog than that.

Preferring the precision of trials rather than farm work, Glen was a superb trials dog who taught Andy, his inexperienced and often incompetent handler, a huge amount. More info.


Roy - 200199

Closeup of Roy's face as he concentrates hard on sheep

Surely one of the greatest sheepdogs of all time, Aled Owen's Roy.

Twice Welsh Champion (seven Times Welsh team member) and then 1999 Supreme International Champion. Read Roy's fascinating story: A Dog To Remember by Austin Bennett.


Ben - 220939

Sheepdog confronting sheep on some rocks

Cornerstone of International Sheepdog Trials regular Derek Scrimgeour's Killibrae sheepdogs, Ben proved himself time after time in competition at the highest level and he was a worthy stud dog too.

Ben was the sire of Andy's first sheepdog, Dot and our own superb sheepdog and mother of some wonderful offspring, Pearl.

One of Ben's grandchildren, Tia features below. More info.


Tia - 267931

Tinker Tia with a few of her trophies and rosettes

When Denise Wilkinson collected her eight week old Pearl / Glen pup from us, she told us she was going to make "Tinker Tia" into a Dog Agility Champion!

She wasn't kidding - Tia qualified for Agility Grade 7 (advanced) when she was aged 2½, represented Great Britain in the 2008 European Championships and continues to be a real force to be reckoned with in Agility. More info.


Pearl - 258969.

Lovely picture of Pearl standing against a dark background and looking alert

Now one of our most senior dogs, Pearl is truly remarkable. Regrettably, she was never seriously trained for sheep work but recently, she's demonstrated to us that this was a mistake.

Pearl's offspring from matings with Glen have produced some of the very top Agility dogs. One (Tia - left) has represented Great Britain in the European Championships. More info.

2 Replies to “Great Sheepdogs We’ve Known”

  1. Hi I got a border collie but I’m new to sheep herding but have alot of older experienced men who tell me this, that and the other trying to give me advise and its getting confusing my border collie is now 8 months old which people say to me is just about right for getting him round sheep though I did introduce him to sheep a month before I’ve also had him since he was a pup. I just want to know if some of the things I’m about to say are true.
    1. I’ve been told taking your pup for walks along sandy beaches are good for there paws they say it helps to harden them and stop the dog’s paws from getting saw
    2. I’ve been told that a good border collie is one that is mainly black and has what they call and white flash going along its forehead as in white round its mouth that goes up between the eyes and over the forehead mine is like this
    3. never put your dog round sheep early cause if he cannot keep up with the sheep then he become aggressive to the sheep and bite them
    4. you’ll know if your dog will be a good sheepdog when you first put him round sheep cause his ears will prick up and he will crouch down and slowly move round them.

    thats all for now but also my dog (named bolt) hes fast and a very good learner I mean I can get him to lay down and stay and walk all the way up the hill and he will stay till I call him but he can be distracted easy by people and other dogs (the place were I live there are many other people who will be out and with there dogs when herding sheep) i wanted to know how I can help prevent this or at least hold it until the jobs done then he can go be friendly to everyone as usual

    1. Hello Ramon,

      I’m sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you. I know how confusing it can be to get help and advice from lots of different people. It seems every dog handler has a different opinion, and it can be difficult to decide what to listen to, and what to ignore.

      As a general rule, if someone tells you to do something with your dog, and it feels wrong, then it’s wrong for you – even if the method works for someone else. To take your points in turn:

      1. I’ve no idea if a sandy beach is important, but certainly the more time spent exercising your dog on different types of ground will help its fitness and co-ordination (both important in a working dog), and to harden its paws.

      2. Colour and markings make no difference whatsoever; we have sheep dogs of all shapes, sizes, colours and markings. We don’t choose merles, but that’s personal preference – some handlers love them! You might also be told that a good dog has a black roof to its mouth, but that makes no difference either.

      3. I recommend you watch our online tutorials (or Training Tutorials DVD Volume One about starting a puppy or young dog). It isn’t a fact that not being able to head the sheep will make a dog aggressive, but if your dog isn’t fast, then putting the sheep inside a training ring will avoid most, if not all, of those problems.

      4. If this happens you might have a good dog, or you might have a nervous, cautious dog with too much eye. It’s hard to generalise, but if your dog’s interested in sheep then you can train it, pretty much whatever it’s doing.

      Please take a look at our online tutorials, or consider buying our DVD “First Steps” as this is especially produced for people training their first sheepdog.

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