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Autumn 2019 met Belle, a four year old registered Welsh Sheepdog, works suckler cows on a Yorkshire farm.
To veiw the video of Aramis gathering and penning, high light the link, left click and select the second option.
This is an inexperienced sheep-herding handler, and a video is a teaching tool to show up to both of us the areas she could alter some of her reactions. The dog seems to me, having read the website breed descriptions, the epitome of a Welsh Sheepdog. He is willing, obedient, talented, tireless and forceful. Sadly he has no recorded parentage and, it appears, cannot be acknowleded as such. The miracle is that he came, 9 months old,screaming with excitement and hyper to the max, out of a Leeds dogs home into the careful, thoughtful care of his new owners. They are experienced with troubled dogs, and by the time I met him, which I did reluctantly, as he was described as a cross breed, he was about 18 months.
He was clever, and had been some how been taught (or his want to learn had been re-activated) to WANT to learn, but when he saw the sheep it was as if the whole of his brain sprang to life.
His owners found sheep to practice on, they have visited me about 7 times, and every visit Aramis progressed in mega-leaps.
I dare to classify Aramis as an unregistered Welsh Sheepdog, as I see there are such things, because there is a purity and finesse in his work that is unique to him.
A DNA test may reveal that his bark and force is Welsh, but the tact and natural distance he can also display may owe something to a Border collie in the background. I assume a good Welsh sheepdog can be gentle, and careful, when the circumstances require it... or there would be sheep dropping off the Welsh cliffs in droves.
What ever he does prove to be, he remains the most fantastic herding dog.
This fascinates me,
and I wish him and his family
continued success in his working life.
Registering a Welsh Sheepdog with the Welsh
Initially, dogs were inspected for history, type and correct ‘Welsh’ manner of working and a foundation stock were selected on the basis of this process. A register of breeding animals was started with these bloodlines. The register has developed from that point and now there have been 1000 pups birth registered.
Emphasis is placed on the working ability of the dogs – just to look the part is insufficient. The Society requires that breeding stock are formally assessed in a working environment before their progeny can be registered. This is essential in order to develop the working ethic that is the essence of the Welsh Sheepdog.
The Welsh Sheepdog Society keeps two registers
A register of puppies born of fully registered parents.
HOW TO REGISTER PUPPIES
You must obtain a breeding licence before breeding from your bitch.
HOW TO GET A BREEDING LICENCE
The Welsh Sheepdog Society holds Assessment Days during the year. These are fairly informal and normally take place on a host farm using the resident sheep flock. Usually dogs would be expected to work a sizable group of sheep, though alternative arrangements can be made if the dog is only to be used on cattle. In order to determine the manner and strength of work and to reduce stress on the stock, it is essential that dogs be fully trained before they are presented for assessment. They should be at least 18 months of age and should normally be birth-registered.
Occasionally the assessors will consider granting a breeding licence to an animal that is not birth-registered. In this case, the parents and grandparents of the dog should be known and available for inspection.
WHAT DO ASSESSORS LOOK FOR?
The dog should be of sound and sturdy physical appearance. It should be able to move a flock of sheep in a masterful manner with a minimum of command and should preferably bark when required or under pressure. High tail carriage is preferred.
A dog will fail the assessment if it 'sets' when approaching sheep. Set is defined as a visible lowering of the body towards the ground, and/or stretching of the head and neck forward horizontally or downwards. Watching the sheep steadily or dropping the head slightly is acceptable.
A dog will fail the assessment if it is known to suffer from an hereditary disease or defect.
Jack on his second session!
Jack, one year old welsh/border cross
Biddable and willing
Kelly, belonging to J Chambers, came in to have some early training.
Dear John Letter
It is vital to remember Kelly is NOT A BORDER COLLIE!
Has the correct style for her breed
Loves, just lives, to circle
Mastering the stop
Well we had to start with caution, mastering the stop was lower on her agenda than mine!
Comes up with vigour, just to show there were some sheep invoved here!