As the Dog Days of Summer approach, Harrison & Hetherington are preparing for one of their best sales of sheep dogs and puppies yet. The sale of both working and unbroken sheep dogs and pups is to be held on Wednesday the 8th of August at Lazonby Mart, one of the company’s seven auction marts.
Entries are now closed and Lazonby are expecting to see some premier breeding and training going under the gavel. All of the entries are border collies, some of the most reputed and talented working dogs to be bred. From pups to five year olds there will be a selection of trained and unbroken dogs.
The Border Collie is a herding dog breed developed in the Borders especially for livestock. It is the most widespread of the collie breeds and a dependable and loyal sheep dog.
Shaun Richards, well known Lancashire dog breeder bought his first Collie at the age of 12 years old. Now 45, Shaun makes a full time living out of breeding and training sheep dogs and knows the very best of the best. He is taking two Border Collies along to the Lazonby Mart next month, a two and a half year old bitch and an 18 month old dog.
“Both are fully broken and ready to go.” He says. “Border Collies are smart dogs but also powerful and fit. Particularly in the North and the Fells the Border Collie is an excellent dog for getting the job done without any stress. You can count on them to be calm and smart, which is so important when trying to get 500 ewes safely through a muddy gateway. These dogs become just as important tools on the farm as the tractor or quad.”
“Lazonby is becoming a very good sale. It offers dogs for a slightly different clientele than most. For the farmer who does not want to train or use a dog for trials and wants something to put to work straight away there will be some ideal animals up for sale.”
Richard Hodgson, Yard Foreman at Lazonby Mart owns one Border Collie, Tom who he has had since it was a pup. Richard has developed a love for the breed as both a companion and farm necessity.
“This is a cracking way to purchase your dogs just before the autumn sheep and lamb sales. This is our 5th sale of sheep dogs and pups and they are increasing in popularity every time.”
“Last year the highest selling Border Collie was 4,000 guineas and eight week old pups were reaching up to 250 guineas. They are a dog with both intelligence and athleticism, ideal for directing sheep and negotiating both hill country and the flat. Those attending the sale can expect to see a variety of dogs from unbroken pups to experienced dogs that will truly become a farmer’s best friend”.
With the upcoming sheep sales now is the perfect timing to look at purchasing a new dog for your team. This summer sale allows buyers time to spend with their dog on a one on one basis throughout the winter and get them prepared for lambing in the spring.
Shaun Richards offered a final word on buying a dog at auction,
“The sale catalogue will list the basics – age, sex, breeding and a few credentials, but it is hard to get the right picture from just a few sentences.”
“I advise anyone looking to buy a working dog to view it first. A lot of auctions these days do not offer any sort of buy and return security and there can be a lot of money at stake. It may also be worth simply calling the seller to discuss whether the dog is going to suit your own needs – a 60 year old shepherd has different expectations from a working dog than a 25 year old one”.
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