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Pup choosing time again

Zola’s pups are now 3 months old, and I’m pleased to say they are all very fit and healthy. The first  pup ( we called him Smithy) went to his new home a couple of weeks ago. He is what we call the ‘Stud pup,’ The payment for the use of the stud dog, and his new owner, Dick, manages a flock of 3000 ewes in Gloucester, and is one of the country’s top sheepdog handlers. So Smithy will have lots of work and lots of expert training.

Of the three remaining we’ll keep two at Borough Farm until I can decide which will be the very best sheepdog, probably  at around 8 months of age. The other will then move on to another farm, to begin its serious training with  a new owner.

The third pup is due to go to  a farm on Exmoor very soon, so we urgently need to decide which of the three is to leave now, and it’s a very difficult decision! Of the three only Will is so far interested in rounding up sheep, but at 12 weeks old, that is early to want to work, rather than the other two being late. He’s very broad headed and longer coated, traits which are usually associated with steady dogs, not so quick to move, but which give their work more thought. Wyn looks like my very first sheepdog ‘Kim’, her temperament seems like her mother Zola, so she’s my favorite. Ness looks a little like her father, and is similar in character to Wyn.

So the decision is incredibly difficult, and is the subject of much debate in the family. The pup will take me between two and three years to train and by the time it is fully working, Fly will be retiring and it will be her place that it has to take.

What ever happens all three will spend their lives working with sheep, the job to which they have been bred for hundreds of years. I’m just hoping that the very best of the three will be working here, at Borough Farm

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