Our Wild Atlantic Way Cultural Tour is coming up October 8th, and there are still some spaces left. One of the places we will visit on the tour is the Caherconnell Stone Fort in the Burren, a unique area of limestone and history. Archaeologists are working on excavations, providing a perfect opportunity to ask questions abut the finds and their work. In addition to the fort, we’ll get to see sheepdog demonstrations! The dogs’ skill and intelligence is definitely worth watching, plus a part of Burren and Irish history comes to light, as dogs have always been an integral part of the family farm.
An excerpt below from the Caherconnell website:
Caherconnell is home to the Burren’s premier Sheepdog Demonstrations, which were started by John Davoren, the landowner. These demonstrations are attracting visitors from all over the world to see the combined skills of the Border collie and his master.
John has been training dogs since he was 16 years old and has trained a variety of dogs to work with sheep and cattle.He is now passing on his expertise to the next generation in an attempt to preserve a culture which has been part of Burren life for generations.
The sheepdog is an integral part of farming culture and here you will see just how useful a well-trained border collie can be for a farmer. The sheepdog is of untold value when trying to move or direct sheep or cattle across open areas of karst landscape.
The use of a small number of well understood directions enables the sheepdog to complete tasks in half the time it would take a number of people. This, along with the qualities of loyalty and hard work, make the sheepdog the very best pet a farming family could hope for.
Sheep Dog Demonstrations
At Caherconnell you will meet three of our dogs. Rose and Lee are Border Collies and Sally is half Collie and half Scottish cattle dog. We will demonstrate the dogs working with both cattle and sheep.
The sheepdog and the ‘cattle-dog’ go about their business with very different tactics. Sheepdogs, such as the Border Collie maintain control of the flock using their predatory behaviour.
On the other hand the cattle dog is much smaller than the cattle being herded and therefore needs to illustrate that its bite is most definitely worse than its bark.
Thus the ‘cattle dog’ will ‘nip’ at the heels of the cattle so as to get them to obey.
As you will see the skill, intelligence and obedience of a well trained sheepdog makes an invaluable contribution to any farming family.
Come along… we know you will enjoy the experience! Visit the website here to read more and watch the video of the border collies at work! http://caherconnell.com/sheepdog/
Here is a link to the video clip from the Caherconnell website: