Folks that have seen one of Wellscroft’s herding demos often return year after year to marvel at the herding ability of these Border Collies. While some people come to watch their favorites perform, others just enjoy watching the team work together to achieve a goal. Below, we have compiled biographies for our audience to learn more about each dog and its working style, as well as a short anecdote.
Dot is the daughter of our now missed Nell and was born on August 7th, 2008. She is a very intuitive border collie and one of the brightest dogs we have raised. Her eye (referring to her ability to work livestock) is very powerful thus making her a great choice when confronting stubborn livestock. Dot’s father came from a line of Border Collies in England and has a very curly coat, a trait we don’t see as often. When she’s not working, she even takes her game fetch with a ball or frisbee very seriously!
Bonnie came to us from another working sheep farm in 2010. She and Dot share the same birthday of August 7th, but is one year younger. Bonnie has fit in with the pack very well and is eager to please all. She is a very intense working dog and doesn't take her eye off her work for even a second! When she's not rounding up animals, she also enjoys a bit of play time. Her neatest trick is retrieving several frisbees all at once. Bonnie’s disposition and style nicely complement Wellscroft’s canine family. If you visit the farm, you are sure to be greeted by Bonnie’s loving energy!
Tate is the next-to-youngest member of the team and is the daughter of Bonnie for whom she can be easily mistaken due to their similar markings. Tate is very fast and has established a nice wide outrun which is great for bringing livestock in from the far corners of a pasture. She is developing excellent eye and has little fear of any sheep that challenges her. With these two assets, we have been fostering her ability to balance livestock either singled out or in a small group. When she’s done working, Tate loves a good game of fetch with a Frisbee or ball. Like her mother, she also enjoys retrieving multiple Frisbees at once!
Age 4 months
Grace is the newest member of Wellscroft’s Border Collie team. She is the daughter of Bonnie and is a half-sister to Tate. At nearly four months old, she is already showing an interest in working livestock. She already knows her basic commands and has quickly learned the ropes of the day to day activities. We are excited to watch this very intelligent, and loving little dog develop and look forward to her being a great asset to the farm!
Sadie, a Bernese Mountain dog, is chief greeter at Wellscroft. She is a loyal family dog and tries hard to emulate her Border Collie cohorts by herding the animals. While she has learned to circle the sheep as the Borders do, she lacks the keen working eye that they have and therefore most of her herding effectiveness is driven by her unpredictable bounding. None-the-less, she is a helpful hand when we move livestock from pasture to pasture by watching for threats from other dogs or wildlife. She especially enjoys moving pigs. Sadie is a fearless hunter and keeps the population of woodchucks, skunks, and porcupines under control, however we strongly discourage the latter two. She enjoys walks and outings and of course daily play sessions after work. She is a crowd favorite at our herding demonstrations and always enjoys attention from fans!
Ajax is our Great Pyrenees who came to Wellscroft in 2013 when, tragically, his owners were killed in a car accident. We took him in along with a small flock of sheep that he guarded at their nearby farm. We feel he has adjusted to his new Wellscroft family quite well and has become invaluable for thwarting predators that come onto the farm. He protects lambs and kids when they are born out in pasture and keeps a watchful eye on the sky for aerial predators in pursuit of our ducks and chickens. While intimidating, inside his 110 pound frame is a gentle soul who will bask in your undivided attention.
2004 - 2016
Nell was born on January 1st, 2004 and was the daughter of our dear Rose. Nell was a tough dog with good eye and stood up to any challenging animal. She was extremely versatile and worked just about any livestock that she encountered. Once she was found herding a mouse in the driveway, all on her own. She had several litters of puppies which all grew to be outstanding working dogs for other New England farms. Nell always enjoyed her play time, she loved the water and would go waterskiing with her master from time to time. She especially enjoyed jumping for a Frisbee. And when neither a ball or Frisbee were available, she would find something to bring you to play with whether it was a pinecone, a stick, a leaf…or even a small piece of hay. We miss her dearly.
Sue had a long, beautiful red and white coat and was born on January 5, 2001. She belonged to our farm supervisor and came to work with him everyday. She was the oldest border collie on the farm for a while and had the very important job of "farm greeter". Odd fact: Sue did not have a hip joint on one side due to an injury when she was very young. However, she was young and strong enough that her muscles healed and allowed her to run again despite the operation in which she had the tip of her trochanter removed.
2000 - 2014
Brit was born on May 1st, 2000. She was always a fan favorite at all our demos and known for her signature stare and intensity. We always joked that Brit could peal wallpaper off walls by just looking at it. Brit was a short haired, red and white border collie and was the daughter of Bess. She was always delighted to retrieve a ball, frisbee, stick, pine cone, etc. Brit was also known for her ability to open and close the pen during dog demos. She will be missed.
1999 - 2010
Joy was born in July of 1999 and raised and trained on a cattle farm. She knew her directions and whistles well and was a very powerful dog. Until she came to Wellscroft, we believe that she had never encountered pigs, goats, or llamas but when put in the pen with them, had no trouble moving them around.
1998 - 2013
Bess was a short haired Border Collie and gave perfect meaning to the saying "Border Collie stare." When working she had great ability to ware the animal, however her more gentle eye allowed her to work close. Bess was born in June of 1998 and was the daughter of Jack.
1995 - 2008
Rose is the first red haired Border Collie we've had on the farm and from day one she was a keeper. She was born on July 1, 1995 and raised 42 pups of her own. She was a very powerful dog with incredible instinct and intuition. Rose was always a fast dog and a tremendous jumper, easily clearing the 42" fencing around the farm. Rose loved the water and her occasional water-skiing activities with her master.
1991 - 2006
Lil had always been a audience favorite. She was what we liked to call the 'dumb man's Border Collie.' Why? Well, Lil was one of those dogs that just knew what needed to be done, after all. Lil could easily be worked by almost anyone and was great at the simple command "bring'em here." She was also known for her 'nudge,' her technique for pushing the ball forward with her snout; a trick she developed herself. Lil lived to be fifteen and a half.
1994 - 2005
Jack was also an excellent worker responding to both whistle and voice commands. Jack was unfortunately abused as a young pup and was sometimes timid around new people. When he came to Wellscroft in 1998 he started improving many of his insecurities and began to trust his new family. He was a very stylish, short haired Border Collie with classic markings. On a sad note, Jack developed lymphoma in 2005 however lived much longer than expected. We never stopped working him as that is what he loved to do. Jack sired many litters of pups which will carry on his wonderful disposition.
1989 - 2003
Gwen was a very adventurous dog with excellent working ability. She loved to jump up on the backs of the sheep and run across them to get to the other side. She was a very tough border collie and was used frequently to work with animals that had never seen a dog before. She was an excellent ball player and would do just about anything you asked her to. Gwen has many fans out there that we know will remember all of the fun she brought to demos when she decided she would do things her way. Gwen was a brilliant Border Collie whose unique and loving personality will surely be missed.