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That was fascinating reading. Do the dogs work at this sale (the ones that work, of course)?

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Melanie, I know what you mean, but there is a totaly different mind set there. These are not un-wanted dogs, but un-needed dogs. And it is a chance for farmers and what-not that don't have time or ability to put into raising and training a dog to get one that is. It's like a lot of folks that I know personally, keep their dogs out in kennels. That's where they stay unless they are working, or if there is no work, let out to get some excersise. I, personally couldn't do that, but it's whats always been done. In fact, I think that was one of the first questions I had when I joined this board, was if I HAD to keep Jackson out in a kennel to make him a good sheep dog!

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I have to admit the idea of auctioning dogs makes me go "ick."

 

You've not heard of the famous Red Bluff sale? Should be this coming weekend, and it's within driving distance for you. As Dixie girl points out, these are definitely not unwanted dogs. Last year's top selling dog at Red Bluff went for $23 K. These are dogs that have enough training to be functional for farmers/ranchers who don't have the time or expertise to train a dog themselves. It seems to be a pretty good situation for all--the breeder/trainer makes some good $ for his/her efforts, the dog goes to a working home, and for the rancher it's money well spent,

 

A

 

ETA: Disclaimer: while my personal dogs live in the house, I doubt that they really care much one way or the other--for them, it's all about the work!

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Yeah, I know about Red Bluff too. And I'm sure most of the sales work out OK, but I still think there are better ways to place/sell dogs than "to the highest bidder."

 

Unfortunately, I have to be at a dog show this weekend collecting DNA so I won't be able to see Red Bluff.

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Hi guys,

 

I just returned from a quick visit to the UK and the dog auction was one of my visits. I totally agree with Dixie Girl, the culture is so different there. For me, and I speak for me only, I had a great time! It was so interesting to see so many different dogs work. In most cases...except the pups, the handler walked to a post and sent the dog off to gather the sheep. They worked a little with fetching and maybe a little driving and then the auctioneer start to auction the dog off. The sheep were a bit light and wild but there were dogs that could settle them....most of the handlers knew how to work the dog to show the good and really hide the bad....in most cases :rolleyes: There were even a couple dogs that I thought would be fun to bid on...but then I came back to reality by pinching myself LOL. One point at the auction....you buy it...you own it regardless of health issues or what not. Also, some of the folks I met that purchased dogs had made arrangements to see the dog work at the owners home the week before the sale. In other instances.....the buyer has spoken to reputable folks that had seen the dog in question work at trials or what not. Just from memory (it was pouring rain so I did not write anything down) the top dog went for 2400 guinea (1 pound 5 pence). Also, when the auctioneer had the top bid, he would then ask the owner if that was good....some would say no and there would be no sale. It seemed there were many reasons why folks were buying and selling that day. I was told that many farmers need dogs to help around their place and the dog auction might be a good place to find a dog. Also, some of the trial dogs that were sold seemed to not be a good fit for the handler. It was a great test of my knowledge and vission.....to see the dog work and think in my mind what I would pay...and then see what the dog eventually went for.

 

It poured all day long and I could not believe the flooding that was not there on the trip to the auction. Interesting to hear it continued on making roads impassible.

 

Now I am trying to get on US time......I had a great time but there really is no place like home!

 

Lora

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Yep, Lora's got it about right there. I must make a note of the next date and go along - it's only an hour away from me.

Rhiw came from one of these auctions - at Bala, in Wales. It might sound a bit heartless but a good working dog can be trained up and sold on at any stage. The arrangements at Bala were slightly different - pups were brought 'onto the field' for private sale but were not part of the official auction.

 

I chose Rhiw from a litter of three - both his sisters went to working homes and have done very well.

I still remember though, the very first pup I saw - rather like Eve she was, and on the small side. DH persuaded me to have a look round all the litters and by the time I'd narrowed it down to Rhiw or the female, she'd been snapped up. I paid £60 for my dog and had several offers from farmers when he was a young'un. ( what an accolade.)

 

Did you get talking to anyone Lora?

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Yes, I got to meet a lot of people! Everyone was very nice.....once word got out that I was visiting from America people came to chat. I laughed when folks said they had relatives in Texas and was that close. I think unless you have been to America.....most folks have no idea how big it really is! I did go and introduce myself to Jim Cropper who was hanging out at the auction. Seemed to be a nice fellow. I found it very interesting to talk to folks who had bought dogs to find out what they were intending on doing with the dog. Another thing that I noticed as I drove past field after field of sheep, it seems many people own sheep in the UK. There seems to be more "need" for a useful stock dog.

 

So those were my observations from a really quick trip. I had so much fun, learned a ton and really look forward to going back!

 

On another note, if you looked at the sales listing...there were three kelpie pups sold at the auction. Those pups seemed to bring a bit of money compared to the border collie pups being sold. Are kelpies relatively new to the UK?? There was a bit of excitement all day long at the truck that had brought that litter to the auction and I was curious but forgot to ask....

 

Lora

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It's interesting that the owner has the right to decline the sale at the end. Ostensibly, the reason would be the price, but I can imagine a situation where someone would not want a dog going to the person who had put in the high bid.

 

It also points up why the Brits are so keen to export good dogs. If I do my math right, the high bid at that sale was about $5,000 -- I know many imported dogs sell for a lot more than that.

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There are some 'hobby farmers' but not a huge number - yet. Hill farming sheep for a living in the UK is a tough number and getting harder by the year - so I anticipate that the part-timers will increase as farms that have been in families for generations are sold up. It's all very sad. Few of my (largely elderly) neighbours will be passing their farms on to their children. There simply isn't enough money in farming alone to keep a family - without getting into diversification and so on, combined with clever use of environmental subsidies - which of course all has its place. But it's too much for many to take on.

 

There have been more sheep around on the intake for longer than usual this year - I'm told this is partly due to the movement restrictions put in place during the FMD scare at the back end of last year.

 

Anyway this is getting away from the point of the thread a little!

 

Lora - glad you got chatting - I'm sure you were quite the star attraction!

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Bill: I don't know that the person out working their dog has any idea who is doing the bidding. I could be wrong on that one though. The handler and dog are out working in the small field...and the bidders are all sort of gathered around the actioneer who is up in a stand so he can see the bids. Some of the bidders we quite stealthy so no one knew who was actually bidding.

 

Kelpie girl: here is what the program said.....3 red & tan kelpie pups DOB 24/09/07 can be registered, sire: Okraa Max 44356, Dam: Chatsworth Shakira 43778 "two dogs pups and one bitch pup bred from good working parents"

 

I just did not know if the kelpie was established in the Uk or not. Totally beyond my knowledge....do you know how many kelpies are working there?? So do you know the parents of these pups? I would be interested to know if you do....as I said...there was quite a stir around the truck that brought them in!

 

Lora

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Yes, I got to meet a lot of people! Everyone was very nice.....once word got out that I was visiting from America people came to chat. I laughed when folks said they had relatives in Texas and was that close. I think unless you have been to America.....most folks have no idea how big it really is! I did go and introduce myself to Jim Cropper who was hanging out at the auction. Seemed to be a nice fellow. I found it very interesting to talk to folks who had bought dogs to find out what they were intending on doing with the dog. Another thing that I noticed as I drove past field after field of sheep, it seems many people own sheep in the UK. There seems to be more "need" for a useful stock dog.

 

So those were my observations from a really quick trip. I had so much fun, learned a ton and really look forward to going back!

 

On another note, if you looked at the sales listing...there were three kelpie pups sold at the auction. Those pups seemed to bring a bit of money compared to the border collie pups being sold. Are kelpies relatively new to the UK?? There was a bit of excitement all day long at the truck that had brought that litter to the auction and I was curious but forgot to ask....

 

Lora

 

LORA what was the pedigree of the Top Lot(s) (sire x Dam)

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LORA what was the pedigree of the Top Lot(s) (sire x Dam)

Found Answer to my question

 

sheep%20dog%20jan%202008.jpg

 

Picture: Vendor John Bell, right and purchaser Roger Jewitt with Nan. Nan a 18 month old bitch sold for 2,400gns (£2,560).

Second top call of the day at 2,200gns went to Skipton regular Sean Richards of Burnley with a May 2006 black & white bitch who sold to E Houghton, Aberdeen. Sean also sold a black & white December 2005 dog, Rock, to another Scottish buyer, Ashley Thom for 1,600gns.

Brokendogs averaged £1,185

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Sorry Irish Sheepdog....I was not a good clerk! It was pouring buckets and I did not bring a pen.....all that to say, I did not keep track....I remember a couple of dogs that sold.....but could not put the price to the dog. But some of the results are posted at www.ccmauctions.com The Nan that brought 2400 gns was sire Daz (NL Watkins) Dam: Gwen (ED Price)

 

Hey, I have a friend from America coming to Ireland next week and she was hoping to catch a sheepdog trial. Is there any web site that she can visit to get trial information? I am not sure where she will be staying but I thought it would be fun for her to visit a trial....the one I went to in England was a bit different then the trials I have been to here in the states.....and the ladies lou was hysterical but probably not appropriate discussion for a public forum :rolleyes:

 

Lora

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