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Joyce Country Sheepdogs

Joyce Country Sheepdogs

Activity Type: Sheepdog demonstration, outdoor, cultural

Dates and Times: Monday - Saturday at 1:00, 13:00 and 15:30. (During off season, pls ring ahead to confirm time - (094) 954 8853)

Duration: 45 minutes to one hour

Price: Adult €8; Groups of 10 or more people €5; Children 5-12 years €5; Children under 5 years FREE

Description:

Visit to sheepdog demonstration, insight into hill sheep farming plus Q&A, meeting puppies and lambs, and the Hollywood connection. Insight into how Border Collies work on the mountains with sheep. Meeting puppies and lambs. General talk on all things hill farming i.e. stone wall building, discussion on year-round activities on hill farm.

Background

Joyce Country Sheepdogs is part of a family run farm located in Connemara on the West of Ireland. Joyce Country Sheepdogs offers you the opportunity to visit a working hill sheep farm and watch the Border Collie sheepdogs herding Connemara Blackface sheep. Border Collie sheepdogs and puppies are available to buy.

Joe Joyce is the third generation of his family to farm sheep in the Joyce Country area.  Some 700 years ago, the rugged landscape of this area attracted a Welshman of Norman origins called Thomas Joyce who married a local girl and settled in the area which now bears his name.

It is therefore fitting that Joe now farms this area together with his wife Mary Ann, who also happens to hail from the South Wales area.  Mary Ann did not arrive at Joyce Country empty handed, she brought along a sheepdog with impressive bloodlines, named Roy.  This led to further imports from Wales such as Sweep and Ben.

For those who look after sheep, the importance of a well trained dog can not be underestimated.  Despite technological advances in farming, a replacement for a skilled sheepdog has yet to be found.    For many years, dogs have been bred to develop the requisite traits of intelligence, stamina and obedience with the finest example being the Border Collie.

Sheepdogs are used when handling flocks of sheep, as they offer the safest and most efficient means of carefully moving sheep from one location to another.  The skill of the handler is to move the sheep steadily so as to cause no distress.  At Joyce Country Sheepdogs we hope to give you a practical insight into these skills with our variety of sheepdogs and their individual qualities and styles.

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