Our team of working sheepdogs – Carew

Carew is a highly skilled worker on a sheep farm

portrait of working border collie sheepdog carew

Carew looks as well as she works

Carew is a tricolour (black/white/tan) rough coated border collie sheepdog. She was born on 10th March 2011 and is ISDS registered.

Equally at home gathering 200 or more ewes with lambs at foot, or pushing them up in tightly packed sorting pens, Carew's highly skilled at flock work, driving, pen work and loading sheep and has competed in two sheepdog trials (coming 4th in her first trial at Mathon in 2013).

Carew works well with another trained dog because she's willing to wait while the other dog works, without interfering, but she won't tolerate shouting. Her one drawback is that she gets upset and will creep away if she's helping to train a trainee dog that's being scolded. That said, if Carew herself ever needs to be corrected, she takes it perfectly well!

Sheepdog Carew driving sheep

Carew calmly driving a small bunch of sheep

Carew works very calmly, but has tremendous power when required. When commanded to "get-in" she will back-up stubborn ewes with lambs. Her outrun is excellent. She will circle the sheep at a distance, her flanking is excellent but, probably most important of all, she's able to assess a situation or to learn quickly what's required and act on her own initiative.

A typical example of this (and there are many - just look at our blog!) happened recently when we built a training ring with hurdles and then sent Carew to fetch the four sheep that we needed. We stood to one side (to block a gap) and without a single command, Carew took it upon herself to put the sheep into the ring, rather than bring them straight to us! If Carew's assisting while a youngster is being trained, if the young dog loses control of one or two sheep, Carew will calmly bring the errant sheep back to the trainee dog (not to us) and then back away to a convenient distance to watch out for further errors.

This is Carew, walking up on the sheep

Equally at home gathering a flock or working pens

Carew is ultra-reliable when working sheep. In recent months we've never needed to send another dog to help her, but we often send her to help another dog. She's also relaxed when working somewhere new - an ideal temperament for sheepdog trials.

She has an excellent stop, wide flanks, works on whistle or voice commands, and can "look back" as well as shed, pen and single. Since very early in her training, she can be relied upon to calmly get sheep out of tight corners or small pens.

Sheepdog Carew drives a small bunch of sheep through a gateway in the early morning sun

You can rely on Carew to get the job done

Away from sheep, Carew has an excellent temperament and is very obedient. She's an excellent traveller; very relaxed in the car and ready to work as soon as she jumps out. She's fun-loving, and loves people as well as other dogs and puppies, but isn't demanding of attention.

We occasionally allow her into the house for a while, and she's always respectful, obedient, quiet and clean. Carew was bred here, from our dogs Rosewood Eli and Mel - whom Andy still considers to be the best sheepdog in the world!

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5 Replies to “Our team of working sheepdogs – Carew”

  1. Love your training videos, and love Carew! I find it very interesting that she wants to shut down when another dog is corrected, but not when she is, herself. Would you post a picture of her looking at the camera? I would like to get someone else’s input! Thank you!

  2. It seems as if it has been a very long time since I last visited your website, Andy. Family illnesses have taken over my life for awhile, but I hope to be back in the fields in July. I thought I would review old courses and view the new ones when I saw Carew’s bio. I have loved that girlie from afar since she was a pup. It brought a tear to my eye watching her working the 50 sheep…what a lovely worker she has become. If there was any way I could afford to visit your farm, I would just to see her…oh yes… and to meet you and Gill of course! Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Cath

    1. Thank you for your kind words Cath.
      It’s great to get feedback from our visitors around the world – then at least we know whether we’re more or less on the right track.
      Carew truly is exceptional – not perfect by any means, but just as with her mother years ago, I know that if I take Carew with me, the job will be done. At times I could tear my hair out with her – for instance, she’s so sensitive that if I’m a bit sharp when I correct another dog while training it, she will run off back to the yard and hide under the trailer. She’s not at all bothered by me being sharp with her, just other dogs (embarrassing when she does it in the middle of one of our training courses)!
      On the other hand, I would hate to be without her!
      Good luck with the training, Cath – and if you do ever get to the UK, be sure to look us up.

    1. Hi John,

      No Carew isn’t for sale, I’m afraid, even though she sometimes frustrates us beyond belief! We don’t have anything available that’s working at Carew’s standard, but we do have some young, part-trained and started dogs and bitches. If you can do some of the training yourself then one of them might suit you. Best to give us a call and we can give you more details. Thanks, Gill.

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