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The Newport Shepherd Experience

The Shepherd's Experience

We invite you to connect with nature through observing and experiencing how dogs work together with us. To feel what is is to work a trained dog and how through this we connect with the present and nature.

We will share with you an experience of how man adapted to nature working together with his best friend, to understand that without this adaptation and the border collie it would be impossible to have handled sheep in these mountains as hundreds of generations have done.

You will meet our dogs (and of course our different breeds of sheep!) and gain an understanding of how genetic selection works, how breeding certain traits can develop a companion that will help us in our life.

We welcome you to join us for a truly unique and memorable experience for all ages and interests.

Book your group or family

Our Sheep

The Black-faced Sheep is the type of sheep which lives and breeds in County Mayo.

They are smaller and hardier than other sheep and are horned in both sexes. As their name suggested, they have black or black-and-white faces and legs.

The Mayo Black-faced sheep generally weighs around 60kg live weight and when under lowland conditions is capable of producing 1.5 lambs reared/ewe to the ram. It is noted for mothering ability, hardiness, milk traits and resistance.

These sheep have long coarse wool which protects them from rain and cold winds; they can withstand the harsh climate of the western coast of Ireland and survive on plants such as heather.

After the Great Famine during the 1850’s, the Irish Landlords, who owned vast estates in the mountains, imported thousands of these sheep from Scotland, through Killary Harbour. The Black-faced Sheep of the Connemara and Mayo area are probably descended from this original importation.

Our Puppy & Lamb Petting Farm

We rear our own litters according to the desirable traits we want in our dogs, and we are constantly working on improving the rearing and training of these pups.

We don’t breed more than one litter per year as we focus on quality of life for our dogs and not quantity. Come and meet the little pups as they learn the ropes!

Pet lambs
Every year we have some sheep that can’t take care of their own lambs for one reason or another so we have to rear them on milk that is fed to them through the bottle. We invite you to experience their feeding and taking care of their well being.

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