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Annabell Dennis

How serious is my gundog’s eye or ear injury? Signs to look out for…

By | Alpha Feeds | No Comments

A gundog, by nature, is at higher risk of eye and ear injury due to their active lifestyles. However, active dogs are also incredibly resilient and often mask injuries that could turn more serious if left untreated.

So, what signs should you look out for after a day out in nature?

Squinting – If your dog is squinting and has tears coming from an eye, they may have scratched their cornea. If the eye surface has been damaged, you could also see the third eyelid coming over across the eye.

Saline eye drops can help to reduce irritation but if problems persist you must visit the vet. If the injured eye has a smaller pupil it could be a sign of uveitis and can lead to long-term damage if not seen to.

Swollen eyes with discharge – Running through long grass with dust or pollen can cause conjunctivitis which shows as red, swollen eyes and sometimes with a green discharge.

If the dog is rubbing its eyes, it’s time to step in. Cold black tea or saline drops can help to give the eyes temporary relief, but if the eyes are still producing discharge the following day, it’s best to see your vet.

Cloudy eyes – Cloudy eyes are common in dogs of an older age, but if your dog’s eyes are rapidly whitening it could be due to cataracts and a vet should be contacted immediately.

Surgery can help to recover eyesight from cataracts.

Bulging eyes – Red, bulging eyes are often severely painful for your dog. This can be either one eye or both and can be brought on by infection or a tumour behind the eye.

Glaucoma is another factor which could be either due to damage or an inherited disease in some breeds. Either way, you must seek medical attention as an emergency.

Lots of head shaking – Ears can easily catch grass seeds that can get trapped into the ear canal, causing pain and lots of head shaking in an attempt to free them.

Sometimes the seeds dislodge themselves but if the head shaking continues, then a trip to the vet is usually required for removal. Remember to never poke anything into your dog’s ear.

Bleeding from cuts on ears – Ear cuts seem to bleed more than other areas. The best thing to do is apply pressure and a head bandage, to prevent further bleeding or irritation.

If bleeding persists, it’s time to go to the vet.

If you’re worried about your dog’s health, always seek professional advice from your vet by calling your local surgery. For information on First Aid in the Field.

Why ferrets make wonderful animals

By | Alpha Feeds | No Comments

Sadly, ferrets are very misunderstood animals. There is a common misconception that ferrets can be difficult to care for and are often mistaken for rodents. This, however, cannot be farther from the truth – not only do ferrets make lovable pets, but they are also very effective working animals.

About ferrets

Ferrets originate from the carnivore family of the Mustelidae and their closest ancestor is the European polecat so they are very curious and love to explore, often assessing most items with their mouths and nose. They rely on their senses of smell, taste and hearing as their eyesight is quite poor.

Ferrets use postures and vocalisations to indicate emotions. It is important to explore the behaviours of your breed of a ferret to ensure that you understand key emotions such as when they are feeling excited, an excited ferret will make a ‘dook’ sound.

As well as using smell to hunt, ferrets use scent to communicate with each other. They can tell if another ferret is male or female, strange or familiar and if the mark was left recently or a day ago, just by sniffing a mark left by the other ferret’s bottom.’

They become familiar with their ferret friends by using smell to hunt and communicate with each other. Don’t panic if your ferret sleeps between 18 and 20 hours a day don’t panic, that’s the sign of a healthy Ferret.

Caring for a ferret

A ferret can be both great fun and a treasured companion, but it is also important to realise that they can be quite challenging and a big responsibility and long-term commitment – healthy ferrets can live up to 10 years of age, however, their average lifespan is 6 years.

It is also very important to provide your ferret with a healthy, balanced diet which is why Alpha Ferret Feast has been carefully formulated as a premium complete diet to meet all the nutritional needs of working, pet and show ferrets of all ages.

Why Alpha Feeds Ferret food?

  • 36% Protein
  • Wholesome Ingredients – No Added Artificial Colours or Flavours
  • High-Quality Chicken & Fish Proteins
  • Fish Meal & Linseed for Essential Omega 3 Oils – Aids Healthy Skin & Coat Condition
  • Crunchy Extruded Nugget to Help Clean Teeth
  • Nutritionally Formulated for Health and Vitality
  • Easy to Digest and Highly Palatable
  • With Taurine Added

It is also very important to provide your ferret with a healthy, balanced diet. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means they need to eat meat to survive. That being said, they should never be given cat or dog food, which is full of plant matter that ferrets cannot digest.

Be sure to stick to dry food specifically provided for ferrets or indeed, provide fresh meat. Ferrets are also lactose intolerant and dairy can really harm them. Feeding your ferret a healthy, balanced diet will ensure they are fit to endure a full day’s work.

Where to find them:

The best place to find a working ferret is with a reputable breeder. Always be sure to visit the breeder, see how they keep their kits and also how knowledgeable the breeder is. A good breeder will be able to provide advice, support and the equipment you will require.

Can rescue dogs be good gundogs?

By | Alpha Feeds | No Comments

The success of a rescue dog becoming a good gundog relies heavily on the breed, age and agility levels of each individual dog.

Breeds such as English Springer Spaniels are quite often found in rescue centres, after their owners underestimate their high-energy levels and need for regular exercise. Sometimes gundogs that have already been trained to be gundogs can even be found in rescue centres, when gamekeepers are made redundant or find that they simply have too many dogs for their need.

Where to look for a rescue gundog:

You’ll find a dedicated rescue and rehoming charity for virtually every gundog breed out there. Not only is this a reminder of how many dogs need to be rehomed, but it means there are many to choose from and there is likely to be one in your area. While rarer breeds may have only a single rehoming organisation, other breeds such as Labradors and spaniels have many.

Rescue dogs are surprisingly adaptable:

Dogs are amazingly adaptable creatures and have the ability to adjust to a new environment very quickly. There’s a saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” but this simply isn’t true and the majority of trainers will tell you this.

Although there might be a learning curve, a dog can soon be taught to retrieve with both speed and style, as well as actually drop the catch at the end too.

Rehoming is good for the dog, good for the charity and good for the owner:

For many people, having a rescue dog becomes a way of life and they would never consider buying a puppy again. It’s important to find out as much as you can about any rescue dog, what their temperament is like, their history and their age, and bear in mind that the charity will try and find out as much as possible about you as possible too.

Remember, rehoming is taken very seriously:

For example: Springer Spaniel Rescue lists nine strict rules that apply to anyone who wants to rehome a spaniel. The rules are, however, very sensible because if they applied to everyone then there would be far fewer dogs in need of rehoming in the first place. Questions range from previous experience or knowledge of the breed, to having the financial security to pay for veterinary treatment.

Where should I start looking?

An internet search is the best way to start looking for a dog that needs rehoming, check for good charities in your area and be sure to leave your details with them if nothing is right for you at the time.

Gundog training for the summer 

By | Training | No Comments

The gap between shooting seasons can often seem very long, especially if your gun dog is young.

It’s interesting to note that dogs’ diets change between seasons too – Dogs are more active during the shooting season and therefore require a higher protein & oil diet. When dogs are less active, the food levels need to be dropped which is why dog food companies like us at Alpha have something for each season and requirement. See our range here.

One of the best ways to keep your dog active and learning retrieving skills is to join a summer club which will continue their training and retrieving progress.

Clubs all over the UK

There are clubs all over the country that offer training classes throughout the summer months. These classes usually start at the weekends and then extend into evenings during the week once the days start to get longer.

Many committee members attend these classes and they all have experience in the field of training gun dogs, so they know the best activities to provide.

Training for all levels of gun dogs

Classes are usually split into three groups: novice, intermediate and advanced, and this mix will give your dog plenty of chances to meet a range of new people and dogs. This also helps develop the skills of you and your dog when working together.

  • Novice skills – Novice classes involve the more basic training skills, starting from “sit”, “stay” and “walk at heel”, everything your dog needs to know from day one.
  • Intermediate skills – Intermediate classes move towards hunting-specific skills, such as “basic retrieving” and “short handling exercises”.
  • Advanced skills – Advanced classes involve teaching your gun dog to hunt and quarter its ground. It will also introduce them to gun shot and more advanced handling, as well as retrieving exercises to fully prepare them for days of hunting.

Even if your dog is already well trained with all the skills it needs for retrieving, these classes can be a great opportunity to progress or refresh their skills, preparing them for the forthcoming season.

These clubs are also a great opportunity for the owners for meet and swap information about shooting and retrieving in their local area.

Useful links:

See what clubs are offering summer training near you.

‘The food of champions?’ That’s pretty bold!

By | Alpha Feeds, Reports, Results | No Comments

(Photo credits: John Lord, Angela Lord, Matthew Shin)

That’s a pretty big claim in anyone’s book so the first response to that bold statement is inclined to be “Yeah sure thing! Got anything to back that up with?”

The British Siberian Husky Racing Association (BSHRA) has recently concluded its 23rd season of competition and for the last few seasons we have enjoyed support from Alpha Feeds to promote its High Performance brand.

Meetings take place between mid-November and the first weekend of March and all the placings are hotly contested throughout the entire season; so much so that all classes are electronically timed to 1/100th of a second.

These dog teams aren’t a ‘hobby’, (running them at races is a hobby!) they’re a way of life, totally immersive, and at times it seems that our whole existence revolves around these beautiful, manic racing machines. Certainly, it takes year round time and effort in spades to keep these beasts exercised right and fed right.

But let’s be clear, the likes of Sir Mo Farrah or Dina Asher-Smith don’t achieve their success by sitting around on the couch eating chips; and that’s precisely why Alpha High Performance is a perfect fit for the siberian husky racing world.

On looking through the BSHRA medal placings, it becomes apparent fairly quickly that the people at Alpha have a perfect right to their claim!

Gold and Silver in the 8 dog class, Gold and Bronze in the 6 dog and Gold in the 4 dog class. It continues… Silver in the Bikejor, Silver and Bronze in the 2 dog, Gold and Silver in the Scooter. Every competitor in the Junior 2 dog class and Gold and Bronze in the Junior 1 dog class. Further, our Junior 2 dog champion Holly has a string of European and World successes including a junior Gold at the WSA World Championships!

You can’t argue with the facts; they’re there for all to see.
So when you read the tagline ‘The food of champions’, you can see that Alpha have already proved their point – #fuelledbyalpha!


Steve Rooke – Champion 8 dog class


Tim Hart – Champion 6 dog class


Kev Spooner – Champion 4 dog class and silver medallist 8 dog class


Steve Winkworth – 5th place 3 dog class


Tim Purser – silver medallist 2 dog class and Bikejor class


Andrew Gibson – Champion Scooter class


Holly Gibson – Champion Junior 2 (11-16 years) class
(also won Junior Gold at the WSA World Championships)


Harry Hart – Champion Junior 1 (8-11 years) class

Here’s a full list of top 5 positions won by dog teams using Alpha High Performance

The full set of results is available here

8 dog teams
Gold       Steve Rooke
Silver      Kev Spooner

6 dog teams
Gold       Tim Hart
Bronze   Luke Nicholls

4 dog teams
Gold       Kev Spooner
4th          Kirk Robinson

Bikejor
Silver      Tim Purser
4th          Sarah Gunby-Price
5th          Andrew Gibson

3 dog teams
5th          Steve Winkworth

2 dog teams
Silver      Tim Purser
Bronze   Andrew Gibson

Scooter
Gold       Andrew Gibson
Silver      Jenna Cooper

Junior 2 dog
Gold       Holly Gibson
Silver      James Spooner
Bronze   Lucy Ransome
4th          Abigail Spooner

Junior 1 dog
Gold       Harry Hart
Bronze   Ryan Watson

Steve Rooke
BSHRA

dog-cat

Why do working dogs love our food?

By | Alpha Feeds | No Comments

At Alpha, we pride ourselves on making high-quality dog food that working dogs not only love, but that keeps them fit and healthy, keeping them ready to tackle their working day.

Alpha pet foods contain only the finest ingredients combined to create optimum nutritional advantage. Most of our ingredients are locally produced to guarantee, quality, freshness and traceability…and we only source vitamins and other supplements from the most reputable suppliers.

The Alpha range suits a wide variety of working dogs, with four categories which are suited to how active your working dog is.

Our first category is: Less Active – Rest/Play/Senior

Dog foods for less active dogs provide controlled energy sources for working dogs at rest and seniors.

  • Alpha Worker Maintenance – 19% protein and 8% oil
  • Alpha Sensitive – 20% protein and 10% oil

Our second category is: Active – Training/Working
Complete recipes that provide the balanced nutrition required by active dogs.

  • Alpha Adult Maintenance Sporting Dog – 22% protein and 10% oil
  • Alpha Sensitive Extra – 25% protein and 12% oil

Our third category is: Very Active – Racing/Competing
Nutritionally formulated to help promote healthy muscle development and deliver boundless energy and stamina to cope with the most demanding and challenging events.

  • Alpha High Performance – 32% protein and 20% oil
  • Alpha Racer – 28% protein and 15% oil

And finally, we have: Puppy/Junior

A range of high-quality Alpha dog food that has been specially adapted to suit younger dogs:

  • Alpha Sporting Puppy – 29% protein and 17% oil
  • Alpha Junior and Active Field Nuggets – 25% protein and 12% oil

Working dogs love our food because of the fresh ingredients and the balanced proteins, oils and carbohydrates for enhanced stamina and work rate. This food is designed to keep dogs active, to keep their energy levels high, and to keep them happy and healthy.

Plus, within each category, we offer a sensitive option that contains no soya or dairy, no artificial colours or flavours, and are wheat gluten free:

  • High Performance
  • Sensitive
  • Sensitive Extra
  • Sporting Puppy

To find your nearest stockist, click this link: https://www.alphafeeds.com/online-stockist/

Or if you have any questions about our products, please contact our team directly on 0161 7900487 and we’ll be happy to help.

Spotlight on a working dog breed: Border Terriers

By | Alpha Feeds | No Comments

A Border Terrier is an obedient, affectionate, easily trained, and relatively low maintenance working dog breed, closely related to the Bedlington and Dandie Dinmont.

Their coat is naturally dirt repellent, they don’t tend to snore or drool and they are less aggressive than other traditional terriers. Although bred to work, these are dogs that love being part of the family, so human contact is a must.

Fact file:

  • Lifespan – 12 – 15 years
  • Height – Males 27 cm, Females 25 cm
  • Weight – Males 5 – 6 kg, Females 4 – 5 kg
  • The border accounts for 25% of the 28,000 terriers registered with the KC in 2011.

Intelligent

Like most working dogs, Border Terriers are highly intelligent and quickly learn directions and cues. Bred for jobs that require lots of decision making and concentration skills, such as rat hunting, these dogs are highly intelligent and need to regularly exercise their brains.

Working role

They were originally bred to go long distances and run alongside horses in hunts, they also had to be strong and stout to control foxes. They have always been bred for their working qualities and are skillful underground (digging and tunnelling) as well as above ground (chasing and tracking). 

Friendly

Border Terriers are happy dogs who generally get along well with everyone from children to strangers. They are vocal around new people and unfamiliar noises but then their friendliness will take over once they are comfortable. They are happiest when part of the family, around humans.

Easy to groom

These dogs have hard, wiry coats that enable them to withstand wet and cold, and they come in four main colour variations; red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan, and wheaten. Periodic stripping (every five to six months) will keep your dog looking neat and tidy.

High energy

Border Terriers have a powerful drive to hunt and dig, as well as an energy level that enables them to keep up with hunters on horseback. They have also been known to chase, attack and even kill neighbourhood cats, squirrels or other small animals due to their strong instincts.

Companionship

Border Terriers thrive when they’re with their people and aren’t meant to live outdoors with little human interaction. They are best described as wonderful companions who play hard and love harder.

Adaptable

These dogs are quite adaptable to different circumstances, possibly due to the huge mixture of similar breeds. Country Life describes them best, as: “Less bouncy than the Jack Russell, more rugged than the Norfolk, more assertive in stance than the Dandie Dinmont or the Bedlington-to which he’s related-and more cuddly-looking than his neighbour, the Lakeland, the border’s pansy-shaped face, wise, dark eyes and pepper-and-salt markings give him the enquiring, professorial air of an otter poking its whiskers above the water.” Perfection.

History

Did you know that the border terrier may well be one of the oldest terriers in Great Britain? As seen in many of the great hunt paintings, they have been used as a hunt terrier by the border Foxhounds since 1869. They were recognised as a breed by the British Kennel Club in 1920 with the formation of the Border Terrier Club and, although never having reached the ring-show popularity of other terriers, they have remained very true to their original form and function.

For any information on our range of working dog food and your local stockists, click here or get in touch with us on +44(0) 844 800 2234.

How to use treats to train your dog

By | Alpha Feeds, Training | No Comments

Food is one of the most powerful motivators for dogs which is why it is such an effective tool when used in obedience training – it can be one of the best ways to reinforce positive behaviour and makes learning much more enjoyable for them.

Some trainers argue that treats are only suited for non-professional trainers, but there are numerous training books that support the method, particularly when your dog is first learning.

Treats can help build positive reinforcement when introducing tools such as a whistle and when your dog is young enough to be distracted more easily, but remember that treat training doesn’t have to be long term – it can simply help your dog get to grips with what you’re asking to do.

So, here are some rules and tips which could help you out when training your working dog with treats:

  1. Treats should be small and quick to eat
    The edible rewards you use should depend on your dog and how much reward you want to give it, however we recommend choosing treats that can be broken up, free from artificial additives and tasty such as our training treats – they are also wheat gluten free.
  2. Reward during a calm state
    If food excites your dog then remember to wait for it to calm down before rewarding with a treat. We want to reinforce calm behaviour rather than excitable.
  3. Reinforce rather than bribe
    Use treats between verbal praise and affection. The goal is to not have to bribe your dog with proof of a treat every time, but to reinforce the good behaviour after reacting well to instruction.
  4. Reward each step, not just the finale
    Rewarding progress is a great way of saying to your dog “yes, that was good!”, even if the entire command wasn’t met. They will eventually work out which reactions are good and get ever closer to the goal.
  5. Introduce a whistle or clicker
    If you’re worried about overdoing the treats or becoming a distraction for other dogs with treats in your pockets, then you can introduce a whistle or clicker alongside a treat. Then slowly fade out the treats until the dog understands what that clicker or whistle noise means.

How to improve your dog’s recall

By | Training | No Comments

Stopping an errant dog and getting it to come back is one of the biggest challenges of gundog training. Losing control of your dog can not only be embarrassing but it can cause harm to any game animals it’s chasing, and can even put your dog’s life in danger.

It doesn’t take a dog long to learn that they can outrun you, and their basic hunting instincts are incredibly strong, so it can be extremely useful to have the following recall tricks up your sleeve:

Start early

It’s a fact that dogs learn more in their first sixteen weeks than the rest of their life. It is at this time that they are at their most receptive, soaking up information and experiences like sponges so it is important during this stage that they learn their own name. Learning tends to be permanent when taught at this age, but if that time has passed don’t worry, not all is lost!

Use a lead to start basic training

When you first start lead training, it is important to start in an enclosed space as this will give your dog enough freedom to learn and yet keeps you firmly in control. As the dog gains understanding of what you’re asking, you can allow it more and more freedom. Cues and rewards help with this training, and details of each are listed below.

Use loud hearing cues such as a whistle

There are some obvious benefits to using a dog whistle for dog recall. For one, whistle sounds travel much further than that of the human voice, especially on windy days and they don’t show emotion or panic, unlike the human voice. It also provides consistency when helping your dog to learn.

Reward good behaviour

The best way to your dog’s heart is through its stomach, and giving them high-value treats shows them that they’ve done a good job. However, all dogs are different and whilst most dogs would take a food based treat as a reward, others may prefer to be rewarded in another way e.g. by playing with a ball.

Never punish bad behaviour

It can be very frustrating to lose control of your dog, but any punishment upon their (eventual) return could be very confusing. The last thing you want to do is give you dog fewer reasons to return, so always reward a dog when it recalls successfully. Keep enforcing that positive behaviour.

Caring for your working ferret

By | Alpha Feeds | No Comments

The care that working ferrets need comes in two forms, physical and mental. As very intelligent animals, they need a secure place to live and lots of mental and physical activity to stop them from getting bored.

Ferrets are exceptionally clean animals which means their living quarters should be cleaned regularly. Because of their tendency to dig, their cage, hutch or court should be kept as secure as possible too.

Living quarters – Inside or outside?

Ferrets are happy both inside and outside. Keeping them inside is a great way to build a bond, especially if you have a lone working ferret. However, if you have multiple ferrets, an outside hutch or purpose-built court with a concrete floor might be the best way to ensure your ferrets can’t escape, or get places they shouldn’t. If building your own court, it should be high enough for you to stand up in.

Feeding and nutrition

Ferrets, like most animals have their own specific dietary requirements. They are obligate carnivores and their good health depends on the quality of their diet. They have such a rapid metabolism and wake up to eat about every four hours. Fresh water and food should always be readily available for them.

Ferrets require a concentrated diet to receive all the calories and nutrients they need to stay fit and healthy as they never eat huge amounts in one go. A ferret’s diet should be high in protein and energy, and low in fibre.

Exercise and play

Putting a short length of drain pipe in the hutch is a good idea to encourage ferrets to go into dark holes. Remember to never force them in, or they may develop a fear.

Ferrets need plenty of variety and stimulation to prevent them from getting bored. They love playing with small balls and tubes that can be used as tunnels too. There are many accessories out on the market but, if you are creative, you can make your own versions using household items or items from the shed.

Handling and care

When handling your ferret it is important to make sure they feel comfortable and secure. It is best to hold them under their front legs. It is also important to check your ferrets’ claws regularly as the front claws grow very quickly. Your ferret will probably not get much chance to wear them down by digging, so it is up to you to clip their claws.

What other jobs are working dogs used for?

By | Alpha Feeds | No Comments

Jobs for working dogs have changed dramatically over the centuries. Their roles began with all sorts of simple, practical tasks, such as helping their human companions with hunting, fishing, herding and farming. More recently, dogs have been set tasks and jobs that majorly help humans, often changing their lives for the better or even saving lives.

Health and Social Care:

From assisting people with disabilities to guiding the visually impaired and detecting life-threatening diseases at early stages, these are just a few ways our canine companions work to save lives every day. Germans shepherds are the most commonly used breeds as they are particularly skilled when it comes to detection.

How do dogs detect diseases?

Dogs can identify tiny odour concentrations of around one per part trillion. That’s the equivalent of one spoon of sugar in two Olympic-sized swimming pools. This is how dogs are able to detect even minor changes in human odour that are often triggered by a medical issue.

Diabetes:

The majority of Medical Alert Assistance Dogs are used to detect diabetes. Trained to detect minute changes in blood sugar levels, when these levels fall or rise outside the normal range the dogs will warn their owner, get help and fetch any vital medical supplies.

Nut allergies:

Other Medical Alert Assistance Dogs are trained to detect the air-borne allergens in an environment, and then alert their client to the dangerous trigger.

Cancer:

Medical detection dogs are carrying out an NHS ethically approved study with their ability to detect urological cancers using their sense of smell. They have the ability to detect breast cancer and the potential to detect other cancers such as lung and colorectal cancers.

Conservation Dogs:

Recently, conservation dogs have been working to detect endangered species which have a low detection probability, such as great crested newts. Being a protected species, their disturbance or destruction is illegal.

How dogs help:

Clearing areas of protected and endangered species can be costly and time consuming. Working closely with the construction industry and ecologists, specially trained detection dogs can make this process quicker, more efficient and more cost effective.

Detecting Harmful/Rare Substances:

German shepherds and the Malinois are particularly skilled when it comes to sniffing out and detecting alcohol, drugs and firearms. These skills also come in handy when it comes to looking for something hidden as their noses can lead us to places that we would struggle to find otherwise.

Training:

It’s important to note that working dogs take a lot of training in order to follow directions, even if they are simply doing what comes naturally to them.

Breeds that are bred to be working dogs require a lot of patience and training. They also require much more mental and physical stimulation than other breeds, but the things they can achieve with the right training are incredible.

For information on our range of working dog food and your local stockists, click here or get in touch with us on +44(0) 844 800 2234.

Spotlight on a working dog breed: Border Collie

By | Alpha Feeds | No Comments

A Border Collie is not only a very popular working dog breed, it’s also the 12th most popular breed of all dogs and it’s not hard to see why.

Not only are they exceptionally easy to train, highly intelligent and don’t shed much compared to some dogs, but they are also known to be great around children and other animals.

Fact file:

  • Lifespan – 10 – 14 years
  • Height – Males 48 – 56 cm, Females 46 – 53 cm
  • Weight – Males 14 – 20 kg, Females 12 – 19 kg
  • Pedigree Breed – Yes – KC Recognised in the Pastoral Group

Most intelligent breed

Their intelligence is really what sets them apart from other breeds in this field.

They rank at number one for intelligence, out of seventy-nine other breeds and are known to be the best herding dog on the planet. For generations, the Border Collie has worked alongside shepherds and love being outside, challenged and exercised.

Once trained, Collies rarely get it wrong and when they focus on an owner or handler, it is usually very hard to break the dog’s focus.

Movement

Border Collies are very energetic, moving freely and smoothly with the minimum of effort. This gives them the accurate appearance of both speed and stealth, especially when herding.

They are incredibly agile dogs, winning many canine sporting activities for their agility skills.

Temperament

As history shows, Collies boast an extremely strong instinct to work alongside man, always ready and alert to any commands they are given. They are patient too, and are good with authority, children and other animals.

Working dog roles

Not only do these dogs work to herd flocks of sheep, but they are a popular choice for search and rescue dogs, as well as tracker and sniffer dogs too.

Pack mentality

Border Collies tend to form a very strong bond with one person in particular. They will always be friendly and affectionate to the rest of the household too.

Prey drive

Herding is a trait that’s deeply embedded in a Collie’s psyche. They have a high prey drive and will chase an animal whether large or small, not necessarily to hurt it, but because they feel the need to. It is important that each Collie understands the “recall” command, and will obey it in an instant, otherwise it’s not wise to let one loose around livestock.

For any more information on our range of working dog food and your local stockists, click here or get in touch with us on +44(0) 844 800 2234.