Who says the British don’t love their sheep dogs? A sheep dog set a new record price for dogs by going to the highest bidder for almost £15,000, setting a new British record price according to auctioneers.
The dog, a sixteen-month-old named Cap, was bred in County Donegal. The sale took place in Skipton, North Yorkshire. The original owner, a Padraig Doherty, said the price for Cap was much higher than he ever would have anticipated. The auctioneer said dogs normally sold for around £2,000.
The new owner prefers to remain anonymous, but he will use the dog as a sheep herder on a working farm in Northern Ireland.
The sale price for Cap of £14,805 easily surpasses the previous record for a sheep dog sale of £9,240 in 2013, according to Skipton Auction Mart. A spokesperson said the high price was due to Cap’s bloodlines, which were “very well bred”, including being related to a champion sheep-dog. Cap’s performance in the auction was also most excellent. Co-owner Joe Doherty said he put in a “sparking display” on a trials field in front of potential buyers. “He is a special dog with genuine power and has a calming effect on sheep,” he said.
The Doherty brothers own Ardagh Sheepdogs in County Donegal. The brothers also hold the record for the highest price paid for a puppy. They sold a six-month-old female, Ann, just about 12 months ago for around £2,000. Padraig Doherty says Cap is something special, even saying that this dog might be the best one he ever bred.
Cap’s father, Sid, had also been bred in Donegal by trialling legend James McGee. The McGee family runs Glencregg Sheepdogs in Ballybofey, Co. Donegal. Ardagh Sheepdogs are becoming popular throughout the world. In 2015 the brothers sold a fully home-bred two-year-old tri-coloured dog, Ben, who went for 4,000gns to Shirley Wright, a telephone bidder from British Columbia in Canada.
During the same sale, Padraig Doherty sold an 18-month-old black and white dog, Flo, by James McLaughlin’s Dan, the 2013 Irish National champion and also winner of “One Man and His Dog” last year. The presence of bidders from around the world are testament to how valuable working sheepdogs are to farmers. Herding dogs are at their best when they have a job to do. They have strong herding instincts and want to herd anything from animals to humans. As such, they need plenty of exercise.
Sheepdogs are known as being independent thinkers who often know when there is danger even before a shepherd. Sheepdogs are sociable but watchful. Although they are peace-loving animals, they are on the lookout for wolves, who they will confront if they threaten the dog’s flock of sheep. The dogs also have great balance, with the ability to know where to be at exactly the right time.
Cap is a Border Collie, a sheepdog breed considered the premier herding dogs in the world. The dogs often come from the borderland between England and Scotland. They are incredibly intelligent with amazingly high energy and stamina. They are durable dogs whose breeders absolutely oppose any official recognition that emphasizes color or markings over working ability. As a result, they come in an amazing variety of colors and sizes. They can be solid, bi-or tri-colored, of red or blue merle, and even brindle-all with varying amounts of white.