We choose English Shepherds to be a part of the farm and our family in 2013. They have a unique devotion to their family and farm life. They can turn off the work energy and just pal around with the kids. English Shepherds are protective of the home and their people. They are also avid hunters of vermin such as moles, rats and mice, opossums, skunks, and others. The Shepherds we choose to keep at the farm work with us during chores and various needs of working livestock.
We have tested our dogs for multiple genetic diseases that can affect their health and the long happy life of any puppies they may produce. All dogs kept here have had a Pennhip evaluation to rule out any joint disease or hip dysplasia. Unlike the OFA, Pennhip is a measurable exam of hip laxity. Our dogs are fed Royal Cannin Medium breed food and enjoy treats from game and animals we harvest at the farm. They are kept on heart worm prevention monthly, as well as oral flea and tick care.
We do not breed all the dogs each year. Some years we might not breed at all. A list of potential homes is kept with inquiries on a certain pairing, or need for a old farm collie type English Shepherd. Once we see we could potentially place a litter appropriately, we will choose to breed a pair. Working and farm homes are given preference in each litter. Pups are born in the house, so that we can attend the delivery. The pups move from the house outdoors at about the time they start to amble around well and are eating solid food. We try to socialize each litter to different areas of the farm and our family. Depending on the time of year, weather may play a factor in achieving all our goals with the puppies.
Reilly is a wonderful addition to the family here at Artesian Valley. She has such willingness to please and enjoys the kids as well as working on the farm. She is really a strong dog on the sheep flock here and arriving as a mature dog, has amazed us at her natural ability to think on her own. Natural drive and willing to work unbroke stock with good biddability and a head full of sense. She almost always out does the handler! Time has shown that she settled well into life with us. She is very content and happy with a willing to please attitude. Miss Reilly is my side kick on the farm.
Annie is a very biddable female that catches on quick. She is with us day and night, indoors and outdoors. She is a wonderful "mothering" companion to our children as a farm dog. She is what an English Shepherd is bred for. Protective over the property towards predators. Watchful and careful to keep the routine. She is our shadow, you don't know she is with you until she is needed. A dog that is content on sitting by and waiting for the next job that needs to be done.
Duke is just an incredible example of what the English Shepherd breed was bred to be. He has been incredibly easy to train and extremely biddable. The children just adore him and the feeling is quite mutual! He bonded with our eldest daughter and helps with chores twice a day. Such a smart, inquisitive dog with such a keen sense of thought with the stock. He is not an overly aggressive working dog, but will turn stock when asked. Really has a drive to work, but also has a loving nature with young stock.
Tammy is another pup out of Chy and Walon's Waylon. She is smart and even tempered. Very biddable and seems to not be scared of anything. She should be a great little homestead type worker and chore dog.
Annie x Duke pup that we have kept. She was the pick of our children from the get go. I had other ideas, but Cookie wiggled her way into our hearts shortly after weaning. Bold, courageous, biddable, easy to train, loving, correctable without being too soft are all attributes she shows at a very young age.
Joe now lives on a homestead with his family in Virginia. His influence can be found in many of our pups. Super great dog that works quietly. Joe is a hunter!
Sioux was a Reilly x Joe pup we kept. Natural at gathering stock and brining them to you at a young age. Sweet with the kids and would hunt vermin. We had one litter by Duke and the pups have been amazing in their new homes. Tragically we lost her shortly after the pups were placed.
Chy is an incredible Reilly x Joe pup and littermate to Sioux. She tended to gather then heel when we used her on stock.