THE WELSH SHEEPDOG REGISTER
Initially, dogs were inspected for history, type and correct ‘Welsh’ manner of working and a foundation stock were selected on the basis of this process. A register of breeding animals was started with these bloodlines. The register has developed from that point and now there have been 1000 pups birth registered.
Emphasis is placed on the working ability of the dogs – just to look the part is insufficient. The Society requires that breeding stock are formally assessed in a working environment before their progeny can be registered. This is essential in order to develop the working ethic that is the essence of the Welsh Sheepdog.
The Welsh Sheepdog Society keeps two registers
HOW TO REGISTER PUPPIES
HOW TO GET A BREEDING LICENCE
The Welsh Sheepdog Society holds Assessment Days during the year. These are fairly informal and normally take place on a host farm using the resident sheep flock. Usually dogs would be expected to work a sizable group of sheep, though alternative arrangements can be made if the dog is only to be used on cattle. In order to determine the manner and strength of work and to reduce stress on the stock, it is essential that dogs be fully trained before they are presented for assessment. They should be at least 18 months of age and should normally be birth-registered.
Occasionally the assessors will consider granting a breeding licence to an animal that is not birth-registered. In this case, the parents and grandparents of the dog should be known and available for inspection.
WHAT DO ASSESSORS LOOK FOR?
The dog should be of sound and sturdy physical appearance. It should be able to move a flock of sheep in a masterful manner with a minimum of command and should preferably bark when required or under pressure. High tail carriage is preferred.
A dog will fail the assessment if it 'sets' when approaching sheep. Set is defined as a visible lowering of the body towards the ground, and/or stretching of the head and neck forward horizontally or downwards. Watching the sheep steadily or dropping the head slightly is acceptable.
A dog will fail the assessment if it is known to suffer from an hereditary disease or defect.