Sheepdogs: Why are some UK dogs selling for £27,000 or more?

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The humble sheepdog has been an integral part of British farm life for centuries, but never before have they commanded so much respect – or riches.

The past two years has seen numerous unprecedented prices recorded for specially bred and trained dogs at agricultural marts.

Many of the top dogs are now coming from Wales, including a border collie called Kim from Ceredigion, which sold for a world record £27,000 in February,

Sheep farmer and dog-handler Emrys Jones, from Barmouth in Gwynedd, said he now regularly fields calls from across the world to consult on Welsh dogs, with 40 going abroad to places such as South Korea, Japan, Australia, Norway and the USA at a recent sale.

“The old boys wouldn’t believe what’s happening nowadays,” he said.

Michael Priestley of Farmers Weekly said: “Better dogs cost more but better dogs make the job of gathering in sheep much quicker and they minimize labor cost.

“It’s an investment that can pay off.”

Video by Nick Hartley

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