Herding Training with Herdwick Sheep in Norfolk

Jun 12

Bowkol Vallhunds visit their new Herding Trainer.....

We have just returned from an excellent Herding Traineing session with Sarah Jenkins in Norfolk, (which we combined with our Vallhund Weekend, see Blog below)

Sarah has not met Vallhunds before, certainly not ones that work! It's always a bit nerve racking going to a new Trainer, but happily she thought all our Bowkol Valls worked really well, & (according to my ACD friend who also trains with her) that she was very impressed by them. Phew!!

I was hugely impressed by Sarah's methods, how she worked very much by observing the dogs natural Instinct, rather than imposing a particular method on the dogs, or saying what they 'ought' to be doing when they herd.

The sheep were 6 lovely dog broke Herdwicks, newly shorn, just as well as it was a hot day. Happily Tilly (pictured as 'That'll Do Tilly!') has also just had a huge moult so was able to keep cool!

So how did the Valls do ?

Firstly Loki, rather than instructing him, we looked @ how he wanted to work, his occasional 'sheep poo' eating was interpreted as being a little unsure if he was allowed to do what he felt he needed to, so I was encouraged to reassure him, & really say very little to him. As Sarah said, he really didn't do anything 'wrong' that needed correcting, & she encouraged me to let him make more decisions himself. The beauty of such well 'dogged' sheep is that you can do that without them coming to any harm, unlike the very light & not very dog broke sheep that we usually have to work @ home!

Interestingly Sarah exuded such calm that Loki didn't even think about barking @ her as he is prone to when meeting strangers for the first time.

Herding 'Taster' Day

Jun 3


On 04.05.2013, we organised a Herding ‘taster’ Day, held @ Pickering, North Yorkshire, with ‘All Breeds’ Herding Trainer Jackie Goulder, together with our friend Sharon Sibley.

Loki & Tilly were Chief Sheep Martials for the day, Loki in particular demonstrating various ‘chores’ that Vallhunds are capable of, such as bringing a flock of 13 sheep in from a big field, holding them to the gate so Fi could put 3 Swales into the paddock where Loki demonstrated penning them, & taking them out of the pen into another field.

He then took 3 Shetlands into a pen, where 5 ‘newbie’ Valls were then tested for their Instinct with sheep for the first time. Happily all Valls demonstrated a good Instinct (we held a similar day in 2012 @ a different venue where only 4 out of 9 dogs showed an interest) Owners were also able to see a Kelpie, KC Beardie & ACD show their various skills with sheep.

Many thanks to the 6 intrepid Vallhund owners,namely Sharon & Alan, Karen & Morvyn, Julie & Walter, who attended what was a successful & enjoyable day. It was great to see 5 ‘novice’ Vallhunds who do indeed retain their Instinct & enthusiasm for work!

Far North West of Scotland

Jun 3


We have just returned from 2 weeks wild camping & mountaineering in the far North-west Highlands of Scotland, in Sutherland! 

Our Bowkol Vallhunds enjoyed a mixture of Mountain Expeditions, romping on miles of golden sands next to stormy seas, & snuggling in our storm tent @ night.

Mountain expeditions included Ben Stack (2365 ft), Cranstackie (2625 ft), Beinn Spionnaidh (2536 ft) & Foinaven (2999 ft).
A great time was had by all!

National Championship Show

Jun 3

Megan & Tilly had a grand day out recently at the National Championship Show, where there was a good entry of 29 Vallhunds.

Tilly won her PGB Class, whilst Megan (pictured on the right, photo Phil Gough – thank you!) was placed 2nd in the Open Bitch Class.

National Championship Show 11.05.13.

nd in the Open Bitch Class.

Holidays in Sutherland - Far North of Scotland

Jun 3

By the Sea!

The far North West of the Scottish Highlands has some beautiful, vaste,
sandy beaches along the west coast of Sutherland.

This particular beach involves a 5 mile walk to get there along a moorland track, rewarded by huge sand dunes, rolling surf & miles of sand. Oh & the occasional other person & their dog....

Pictured is Tilly, oblivious to the waves, determined to retrieve her precious Frizbee!

Swedish Vallhunds


Fit for Purpose


Bowkol Swedish Vallhunds

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