The Newport Shepherds run demonstrations for tourists that last approximately 30-45 minutes and can be tailored to group interests and time constraints. Starting with an introduction beside Deradda National School, then a small walk to the field where there's an all weather viewing area that protects from rain and wind.
Visitors are introduced to the importance of sheepdogs in Ireland, how the breed was formed, their main traits and different types of dogs.
Visitors will learn about the different training methods used. They will also see local sheep that live in the mountains and have the chance to touch the sheep's wool and the dogs. There are also puppies and lambs for children to play with if they wish. The dogs can work for anyone who would like to try and experience having a sheepdog working in command.
The Newport Shepherds is run by Alan and Paul who are always willing to share their passion for dogs and sheep. Both believe the bond with a dog and nature deserves to be shared with everybody.
Paul is a sheepdog trainer who came all the way from the Andes Mountains following his passion and love for dogs. He realised that in Ireland there is a real need for sheepdogs, especially in the mountains of the west coast, where hill sheep farming still relies completely on the skills of dogs.
Alan is a hill sheep farmer and has been around sheep and sheepdogs all his life. He has developed a great sensitivity for training different types of sheepdogs and produces top quality dogs for farm work and trials. His methods have been inherited from his ancestors and to this day he claims he is still learning.
A lovely time to visit is in spring when the lambs are born. Children love the experience of feeding them.