BBC Wales show will give an insight into ‘The World’s Most Expensive Sheepdogs’
A TV show airing next week will offer an insight into how sheepdogs from Wales have become ‘big business’ in recent years.
The World’s Most Expensive Sheepdogs – Our Lives will be broadcast on BBC One Wales on Monday night (22 August) at 8.30pm.
It will also be available to viewers in Northern Ireland via the BBC iPlayer - you can select ‘Wales’ from the category list or search for the programme name after it has aired.
The show will highlight what it takes to breed and train these wonderful dogs, and what makes them so important to hill farmers.
Clever, agile, fast and forward-thinking, sheepdogs are big business today, especially those from Wales, with prices at online auctions reaching new heights, including a record-breaking sale of over £27,000 for one sheepdog in 2021.
Narrated by Elan Valley hill farmer Erinna Rogers, The World’s Most Expensive Sheepdogs – Our Lives shines a spotlight on the exceptional bloodlines of sheepdogs from Wales that can sell for the same amount as a family car.
Erinna’s family have relied on sheepdogs for generations. Now with her mother as tenant on the farm, Erinna and her four-legged friend Glen help herd the sheep on the open mountains for marking and pairing up.
“You can’t do it without them,” Erinna says of the sheepdogs. “And that’s what makes them so valuable to us.”
The programme also introduces two masters in the field of training.
With online auctions now transforming the way sheepdogs are marketed, Kevin Evans, from Libanus in Powys, ensures his dogs are presented in the best way possible to stand out to buyers, by taking high-quality photographs of them working.
In 2021, Talybont’s Dewi Jenkins re-wrote the record books when his sheepdog Kim sold for £27,100. There’s no rest for Dewi though, as he prepares for an online auction in Dolgellau, with bids coming in from all over the world including North America, South Korea and Germany.
One of his dogs, Kelly, is the sister of the record-breaking Kim. Can she live up to that high standard?
Both Kevin and Dewi must then set their sights on their first live field sale since before the pandemic. Taking place in Bala, the pressure is on with hundreds of spectators, new fields to work on and a new flock of sheep to herd.
The demand for sheepdogs from Wales is worldwide. And, with farmers looking for good working sheepdogs as well as others looking for competition dogs, they’re willing to pay big money for the right skillset.