I started on the Smithfield trail 5years ago, I was given a dog that came from an aboriginal camp, a “camp dog” that had a particular look, soft eyes. We eventually came to the conclusion she had a dash of Smithfield in her. From there I found out more about Smithfields, and more over Tasmanian Smithfield’s.
My interest was heightened watching an Old English sheep dog herding sheep at the Royal Melbourne Agricultural Show, it did the job effectively in a slightly buffoonish manner. I wanted a working dog that was not just about the job but also a mate, a pet in the down time. The Old English sheep dog look at its owner in an adorning way which melted your heart, thats when I decided I wanted a Smithfield.
Smithfield are a medium sized shaggy coated working dog used to herd sheep and cattle. They originate from England, being given the name as they were a common sight at the Smithfield Market in London. They had the job of bringing cattle and sheep from the countryside in to the market for trade. Smithfield’s are their own breed of working bearded collie with a dash of Old English sheep dog and border collie. Smithfield’s are not longer in England, with the largest number now being in Tasmania.
I found on Facebook the Tasmanian Smithfield Dog Rescue site which Matt Larner manages. Happy to take a rescue or a puppy, I got Rory, a puppy of 12weeks. He is a gentle soul, quite sensitive and has the big warm brown eyes, just what I wanted! He herds sheep and cattle, he is better out in the paddock than in the yards, runs 15-20km a day up down the farm and then is a pet sleeping on our bed, assuming he has not dived into a stock trough, at night! Two year later we got Elsie, she is quite self contained and more assured than Rory, pushing in the yards with no fear. Our plan was to breed when she was 1.5 years old, Elsie and Rory had other plans. A bit under a year old Elsie had christmas puppies, a bit of a surprise. Her surprise all the same was nicely timed, I finished up work on the 23rd December, I had 10days off work, Elsie gave birth to nine puppies on the 24th December, my holidays were filled with puppy joy.
Now all nine puppies are ready for their new homes, and I am tinged with a bit of panic and sadness. Will we find homes for them all and will they have a good life, I dearly hope so. I have interviewed everyone who has called, turning some people away. Smithfield’s are active intelligent dogs they need and will demand attention. I have made it clear to our Smithfield purchasers if their circumstances change and they are not longer able to look after a Ray-Monde Deux Smithie, call us first we will take them back and find another home. The thought of my pups being in a shelter is one I do not want to imagine.
On that note, please consider your pet purchases carefully, pets should be part of your family and not treated like a commodity. Dogs that end up in shelters and are not rehomed with in 2days are likely to be euthanised. A sobering thought.
Have a look at our Smithfield page, a photo gallery of our dogs, all of which we adore.
I LOVE SMITHIES…………….Tristia