TWO German Shepherd fanatics have a unique West Mayo herding experience.
Sheep farmer Alan Moran Paul Walker was born in Newport and the Central Andes and offers sheepdog training for dogs of all ages on his farm in Deradda, Newport. They also visit schools where they give exhibitions to students.
Alan Moran is a new generation German Shepherd trainer. He grew up with German shepherds and trained his first dog when he was 11 years old.
Paul grew up in the central Andes of Chile and raised goats in the mountains, where dogs are still an important tool in their breeding.
He said, “I started training my first dogs in 1994. My dream then was to learn how to train a good German Shepherd.
“After a long career with horses, I decided to live my dream and came to Ireland. I started buying some dogs and bringing them and learning from them and many of the people who helped me on this trip.
âI am always fascinated by the importance of sheepdogs in everyday life in Ireland and how they have been part of human history. I want to share this passion with everyone.
“I came here first to train horses in Laois and then the Irish Wild Goat Society hired me to catch goats in the Mulranny mountains.”
At their base, Alan demonstrates skills and methods for handling a German Shepherd that have been passed down from his ancestors. Shepherds in this region could not manage these mountains without the help and trust of their dogs.
Alan stated, âWe invite the public to connect with nature by watching and experiencing how dogs work with us. To feel what it is to be a trained dog and how we relate to the present and connect with nature. “
“We are going to share an experience of how man has adapted to nature in collaboration with his best friend to understand that without this adaptation and the border collie it would be impossible to treat sheep the way it does in these mountains Hundreds of generations have done it.
“You will get to know our dogs and of course our different breeds of sheep and understand how genetic selection works and how breeding certain traits can develop a companion that will help us in our lives.
“We welcome the public to join us for a truly unique and unforgettable experience for all ages and interests.”
The Newport Shepherds are located two miles from Newport on Achill Road (Eircode F28 NY10). The exhibit is signposted on the Wild Atlantic Way (N59). There is ample parking for cars and buses.
The facility is also signposted on the very popular greenway that runs next to the exhibition center and is a fun and interesting activity on a family outing.
Alan added, “We offer sheepdog training from all ages to the standard the owner desires. Dogs are housed in comfortable kennels and worked on a daily basis. Our methods have proven successful in both the mountain and experimental fields.
“After evaluating your dog, we will provide you with the best plan to achieve your dog’s full potential.”
Paul added, “We’re going to school now. We’re bringing dogs, sheep and stables and we’re showing the importance of dogs on every farm, especially in the mountains of Mayo. We’re telling them the importance of having these working dogs.” .
“We let the sheep out in a small field and the dogs work as a team to bring all the sheep into the stables.
âMany of the children have never touched a sheep or a puppy. At the end of the experience we have a dog that works for everyone. We explain the commands to go either left or right and how to pronounce the commands and the dog works for her, it’s great to see the kids bond with the dog.
“Shepherds are indeed special to us – the result of centuries of breeding and selection. Their unique nature is to work, their spirit is to please and help you with your daily chores on the farm.”
“We offer a glimpse into this fantastic world. From a short demonstration for all ages and backgrounds in our accessible paddock to the opportunity to experience the life of a shepherd in Ireland and even train your own dog using our proven methods.”
“Dogs have been present in human history and their help has been essential to the development of agriculture.
“Border Collies were bred on the border between Scotland and England and genetically selected for their instinct or willingness to work. Our modern German Shepherd is the result of centuries of breeding and selection.
âIn the demonstrations we offer an insight into this fantastic world. Many say that if there were no sheepdogs, our civilization would still be in its infancy. The hills and mountains around us would not be managed without dogs. This is their value.
“We’re going to share with you how the breed was formed, what traits were looked for, what species are, how they are trained, using their own innate sense of ‘balance’ with the sheep.
“You will see dogs at many stages of their training – puppies, started dogs, and fully trained dogs.
“We will also share information about our sheep with you. The breeds, the importance of their adaptation to these mountains and much more.
“We offer the opportunity to experience the life of a shepherd in Ireland. From working daily with our sheep to starting sheepdogs to training and preparation for work on the farm or the trial field. We can also take a tour with the best try. ” on the island.
“We can help dog owners learn how to train their dog using our proven methods.”
The authentic Shepherd Experience is located in Deradda, Newport. Paul can be contacted at (087) 4402220 and Alan at (085) 1050094.