Who’d be a sheep dog?

A fortnight ago, I showed you something of the sheepdog trials at Wensleydale Show.  It reminded me of Masham Sheep Fair, three years ago.  Sheepdogs were demonstrating their skills there too – of course they were.  But not with sheep.  The creatures they were herding were – geese….

Geese being kept in order by a skillful sheep dog. What a come down.

And here is the post I wrote four years ago about Masham’s annual sheep show:

A sheep is a sheep is a sheep…..

… or not.

The splendid horns of a Swaledale sheep.
The splendid horns of a Swaledale sheep.

On Saturday we called in, far too briefly, at the annual Masham Sheep Fair. This is the place to go if you believe a sheep looks just like this.


Saturday was the day a whole lot of sheep judging was going on in the market square.  Here are a few of the not-at-all identical candidates. And yet they are only a few of the many breeds in England, and in the world. There are 32 distinct breeds commonly seen in different parts of the UK, and many more half-breeds.  I was going to identify the ones I’m showing you, but have decided that with one or two exceptions (I know a Swaledale, a Blue-faced Leicester or a Jacobs when I see one), I’d get them wrong. So this is simply a Beauty Pageant for Masham and District sheep.

And if you thought wool was just wool, these pictures may be even more surprising.  Who knew that sheep are not simply…. just sheep?


Judgment day at Masham Sheep Fair
Judgment day at Masham Sheep Fair

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

21 thoughts on “Who’d be a sheep dog?”

  1. We have two geese and for good reason, our dogs are mortally afraid of them. I, and my battle scarred legs, can confirm that sadly they don’t nip but tend to grab hold and beat you with their wings.

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  2. On a number of occasions I have encountered Canada geese on our walks. Most times they just look at you, sometimes hiss, and the odd time come at you. A hiking pole can come in handy in that instance. Cheers.

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  3. Brave dog herding geese! My parents used to keep geese – ugh! The geese were bad enough but the gander was maniacal! In the end my parents gave up on him and donated him to their neighbours who had him for dinner.

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