New competition for top farm dog

From left, Jess, Doug and Hamish Dykes at South Slipperfield, near West Linton
From left, Jess, Doug and Hamish Dykes at South Slipperfield, near West Linton

Canine telly stars in Peebleshire have launched a nationwide search for Scotland’s best farm dog last week.

This year’s Lambing Live television programme was filmed at the Dykes family farm, South Slipperfield, near West Linton.

And the antics of mother and son Huntaways, Jess and Doug, proved popular with viewers. Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) chose the pair to help launch Scotland’s Top Farm Dog, which is supported by the Scottish SPCA.

The competition is open to all types of farm dogs – from Border Collies to Jack Russells – as long as they play (or have played, if retired) a working role on a livestock farm in Scotland. And the winner will have displayed “exceptional” qualities: the dog may have shown an exceptional skill or undertaken an act of bravery, intelligence, loyalty or companionship, or may have survived injury, or defied the odds in some way.

QMS chief executive Uel Morton said: “Farm dogs have played a huge role in successful livestock farming for centuries. As well as working with cattle and sheep, they are also valued guard dogs and companions these days when farming, particularly in more remote areas, could otherwise be a lonely occupation.”

The winner will be announced at the World Sheepdog Trials near Tain at the beginning of September. To enter, email: – or message the Quality Meat Scotland page on Facebook – no more than 150 words saying why the dog should win, and where possible, send a photograph. The closing date for entries is August 20.