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Sheepdog Handlers

Sam Roper

Sam Roper is a working shepherd and working triallist in the Lake District valleys. Sam uses the prefix Cranford sheepdogs.

How many dogs of what breed do you currently own?

I currently have 16 dogs, ranging from border collies, collie crosses, kelpie crosses and a huntaway cross. I use the prefix: Cranford sheepdogs 

Tell us a bit about your dogs?

All my dogs work on the Lake District fells and I also trial some of them.  

Where do you come from?
West Cumbria 

When and how did you get involved in sheepdog work?
I grew up on a family run farm, so from an early age I was involved in farming life. I first started to shepherd the Lake District fells at the age of 14. 

Can you tell us a bit about your training?
At an early age my dogs are taken to the fell to get used to the terrain in which they will be working. They learn the basics in a small paddock with 5/6 sheep and progress to a bigger field with a large number of sheep and then on to the fell.   

What qualities are you looking for in your dogs?

The ability to think for themselves, stamina and strength to run long days. Power, but with a kind, cool, way - an ability to switch off from work when not needed.  

Is there someone who has been your mentor or inspired you?
When it comes to training and working dogs I am self-taught from watching a few videos and reading the odd book. I have always admired Arthur Temple and his dogs, from watching them on the fell when shepherding with him, to watching them on the trial field and being successful. 

What successes have you had?
I have had a number of placings with my dogs in the nursery and novice trials, I won best shed of the day on a championship day at Hutton-in-the-Forest out of 68 dogs where I also came 2nd. I was presented with best sheep handling trophy at the opening Park House sheepdog trial where I also gained a 1st, 2nd and a 4th. 

I have successfully gathered for up to 7 fell farms in the Lake District for the last 15 years.

What are your greatest challenges?
When shepherding the fells, each different fell comes with its own challenges, from steep rough crags to deep bracken. And of course the Cumbria weather is probably the biggest challenge of all. 

How can we encourage more young people to train as sheepdog handlers?

I think the local trialling clubs I am involved in are doing a pretty good job of encouraging new and young handlers into sheepdogs. New handler trials are a brilliant way of getting new people involved. 

What are your plans for the further?
To hopefully be running my own fell farm and continue training, working and trialling dogs. 

Which dogs have been your most successful?
When it comes to trialling, Sky and Blue have been the most successful. They are also brilliant fell dogs. My most successful fell dogs would have to be Gem and Roo.  

Could you give us a short quote about how CSJ food works for your dogs?
Healthy, happy dogs, fast and effective when fuelled on CSJ 

Which CSJ feeds do you use?
‘That’ll do’, ‘Hike on!’, Complete Tripe!’, ‘Fit ‘n’ Fast’, “Little Champ!’ and Salmon Oil  

Contact Sam

Phone: 07938977911.                                      
Facebook- Sam Roper
Instagram- sam_roper_1990 



Sam Roper 3

Sam Roper 3

Sam Roper 2

Sam Roper 2

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