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History

From Bearded Collie to Old English Sheepdogs

The first OES came to our family at summer 1971. I had had a brown Bearded Collie male who was killed by running under a car at the age of two years. I never showed him although he had a very good pedigree and several people tried to encourage me to enter him to some show. I wanted to have an OES after ”Mörö” , Laihuen Amor in his pedigree, but there were no puppies available in Finland. I was told that there had been a litter in Kokkola, on the North Western coast of Finland, in January 1971 but it was likely that all the puppies were already sold. I wrote to the breeder and got an answer that the puppies were sold except one bitch they had decided to keep. As for me I decided that I had to get that bitch! I wrote a letter (breeder had no phone) for each and every day for a weeks period and then I finally got an answer that I could get her for a double prize and I must promise to show her at least twice. ”Snoopy” became later INT, NORD CH FINW-73,-74,-76 SBIS, TOP OES in Finland –76 Snow-Princess. So she was shown a bit more than those two times I had promised to her breeder. She became the foundation for DROVER'S breeding. Beardies do have always a special place in my heart and I am following very actively what's going on in Beardie world.

he Beginning of Breeding

Snoopy got her first litter 1974 with a top winning English import living in Sweden. The owner for the dog insested that Snoopy would be x-rayed before the mating. Something nobody did at that time in Finland. Snoopy was clear x-rayed and the mating with INT, NORD CH Big Deal of the Embagesilla produced eight puppies.

I had bought a bitch from Sweden 1973 but she had a heart failure and had to be put down at two years of age. Her breeder wanted to give a new dog as a replace so ”Zorro” arrieved summer 1976. He became later INT, NORD CH NORDW-80 FINW-80 BIS SBIS, TOP OES in FINLAND –77,-78,-79,-81 Playmate's Charming-Boy. He had a pedigree of Propespectblue lines and had that typical, reachy and driving movement for that kennel. He was a perfect mate for Snoopy and together they produced ”Sally” later INT, NORD CH NORDW-83 SBIS TOP OES in Finland –83,-87 TOP Veteran of All Breeds –87 Drover's Charming-Girl. Sally's younger brother from a repeat mating was exported to Czechoslovakia and as they didn't have foreign currency they offered a holiday trip to their country. I was not able to travel so I offered the trip to Zorro's breeders the Wiger's instead as they new the breeder who bought Drover's Dancing Devil. Wiger's male had mated a bitch in Norway and as a mating fee took they a puppybitch they gave to me for the trip to Czechoslovakia and that was how ”Manta”, NORD CH NORDW-82 Top Champion producing bitch in Finland Proper Havis Amanda came to our lives on summer 1979.

There is one more dog which had a great influnce to Drover's breeding although he was not owned or bred here. He was INT, NORD CH TOP OES in Finland –84 Alexander Nikita ”Sascha”. Sascha was shown in Finland by Drover's for his owner Patricia Cross who had come to Finland from USA for working. Together with her moved her OES male. The first meeting with them was in Helsinki downtown were Patricia was walking her dog in a park. Sascha had a rear to remember in those days so I ran after the girl to ask more details about that gorgeus dog. It came up that the dog had a pedigree of half Rivermist and Windfield breeding. I spoke to Patricia about showing the dog as he was in good coat and later he was x-rayed clear and left his mark in Finnish OES before moving to England. When Manta had a litter with Sascha took Patricia one bitch puppy for herself. That bitch ”Katti” became GB CH SBIS Drover's Jekaterina at Krisina, later owned and shown by Nina Underwood of Krisina OES. Katti was the first European imported OES champion in England and the first imported OES who became Cruft's CC winner.

1980's

Sally had had a litter with Sascha too. That litter produced the TOP winning OES in Finland for the late eighties, INT, NORD, DK CH FINW-89,-90 BIS , TOP OES 88,-89,-90,-91 Drover's King Himself ”Joonas” and his litter sister INT, FIN, DK CH BIS, SBIS Drover's Kiss of Fire ”Vieno”. I wanted to mate Vieno on her fall season of 1989 but felt that there was nothing for her in Finland. I contacted Mrs Connie Hartman because I had always liked the type of her dogs and got a response with a lot of information about her dogs. She had a young male for sale. I was not interested to buy anything because I wanted to keep a male from the coming litter. But as there were no byers for ”Balloo” for that moment and I liked his pedigree was he sent over to Finland for the mating. I showed him once in a special show for herding breeds and he won BIS, he mated Vieno and Balloo was sent to England to quarantine as he was sold to Australia to Mrs Dorothy Bayliss of Shaggybob's OES. Balloo became later FIN, AUST CH Ramtamtam aus dem Elbe-Urstromtal and Vieno whelped a litter of four puppies, this litter is his only one in Europe. All became champions and one of that litter was the famous INT, FIN, S, DK CH FINW-92,-96 NORDW-95 BIS, SBIS, TOP OES 92,-94,-95,-96, #1 dog in FCI group 1 –94,-95, Dog of the Year #6 –94, Top champion producing Finnish bred male Drover's Or Nothing ”Orwell”.

1990's

After the tragic accident 1992, where all but one of my dogs were killed in the fire I almost stopped working with dogs. But my fellow breeders, also from other breeds, collected me money to buy two dogs and start over again. Beacause we had kept contact with Balloos new owner and she had a litter with Balloo and her half American bred bitch Daycara With Elegance at the time. She asked if I was interested in buying a puppy from that combination.. I got a video from the puppies when they were nine weeks old and there she was ”Matilda”, a born blue & white beauty. I decided to buy her but I felt that she was just too beautiful to grow up to a healthy OES so I bought her litter sister ”Domino” too. One of these girls had to be ”perfect”. Well, they both became clear x-rayed and eye tested with perfect mouths and showcareers to remember. The girls arrieved from sunny Perth to snowy Helsinki December –92 at 6 months old. They both became later INT, FIN, S, DK CH's. Matilda, Shaggybob's Balloo Satin was TOP OES bitch –95,-97 is a SBIS winner and Domino, Shaggybob's Balloo Ribbon was TOP OES bitch –96. Matilda introduced me to the most fascinating colour of our breed, the born blue & white. I had heard and read about them but I had never seen a one. Because the colour is one of the original colours for the breed and still with in the standard I feel it is very sad that the standard faulesly no longer mention that the colour of the eye varies according to the colour of the coat and so this colour is somewhat discurraged. The colour is resessively inherited and cannot bred away unlike blue merle which is dominating colour and has been easily bred away. And I know and I have seen many born blue dogs winning even in England.

At present

Currently we have no OES's at home as ”Loppan”, INT, FIN, S, N, DK CH FINW-00,-01 NW-02 SW-02 NORDW-03 SBIS Drover's Snow Princess passed away in April 2008. We are in close relationship with the breed though as Taija's cousin Heidi Andersson is continuing the breeding with Drover's lines in her own Soft Motion's kennel.

Breeding purposes

Drover's is breeding very seldom. So far has Drover's bred 21 litters with totally 115 puppies. Out of these have 46 finished their champion titles. Sometimes we have a litter per year, sometimes not even that. We are not selling any guarantee puppies, we breed with clear x-rayed and eye tested dogs which have been shown or gone through a breeding inspection for their quality. That is the most a breeder can do, the rest is up to the genebank.

Satu began judging 1993 and is licensed to judge 17 breeds in herding group (FCI 1) and tibetan terrier from FCI 9.