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“Fantastic time!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Joyce Country Sheepdogs

Joyce Country Sheepdogs
Shanafaraghaun, Ireland
+353 94 95 48853
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florida
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Fantastic time!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

I was so happy to find this place while we were having lunch in Clonbur. The waitress at Burke's pub called Joe for us and he said come on over to see the dogs. I was excited to get there. The ride up to his place is breathtaking. What beautiful scenery. I have been on some spectacular drives in Ireland and this one is at the top. It was such a nice surprise to see such beauty then to go and see these fantastic dogs work the sheep was just a bonus. Joe was funny, professional and relaxing. All the dogs are wonderful with great stories of how he got them. He had 2 Border Collie puppies approx., 4 months old who were in training which I wish I could have taken home. This place is where they filmed a scene with Jennifer Anniston from the movie Marley & Me . Everyone should go and visit this sheepdog facility you will love it.

Visited May 2014
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English first
1 review
“Amazing display of intelligence, speed and humor.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

What a great sideline to our trip and really a highlight that will be remembered by the entire family.

Here in the US I have seen these amazing dogs (mostly Border Collies) and their abilities to move sheep around obstacles and into a pen on a dirt floor. In that same display you hear all of the commands and watch in awe as these pups race across an arena full of spectators.

However, I have never seen a sheepdog display like the one Joe and his pups put on. I wouldn't call it a show because this is what they do day in and day out. Really watching a sheep farmer doing his job in his true environment.

To watch these dogs race up a steep mountain and herd the flock back down and around a course and to watch the different "personalities" of each of his border collies herd these sheep is just amazing.

We met up with Joe at his place after a short drive from Clifden and an even shorter drive from Connemara National Park... The drive was a beautiful journey into the countryside. We drove through some beautiful countryside to get to Clifden but some how this hits home as true Irish Countryside. The "ranch" (if that's what the Irish call this) overlooks a beautiful lake and beautiful mountainside where Joe keeps his working herd.

Joe is a great guy. Funny and you immediately warm up to him. He does a great job explaining how and why he works the herd and how the sheepdog in general is invaluable for his and other sheep farmers to keep up with their stock. This really is a family business... His father in-law also a sheep herder and is known for being part of the Samsung LED sheep video. If you haven't seen that video on youtube you should check it out.

To watch the growing pups that others have mentioned in their reviews (a few weeks or months older now) herd as a team is fun and awe inspiring. Gave me goose bumps watching them do what they do best at such a young age.

In the end, this was a very special part of the trip. If I'm ever back in Ireland I will definitely come back and see how Joe and his pups are doing... I could literally watch them do what they do best all day.

Visited May 2014
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cork
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5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best Sheepdog display ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

We came across Joe and his dogs first on a TG4 programme. We decided to visit and were rewarded with an unforgettable evening with Joe and his amazing dogs. We have seen many dog trials and are keen fans of the BBCs Lambing live series but learned more from Joe in an hour than we could have imagined. He told us about the different character and styles of his dogs before putting on superb display of each dog and finished by allowing two puppies join in with the older dog so we could see how naturally it comes to them. The beautiful scenery made it so very special. I won't spoil the experience by telling too much. All I can say is that our visit exceeded all our expectations and we will be back soon.

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, Indiana
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A highlight of our trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Joe and his sheepdogs. Joe is a warm, funny, and informative host, and to see him working with his dogs is simply amazing. The surrounding countryside is spectacular in its own right: vast, rugged, and unspoiled. We felt like we left our visit with a greater appreciation of this area and this element of Irish culture. Well worth the time and price.

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“The highlight of our trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

We just returned from our second trip to Ireland. The last time, we never got the chance to see a sheepdog demonstration, and we were determined to see one this time. So I did some research and was pleasantly surprised to find Joyce Country Sheepdogs in the area we were visiting. Being as it was off-season, Joe was so kind to accommodate a date and time that worked best for our vacation schedule. We arrived and quickly met 3 new 3-month old pups who were just so sweet and fun to watch! Joe was wonderful. He did a few demos with Roy and Jill (the older dogs) who were just amazing to watch. The technique, obedience and determination these dogs have are incredible. "Little Roy" - one of the puppies - even got in the action with his dad Roy. To see the instincts in such a little one was neat! We are dog lovers and you can tell Joe is too. He is very passionate about his dogs. He lives in one of the most beautiful areas we visited in Ireland. Mountains, water, farmland, dogs, sheep - what else could be better? Thank you Joe, we had a wonderful time. We watched the GoPro video on YouTube and it was SO cool. If you're in the area - find Joyce Country Sheepdogs. It'll make your day!

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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