Joyce Country Sheepdogs

Joyce Country Sheepdogs, Shanafaraghaun: Hours, Address, Joyce Country Sheepdogs Reviews: 5/5

Joyce Country Sheepdogs
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
An authentic insight into hill sheep farming and rural Irish life with working sheepdog demonstrations. Interaction with puppies and sheep shearing demonstration during high season. This is set against some of the most breathtaking scenery in Ireland. Rest room facilities available along with picnic tables for guest use. Scheduled demonstration times are 11am, 1pm and 3.30 pm Monday -Saturday, however alternative times are available by prior arrangement.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4 within 6 miles
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297 reviews
Very good

Leeds, UK13 contributions
Aug 2021 • Family
We went with our five and three year old and all of us absolutely loved the experience. Joe was so knowledgeable and personable. Whilst we learned all about a range of things from him, the children enjoyed cuddling and following the puppies around. The demonstration was great and the set up is perfect (it is so beautiful and there is an outside shelter you can go under if it’s raining).
We’d highly recommend the experience to anyone!
Written August 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

North Andover, MA30 contributions
Aug 2014 • Couples
I had read about Joyce Country Sheepdogs on TripAdvisor and really wanted to visit based on the reviews. However, we were staying in Adare and didn't know whether we should make the 2.5 hour drive to get there. So glad we did! It turned out to be our favorite day of a week long trip to Ireland. It is just incredible to watch the dogs in action and realize how much training and effort has gone into developing their skills to that level. Joe is truly a master at getting the dogs to do exactly what he wants them to at precisely the right time, even from far away and even when giving multiple commands to multiple dogs. Joe is also such a friendly person who clearly cares about the dogs and seems to really enjoy talking about them and answering questions about the dogs and his trade. It's a shame that sheep herding as a way of life has become so challenging with the very low price of wool.

Even without the dogs and herding demonstration this is a place worth visiting. The countryside is absolutely gorgeous and even in the heart of the busy summer tourist season the area was very tranquil. It was really the type of experience we were envisioning and hoping to have when planning our first trip to Ireland. It is well worth a visit if you are anywhere near the area (i.e., anywhere in Ireland).
Written September 22, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Toronto, Canada15 contributions
Apr 2018 • Friends
We could not have been happier with our outing to Joyce Country Sheepdogs. We were able to watch the sheepdogs herd sheep from the hillside, see the sheepdog puppies and the new lambs. Joe was warm and an excellent host and teacher.
We loved it. A trip highlight.
And the drive to his place is very scenic, also not to be missed.
Written April 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sandee F
Agua Dulce, CA4 contributions
Apr 2016 • Family
After raves from a fellow traveler, and seeing 601 reviews here - 600 of which were 5 star and 1 of which was 4 star here - and checking the website, we headed here from Limerick on our way to Dublin (yeah WAY WAY out of the way). Arrived at 2:50 for 3:00 demo to find the gate open but nobody home. Stuck around half an hour and finally gave up. Our bad, I guess, for not calling first. But all indications were that it was unnecessary. Feel like we missed out. :(
Written April 7, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear Sandra Thank you for posting your review, however I am really sorry that you missed out on the Joyce Country Sheepdogs experience. We do pride ourselves on proving a high quality tourist attraction and especially on being there to welcome guests at the relevant time. In mitigation, we can only offer that our demonstration times are actually 11am, 1pm and 3.30pm, but we did used to hold a 3pm demonstration which we unfortunately had to amend since 2015 to accommodate the school run. Having said that, we would be extremely grateful if you could advise as to the source of your information as this is something we clearly need to address, as there would appear to be out of date information out there somewhere. It is just really unfortunate that we would appear to have 'just missed' you as you state you did wait for half an hour. As an immediate measure, we have introduced improved signage outlining demonstration times. I realise this does not help you but will assist our future guests. Once again, I apologise for the inconvenience to yourselves, as we are indeed well 'off the beaten track' and appreciate you made a special effort to visit us - if it is any consolation we feel we have missed out also. Thanks again for your review as we welcome both positive and negative feedback as it presents an opportunity to learn and rectify any shortcomings. We hope that this had not deterred you from returning to Connemara and should you find yourselves in the area again - please do make yourself known to us, we'd be delighted to welcome you. Best Regards Joe Joyce
Written April 24, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tacoma, WA19 contributions
May 2015 • Friends
We were staying at Ashford Castle and upon checkin were provided activity options. Because it was different and the price was reasonable - $8 Euro per person - we booked the Joyce County Sheepdog demonstration. It was a beautiful 30 minute drive to the farm and we were the only two people attending the tour. Joe showed us the Border Collie dogs and pups and provided an overview on training. We got to pet the dogs as well. He then let one out to herd the sheep - the dog took off up the steep hill with joe directing the dog with his commands. The dog moved the group of sheep down the hill. Joe proceeded with showing us how two dogs work together to herd sheep.It was very interesting listening to his stories and we really enjoyed it. I suggest Ashford castle provide this as a small tour from the castle for their guests. Charge a few more Euros to take a group tour. Also we were not aware this was available before we came - which would have been nice to know for planning purposes. Highly recommend.
Written May 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tom D
The Villages, FL215 contributions
Sep 2014 • Couples
Recommended by our B&B host, Joe's sheep dog demonstration was entertaining and educational. His hairless border collies really put on a show. It's amazing how well they obey the commends of their owner, even when he appears simply to be conversing with you while they are a hundred yards or more away.
Written September 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Patricia O
Ipswich, UK37 contributions
Aug 2014 • Friends
This was my second visit to Joe Joyce's farm in Connemara - about a 20 minute drive from Leenane. His house is situated on a hill facing a lake which is bordered by a steep mountain, dotted with sheep - his sheep! Such are his skills that he crosses the lake in a boat, deposits his dogs on the side of the mountain and instructs them via voice and whistle from his boat in the middle of the lake, as he watches them zig and zag according to his commands. The demonstration does not include this scenario, but it is quite something to know. Joe introduces you to his dogs and their pups. There were five gorgeous, plump pups to hold and watch as they tumbled over each other and played happily. The adult dogs were lean and focussed. Joe took two from the kennels - Roy and Sweep - who herded a group of sheep on the hill behind his house into a pen, after chasing and guiding them into a tightly knit group. They were assisted and hindered by a young collie about four or five months old, who was already showing a remarkable natural ability to herd. It was so wonderful to watch and I would have stayed for much longer if the rain had not descended to cut the demonstration short. The dogs were not bothered of course - nor was Joe - only the namby pamby tourists like ourselves!! Joe answered all our questions - and there were many - and told us about the different skills of the dogs and how they all vary. Some are great going up mountains, having loads of stamina, but it takes particular skills to do that and not all dogs develop them, despite Joe's best efforts. The ones who can't be relied upon to go up and down the mountan after the sheep will do better gathering sheep in fields, for instance. Some dogs don't like loud commands, whilst some don't mind. Whilst he told us all of this, his favourite, prize winning dog, Roy, looked up at him as if he was a divine being! It was so lovely to see. There is such a bond between Joe and his dogs and it was a privilege to be part of that and to listen to how he trains them to be assets as well as pets. I visit the West of Ireland every year and will always visit Joe Joyce's farm to once again experience his amazing demonstration and to see his lovely dogs.
Written September 1, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

San Diego, CA17 contributions
What a thrill to watch Fly, Bonnie and Jill work their magic as they herded their flock around the awe-inspiring terrain surrounding Lough Na Fooey. In advance of, and during the demonstration, owner, Joe Joyce, shared information on the history of the breed, the training process, as well as the unique nature of the individual dogs, with respect to how they used their keen intelligence. We left feeling inspired, not only by the magnificent dogs, but also by the symbiotic relationship between man and nature.

Spending time with Joe and his dogs (and the sheep, of course !) added an extra dimension to our trip that turned a lovely day of sightseeing into a truly memorable time that we'll remember for years to come.
Written September 23, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Indiana J
Westport, Ireland17 contributions
Sep 2011 • Solo
After two nights in Clonbur it was time to move towards Westport for the Grainne Mhaol musical. On the way I stopped at Kinny to see Joe Joyce's Sheepdog demonstrations on the tranquil shores of Lough Na Fooey. I learned enough to know I never want to be a hill sheep farmer but I was blown away by how the dogs were able to make the wild sheep behave like pet lambs, just through eye contact. It was interesting to hear that Joe's sheep and dogs had been used for the Marley and Me movie with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson and after a whole lotta hugging I was tempted to take one of the pups on the bike with me. Really recommend this as a stop on the way through this beautiful lake-laden area. Cheers Joe!
Written September 7, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Boston, MA956 contributions
May 2019
Joe, the owner, is the perfect host. Obviously knowledgeable about local history and sheep farming, and a top expert in working sheepdogs, and more so a leading breeder and training of these dogs. Spot, his current top dog, did a marvelous demonstration, working the pack of sheep at Joe;s command. We had a chance to hold and pet the puppies, too. The location is outstanding, with gorgeous views. The drive here, on narrow roads in valleys among the hillsides, was fantastic.

Clearly these days, the way to survive here is to run an operation such as Joe's, as there is no money in owning sheep any more.
Written August 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Joyce Country Sheepdogs

Joyce Country Sheepdogs is open:
  • Mon - Sat 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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