New Zealand Collie

Iconic in New Zealand, a remarkable animal indispensable to sheep farmers for moving and control of sheep, and familiar to the rest of us from seeing dog trials at A&P Shows and on TV. The breed was originally from the Scottish Border, the border collie, but has been bred over time to better suit the working environment here in NZ.

Other names: New Zealand heading dog, New Zealand eye dog


Yesterday afternoon we found two Dog Trial Clubs out in the countryside, both on Switzers Road. The first building was at the Park Hill Domain where Nigel took the photo of the sheep by the Pomahaka River. That was the Heriot Dog Trial Club. Further down Switzers Road we drove by the Greenvale Dog Trial Club. Needless to say this is a hilly region with lots of sheep farms!

Nigel took this photo of the Greenvale Dog Trial Club from the car (reaching in front of me to get the shot through my front passenger window). I’ve done 3x versions of the one photo.

Click on ANY photo to enlarge


Greenvale Dog Trial Club

Memorial for John R. Lawlor, Founding Member, G.S.D.T.C.
Detail crop.

the original photo…

New Zealand collies are rather special.. more info at New Zealand Heading Dog (be sure to scroll down as there’s multiple paragraphs spread down the page).


Text by Liz, photo taken by Nigel; Exploring Colour (2020)

13 thoughts on “New Zealand Collie

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    1. I’ve read in several places online that the NZ collies need plenty of work and exercise to keep them busy else they get bored and start filling in time with their own activities – and not necessarily what the owner wants them to be doing!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh, how I love to watch a good working dog! There are lots of images available when I Googled the name, but didn’t see any video clips, unfortunately. But what a lovely dog! (That sculpture doesn’t do it justice, though.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No sculpture could do justice to such an active, personable animal but tbh I think this tiny dog trial club has achieved a lovely memorial to their founding member. It was instantly eye-catching, the dog’s eyes are clearly visible and perhaps it’s waiting in position alert for the shepherd’s next command – that’s how I imagine it anyway!

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