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Shepherd’s Cutie Pies – Sheepdog Puppies at the Palace

The eight-week-old border collie puppies are the latest generation born from our sheepdogs who work across the Estate.

They’re being looked after by our Farm Manager Charles Gerring who manages our 1,000 strong sheep flock across our estate.

The puppies are direct descendants of a sheepdog owned by a previous Head Shepherd which was given to Charles when he began working at Blenheim in 1993.

Both parents, mum Jazz and dad Ben, are working sheepdogs on the Estate and Charles is going to train one of the puppies, named Nell, to join her parents once she has been fully trained.

The remaining puppies are either going to working homes or becoming part of active families locally.

“Nell’s dad Ben has proved to be an excellent sheepdog and I have got high hopes she’s going to follow his lead, she’s definitely got the right genes for it.

“Initially she’ll stay at home with me and try out her herding skills on our flock of chickens in the back garden and I will start to bring her in at weekends to get used to the sheep,” said Charles.

"Proper training won’t begin for a few months yet but she’s already showing a keen interest in the sheep and will hopefully pick up a few tips from her parents,” he added.

The grassland of our parkland provides near ideal conditions for our extensive flock to graze throughout the year.

We allow our sheep to give birth outdoors, in order to give lambs the best spring grass and nutrients they need.

This causes us to lamb later than many farms because our Scotch Mule sheep are reared entirely on grass within the estate’s walls, keeping them as naturally healthy as possible.