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Last Updated: Monday, 12 January, 2004, 14:37 GMT
Sheepdog pups go round the world
Welsh sheepdog puppy
Puppies are in demand for farms overseas
The Welsh sheepdog breed threatened with extinction a decade ago has recovered so much ground that animals are now being exported around the world.

Two ten-week-old puppies from mid Wales have been exported to Kansas to work on a cattle ranch.

This is the latest success of the breed that had seen numbers dwindle to a dangerously low level.

This prompted the formation of the Welsh Sheepdog Association in 1997, which has seen the number of dogs good enough for breeding increase from 80 to about 800.

Sian and Spot, the two Welsh sheepdogs who flew out to Kansas, will be used to herd several thousand cattle, as well as breed more dogs in America.

The puppies were bred by Aled Lewis of Tregaron and Elen and Tom Lewis of Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, eight miles from Aberystwyth.

Welsh sheepdogs
There are nearly 1,000 registered Welsh sheepdogs
"The aim of the society is to breed working dogs and I am delighted that we are now exporting them to America," said Mrs Lewis.

"The Welsh sheepdog has a distinctive red colour and is recognised as a hard working animal with plenty of stamina.

"The difference between the Welsh sheepdog and the border collie is that the sheepdog doesn't get as tired and can work for a longer time," she added.

The breed is now spread throughout Wales, England, and Scotland and animals have been exported to Sweden and Germany as well as America.

"The breed has grown tremendously in the seven years of the society's existence," said Huw Thomas, chairman of the Welsh Sheepdog Society.

"The registration of the thousandth puppy will be a huge milestone in our quest to rescue the breed from extinction."

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