Overview of the Smithfield Sheepdog

The Smithfield is a medium sized, shaggy stockdog traditionally used to herd cattle and sheep. Most modern Smithfields are found in Tasmania and Australia where many are still used as stockyard and farm dogs. The breed is recognized by the Tasmanian Working Sheep Dog Association, Midlands Agricultural Society, Central Animal Records, Municipal Councils, CDL & RSPCA Shelters and the general public. It is also acknowledged in various historical records.
 
Originating in England, the "Smithfield" name was given to these dogs as they were common sights at the Smithfield Market in London. The Smithfield Sheepdogs would drive cattle and sheep from the countryside into the city in order for the stock to be sold at the market. Smithfields are a distinct breed of working bearded collie. 
 
Smithfields have shaggy coats that part down the middle. They come in a variety of colors and most have a collar of white and a white tipped tail. Their fur is like mohair and they are light shedders, shedding puffs of hair about twice a year.  Their coats are generally wavy and an adult Smithfield will grow hair that is between 3 to 6 inches in length all around. Smithfields might have a long tail or a short stubby tail - both types are acceptable and it is not uncommon to have long tails and stubby tails thrown in the same litter.  Their ears tend to be flat to the head but some have partially erect ears as well.  They trot lightly on their feet instead of plodding along. 
 
Smithfields are a highly intelligent herding dog and are very athletic.  They require daily exercise and ongoing mental stimulation. They are working dogs and thus enjoy having a job to do.  They live for their "work," whether this means they are bringing a flock of sheep together or simply retreiving a tennis ball for their handler. They are extremely loyal, biddable and just plain 'ol smart.  Most are fond of the water and prefer cold weather to tropical climates. 
 
 

 The Smithfield Sheepdog exhibition show at Campbell Town Fair in Tasmania, Australia - 2009