Meet our Dogs
The Walks Around Britain Dogs are as much of a part of the team as our humans - and an ever-increasing number of our walks on the television series feature them during - especially during the forthcoming seasons five and six. In fact, they have their own Twitter account, which you'd be barking mad not to follow...
So, just who are the Walks Around Britain Dogs then?
Merlin is our eldest dog - at nine- and is a Blue Merle Border Collie. "Merle" refers to the pattern in a dog's coat, which is caused by a gene only present in certain dogs. So just like human parents with different eye colours, breading two dogs together - one with the Merle gene - can produce Merle pups.
And that's what happened with the litter our Merlin was in - hence his distinctive white and blue markings on his coat. He is still a true Border Collie - with all the nutty-ness that entails. Merlin has been on more walks with Andrew on the TV series than any of the other dogs, and has developed such an understanding of the film-making process that he gets himself back to his mark faster than Andrew does...! When he's not walking on telly, Merlin competes in Flyball along with Mysti.
Mysti is the middle one of the pack - at the age of six. She's from the same breeder as Mac, but she's got some New Zealand lineage in her - and that coupled with the fact she's a girl, is why she's slightly smaller than some of the others.
When you've had four dogs, going back to three just doesn't seem right... so after a respectful amount of time after Maisie, Andrew and his family decided to have another. Having got two traditional black and white Border Collies and a blue merle, they decided to look for a brown tri-colour - and they found a litter with some tri-colours in Gainsborough.
There was a huge rise in the numbers of people wanting puppies during the various lockdowns in 2020 - but our lockdown-delivered puppy was ordered before the first lockdown. Given Olivia's passion for agility and the success she's already had with Mocha, Mandie wanted to bring in a puppy from a recognised line of agility champions... and that meant the family going through rigorous checks to make sure they were right for the puppy - and placing a order, so to speak, well in advance.
Maisie was our eldest until she left us in October 2017, aged 15. She was Andrew's first dog having owned her from being a puppy - as his wife-to-be already had two Border Collies when they met. Maisie was definitely Andrew's dog, and ruled the roost amongst the dogs in the house. In her later years, she become quite deaf and so she stayed on the lead on walks in new places, as she couldn't hear the recall shouts!