Out of a total of 1,159 dogs rehomed in 2020, 14% were sheepdog breeds, Dogs Trust Ireland has told the Irish Farmers Journal.

Meanwhile, 11% of all dogs currently under the welfare charity's care are Collies and other crossbred sheepdogs.

Despite the massive increase in the demand for dogs over the past 12 months, Dogs Trust has also revealed that it received 172 requests from people looking to surrender their dog after Christmas this year.

Dog’s behaviour

The charity received 89 phone calls and 83 emails from members of the public looking to relinquish their dogs from 26 December 2020 to 31 January 2021.

For the second year running, the most common reason provided was the person being unable to manage their dog’s behaviour.

Dogs Trust Ireland executive director Becky Bristow said: “We are saddened to see so many people struggling with their dogs’ behaviour and urge all dog owners to attend training classes, such as online dog school classes.

“Many issues can be prevented when they first arise with simple training techniques, but often by the time people contact us, they are at their wits end and want to relinquish their dog.”