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 eight - 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.
Our second-oldest, Mac, six, is probably the cleverest of all our dogs - which is why he's perfect for Obedience. On one Monday evening in October 2017, Mac came running in from the garden and collapsed in the living room, started foaming at the mouth with his legs spasming. Around 10 minutes later, he came back around, and after a trip to the emergency vets, a diagnosis of Epilepsy was suggested. Several vet visits and two more seizures later, Epilepsy was confirmed.
Mac has been on medication twice a day since November 2017, and - touch wood - hasn't had another seizure since. Living with an epileptic dog is a challenge - Mac is gentle with humans, but he's not too happy with certain dogs being too close to him... so we have to be careful in crowded situations. Other than that, Mac leads a normal life and will be coming on more walks in the TV series soon.
Mysti was the youngest of the brood at five... until our latest come along (see below!) She's from the same breeder as Mac, but she's got some New Zealand lineage in her. She’s the only girl – and that’s why she's slightly smaller than the others.
Mysti is a definite princess, enjoying creature comforts at home... although on a walk, at the first sight of any dirty, stinky area of water she's right in there!
When you've had four dogs, going back to three just doesn't seem right... so after a respectful amount of time, 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.
So... welcome Mocha to the Walks Around Britain pack. He arrived at the start of April 2018 at 9 weeks old and has already made a huge impact in the White house!
He's already been on the ground running around and is terrorising the other three with his constant puppy need to play! Olivia is currently training him for agility and we're counting down the days until he can feature in the TV series.
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!