|Civic Center goes to the sheep dogs|
|Monday, 30 January 2012 15:49|
The course is completed after a handler can successfully command his dog to coerce 3 sheep in a figure eight pattern around barrels through a narrow chute and finally into their pen.
Dennis Edwards says, "You go through the course and at the pen that stops the clock so it's a time trial kind of like a horse race." Contestants are given 4 and a half minutes to complete the task. Edwards clocked in at just under two on his first run Monday afternoon. He says it's taken more than 4 years of training with his 5-year-old border collie, Craig to get to this point.
Edwards says, "Normally the dog will tell you when they want to start working. Some as young as 4 or 5 months, others up to 9 or 10 months before they get started." Edwards says repetition is key in teaching these dogs the discipline they need to compete. He says he and Craig travel across the country competing in various sheep dog competitions but this one in the Black Hills holds a special place in his heart.
Edwards says, "Well, I won it last year so I had to come back and defend my title. It's always fun, we see a lot of people in the wintertime at the stock show that we don't normally see. I get together with friends and visit and it's a little getaway." Monday afternoon's 59 teams will be whittled down to 20 for the semi-finals and then 10 to compete for the top spot as champion for this year.