The competitive sheepdog trials held at the Fairgrounds

RAPID CITY, S.D. — On Thursday, the North American sheepdog trials took place at the Fairgrounds.

The trial is a competitive dog sport in which herding dogs move sheep around different obstacles and into enclosures as directed by their handlers within a certain amount of time.

One popular breed keeping those sheep in line, is the Border Collie.

“Border collies and all herding dog breeds are more along the lines of a wolf because they use that instinct to gather, wolves gather too,” Laura Hicks, rancher. “And these are descendants of wolves. Way way way past, you know way great great grandparent wolf. And we channel that, border collies are one of the most bitable is what we call it breeds, they want to work with us real bad.”

While there are sheep dogs to herd the sheep, guard dogs are also a necessity on the ranch.

Breeds such as the Turkish Boz which are meant to withstand the extremes of either hot or freezing conditions. 

Guard dogs usually live with livestock in pastures and protect from predators such as bears, wolves and even mountain lions.


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