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Kingston Sheepdog Trials

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Hello everyone!


I was wondering if anyone else is going to the Kingston Sheepdog Trials? I've been going for the past 4 years (even before I owned my own dog!). This year feels special since I'll be there for the first time with a Border Collie! I also like that they make it a big community event.


I'm wondering if it is rude/weird to talk to people about any future breeding they might have planned? I want to make sure our next Border Collie is from appropriate working lines, and I figure there is no better place than a trial. I know breedings don't happen all the time, so I'd really like to make some connections for when they happen.




Please enjoy Heidi running a lure course at a local event here in Windsor as a thank you for answering my questions. :P


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It is my understanding that it is commonplace to discuss future breedings at a sheepdog trial. And sometimes there are even working-bred pups available at a trial. I know quite a few people who acquire a pup at a trial - and they had no intention of getting a pup at that time. I was so jealous, but I am full now, so could not acquire a pup this way even if I did go to a trial and saw nicely bred pups.

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It's appropriate to ask handlers whose dogs (and whose relationship with their dogs) you like and respect. The easiest way I have found to make connections is to volunteer. Spectating is great (and I totally admire your desire to get a working-bred pup from a responsible breeder) but volunteering gives you a really good way to help out *and* meet the very sort of people you want to become acquainted with as you look forward to a new pup in your future.


Always remember that you don't want to approach a handler that is observing the field with their dog prior to their run (some handlers do this a couple of runs out so that their dog can see where the sheep are being set), waiting for their run, or cooling their dog right after their run (especially if they will be helping exhaust the next dog's sheep at the end of that run).


There are a lot of good handlers and responsible breeders that will be at that trial so if you can make contact with one or more, you might be able to connect to multiple possibilities. Good luck!

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It was awesome! In the end, I was way too captivated (and maybe a little too nervous) watching the runs to talk to anyone. Which is probably for the best because both my dogs are still so young, I don't really need to be entertaining the idea of a new puppy just yet (much to my husband's relief).

My Aussie showed mild to no interest in the sheep and sheepdogs running, he was much more concerned with soliciting pets from the spectators. My BC however, was intensely focused on watching them. We had to walk away several times because she was crying and lunging towards the field.

There were some incredible runs, and a few naughty, stubborn sheep. It could have been more fun if my mother-in-law wasn't beside me saying "But HOW do the dogs move the sheep, how do they just KNOW?" and my consistently frustrated reply of "THEY ARE BORDER COLLIES".

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