Working Sheepdogs in North America
"There is no good flock without a good shepherd, and no good shepherd without good dogs." (Unknown)
The National Sheepdog Finals is held to crown the best working sheepdog and handler team in the USA and Canada. The dogs and handlers you will see come from farms and ranches far and wide. They have earned the right to step on the Finals field through their successes at local sheepdog trials through the year. Managing livestock is an art, and watching a gifted dog usher sheep through a trial course, hearing the handler communicate with their canine partner using both voice and whistle, and sensing the silent communication between them that comes from untold hours working together can take your breath away. We invite you to come see this partnership at its highest level, with dogs moving the stock where the handler wishes, directed by whistles from afar. The skill of these teams brings elegance to the practical work of farming.
“Man — despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication, and his many accomplishments — owes his existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” (Unknown)
Man has been farming for thousands of years. In the past century technical innovations have allowed many to enjoy the fruits of farming on their table while never understanding the work, the intertwined processes of both men and nature, that put that food there. Our hope is to provide a window to the world of farming, particularly raising sheep. Our focus is the use of well-bred and highly trained working sheepdogs on the farm. These dogs allow the shepherd to move the flock when and where required, with a minimum of effort for the shepherd and a minimum of stress on the animals. Sheep are the shepherd's commodity and passion. Good working dogs are a valuable tool in managing sheep.