DOGS will be put to the test this weekend with more than 170 entries at working dog trials in Pittsworth.
Stan Hughes will open up his property Bevell-Dean to dogs and their handlers after holding the area’s first trials last year.
Mr Hughes, who has been competing since the 1980s, will enter five of his own dogs into the competition which will feature maiden, novice and open trails.
He said there was handlers coming from as far as central New South Wales and central Queensland to compete.
“We have got dogs that have won the Queensland Futurity trials and the Australian championship winner competing,” Mr Hughes said.
“The whole cattle dog trial program is really taking off. We just had the Australian championships with 400 entries there, which was unheard of.”
Mr Hughes explained that working dog trials were a way of showing what dog breeders and handlers had to offer.
Working dogs have fetched more than $1000 per dog at sales and at a recent sale in Emerald two dogs made $4200.
“It is the cost of labour, people are realising realising now the value of a good dog,” Mr Hughes said.
“By going around with dogs at trials you are demonstrating what they can do.”
Mr Hughes said as well people turning to using dogs because of increased labour costs, they were also using them as a safer way to handle cattle, which was increasing in value.
“More people are breeding cattle dogs now, strains of both kelpies and collies with the way the cattle industry is going. Cattle have become more valuable and dogs are a way to handle them with low stress.”
Mr Hughes said everyone was welcome to come along to the working dog trials this weekend. It will be held at his property Bevell Dean at 4368 Gore Hwy.
Working dog trials
Saturday and Sunday from 7am
Finals will be held Sunday afternoon
Held at Bevell-Dean, 4368 Gore Hwy, Pittsworth
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