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Video -- Sheep herding dogs coming to Hudson Badlands

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news River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Wisconsin Working Stock Dog Association is staging its 27th annual Labor Day stock dog trial at Badland's Sno-park in Hudson, Aug. 31 to Sept. 3. The sheep herding competition will feature some of the country's best stock dogs and dog handlers. The event is open to the public at the Badlands Sno-park, 772 Kinney Road.

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Competition is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday for the Double-lift Final.

The art of controlling and moving sheep using a dog is an old-world skill that technology has not been improved upon. Modern advances make it tempting to think that new is always better but when it comes to moving livestock, the high-tech world offers nothing more efficient or effective than a well-trained dog.

Over 120 dogs and handlers from eight states are in Hudson to compete at the Badlands Sheep Dog trial. Spectators will see dogs working off verbal and whistle commands at distances of up to 500 yards from their handlers to safely move sheep through a course designed to simulate ranch work.

While the sport of stock dog handling is open to all herding breeds, the Border Collie dominates. Having been bred for centuries to herd livestock, it still takes years of refining and molding that instinct to develop dogs to the level that will be on display. The goal of the sport is to refine and preserve the working instinct of the breed.

Admission to the event is $5, children under 10 free. There will be indoor shelter and food for sale. The event is outdoors and the trial will go on rain or shine. Spectators are encouraged to bring chairs. For more information, go to www.wwsda.org.

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