September 27, 2023

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Plink Plink Pets

Dan the Australian shepherd vying for a further title at Calgary Stampede stock canine level of competition

In the globe of inventory dogs, border collies rule — except you might be an Australian shepherd named Dan.

In 2018, he became the initially non-border collie to choose dwelling top prize at the yearly Environment Stock Puppy Championship at the Calgary Stampede.

Dan was the initially doggy Billie Richardson at any time skilled. Richardson, proprietor of Yknott Ranch in Okotoks, is now an international stock pet coach.

This calendar year, Dan and Richardson are going for the title again at the Stampede.

Richardson, who is competing for the eighth time at the Stampede, spoke with The Homestretch on Monday about the competition.

This interview has been edited for clarity and duration. 

Query: Tell us about Dan.

Dan the Australian shepherd previously gained the Environment Stock Puppy Championships at the Calgary Stampede. He is hunting at using residence the title however again this calendar year. (Submitted by Billie Richardson)

Richardson: Dan was the 1st puppy I at any time trained. He is just a good pet. He is really quick and he enjoys enjoys to work. He’s hardly ever dragged his heels and stated, ‘Aw, do I have to?’ He enjoys level of competition. He likes stress. Which is what’s created him these kinds of a thriving dog for me.

Q: And you’re heading to have Dan with some firm, you are getting a couple of other canines. Inform us about them.

R: I do. I have a dog named Vinny, who’s also an Australian shepherd. He’s 5. He’s very distantly connected to Dan, but he is not Dan’s son, which some persons might think. And then I essentially have a two-12 months-old border collie named Twist, whom I am likely to give a go with. 

Q: They are ready for competition at two?

R: Sure. I truly have a just one-year-aged that I was likely to set in, much too. I know when I 1st viewed the Stampede a long time back and they would announce that the pet dogs were being two and I assumed, ‘how could you train a pet dog at two to do that?’ But  some of them are just actually, genuinely proficient. They can just take a large amount of force and they appreciate the function.

Q: Let’s converse about the level of competition.… What just is a stock pet dog opposition? 

R: The Calgary Stampede World Stock Dog is a time-and-details arena trial. You have four minutes to complete a class. You manoeuvre 3 sheep all over a established of barrels in a particular training course. For just about every impediment, each individual barrel that you get your sheep all around, you get factors for that.

Commonly, the obstacles and the factors would be involving 15 to 18 factors. It just is dependent on the course. The sheep, they occur in contemporary, really receiving sent tonight. It truly is a fairly challenging competitors. We could make it search quick, but I ensure you it is really not. 

Q: Is it essential that the sheep are fresh new then? You never have any prior interaction and they don’t know the class, is that the concept? 

Richardson’s two-calendar year-previous border collie, Twist, will also compete this calendar year. (Submitted by Billie Richardson)

R: It’s not just that they never know the class, it’s that they are contemporary in the perception that where these distinct sheep occur from, it is a huge colony. So they do use puppies. They are common with doggy function. But when you stick array sheep into an arena where they are not common with, ordinarily it can be a minor worrisome for them and so your pet has to be ready to to offer with all the men and women and the anxious sheep. 

Q: You do look to desire Australian shepherds in a level of competition that is normally dominated by border collies. Why is that?

R: I went to a sheep camp quite a few, a lot of years in the past and there was a lady and she’s a incredibly expensive friend of mine now.… And she experienced these Aussies at this clinic, and at the end of the working day, she would get the job done her Aussies in the subject. And I just said, ‘One day, I wished to have a dog like that.’ She assisted me get Dan.… I guess in some regards there was a bit of luck with it. But I experienced the ideal mentors and the suitable friends to enable me get there.