Bear Paw Classic May 15 & 16

As a rancher, our border collies are part of the family but a tool as well. They are up for any task at hand, they don't hesitate, and they don't talk back. They show up every morning for work, and all they ask for is a good scratch behind the ears and a full belly. A good working dog can take the place of one or two hired men. A lot of blood, sweat, tears, and countless hours of training go into everyone.

A working stock dog trial is a competition that brings handlers together to test their skills and that of their dog to accomplish a task. Each handler is given 3 to 5 cows to use their dog to navigate obstacles set up in the arena. Each cow through an obstacle is worth points, and the handler must have at least one cow through an obstacle to move onto the next one. The team with the most points and the fastest time is the winner. The trial is an excellent test of a handler's stockmanship and their dog's ability.

The Bear Paw Classic will feature four classes: Novice, Intermediate, Nursery, and Open. The Novice class is designed for beginner handlers. They cannot enter the open class or have placed 1st or 2nd in an Intermediate class before entering their first novice class. The Intermediate Class is no longer eligible for the Novice class and has not competed in the Open Class. The Nursery class is designed to put younger dogs on the same playing field. The class is based solely on the age of the dog. The current nursery class dogs must be born after October 1, 2017. The Open class is for all handlers and dogs of any age.

We are sanctioned with the Mountain States Stockdog Association as well as the National Cattledog Association. Competitors who are paid members of either of these associations can earn points with their dog to be eligible to compete at the finals each year. Both associations were created with similar goals of promoting low stress and humane cattle handling while utilizing the working stock dog. Members of these associations represent ranchers, dog handlers, trainers, and hobbyists.

The Bear Paw Classic is set to take place this weekend, May 15-16th, at the Big Sandy Saddle Club Arena. We will have 50 dogs and their handlers from across Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana. Come on down and see some of the best handlers and their dogs compete.