This page is a basic information page for people who think they might like to try sheep dog trialling in WA.
You don't have to be a farmer to enjoy sheep dog trialling as there is plenty of help on offer to get you going. You just have to be passionate about your working dogs.
The West Australian Working Sheepdog Association (WAWSDA) has six clubs around the state and being a member of any one of these clubs gives you membership to WAWSDA and also to the Australian Sheepdog Workers Association.
You have to be a member of a club in the state in which you reside to compete in an official trial. Most clubs generally run an encourage event at their trials, which is a great way for new people to start.
Dogs must be registered with WAWSDA to compete in improver and open trials. Unregistered dogs may compete in the encourage and novice events. If you are a member from another state your dogs must be registered with your states club to compete in our trials.
Dogs can be registered in two ways:-
The first being if both parents are registered with WAWSDA.
The second way is for the dog to be inspected by one of the WAWSDA approved inspectors.
Trials:- There are basically three types of trials in WA.
Arena Trials (3 Sheep)
Utility Trials (being a combination of paddock, obstacle and yard work)
Arena trialling is where you and your dog must gather and control 3 sheep around a course and through a series of obstacles the best way you can to keep the highest possible amount of points. Points are deducted by the judge along the way for any deviation from the course.
Yard trials are designed to be a representation of work that must be done in sheep yards on a regular basis. Yard courses generally contain aspects such as filling a working race with sheep, loading sheep onto a ute or trailer, drafting or separating sheep from the main mob. In a yard trial you usually work about 20 sheep.
Utility trialling is a combination of both paddock and yard work. You cast your dog around the sheep (usually 5) bringing them too you. You then take them to the yards and work through the yard course. Once you have completed the yards you move out to the paddock and attempt a series of obstacles to finish your run.
Most trials are held over 3 days usually Fri, Sat and Sun. When you become a member of one of the clubs there is always plenty of help and advice available from fellow club members. Clubs hold training days through out the year as do some individual members and they are usually open to all.
So if you want an excuse to get away for a weekend and enjoy some great places, fantastic scenery, good food, bad singing and great people. We usually camp around or near the trial ground which makes for a great atmosphere. Then get in touch with our state secretary HERE to find a club near you.