Have a Border Collie?

Border Collie
Have a Border Collie?
This is Where You'll Want to Be This Summer

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This August 11 - 13, handlers from all over North America and their Border Collies will flock to Kingston, Ontario for the 30th annual Kingston Sheep Dog Trials Festival. The competition is Canada's biggest sheep dog trial and the largest in North America, drawing over 7000 spectators for the three-day festival. Taking place on the banks of the beautiful St. Lawrence River, it involves 680 sheep and four days of qualifying trials, leading to a final 20 competitors competing over three days.

Check out how smart these dogs are. Each handler and dog goes to the post for nine minutes of glory. Each dog will pick up their four sheep from 250 yards away before bringing the sheep to their handler's feet. The dogs then drive their sheep around a course of gates before penning them and bringing them in to a circular shedding area where they divide them into two groups. The dog and handler with the smoothest, most efficient, most workmanlike run wins.

The top dogs that move on from this initial round will be required to gather two groups of 10 sheep, one to the left and another to the right, before joining the groups and driving them around a course of obstacles. Once back in the shedding ring, the dog and handler will separate the 15 sheep not wearing collars and pen the five wearing collars. The best job wins the trial!

Aside from the main event, daily side attractions abound, including the Kingston Police K-9 demonstrations, the Rideau River DockDogs, the Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show, Bark Camp classes, and much more. And dogs are welcome! Bring your own dog to the trials and let her have fun at the Canine Adventure Lure Course doggie play zone. Then check out the craft vendors and marketplace to find cool stuff for dogs and their people, as well as the food trucks, because this much family fun works up an appetite! Tickets are just $10 in advance online (kids 12 and under are free!), and there's a free shuttle bus from various points in Kingston proper as well as free parking.

Find out more at cityofkingston.ca/featureevents

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