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Cattle dogs show off skills in competition
Some dogs are used to help the blind walk, others serve as companions, but then you have a unique group of dogs that are believed to be more efficient than human beings.
We're talking about Cattle Dogs. News 5's Dara Newson found out about a regional competition that took place Monday at the State Fair.
What these dogs can do is absolutely amazing. The Cattle dog has to take at least three steers through three different obstacles. They're judged on two things: their ability to control the cattle to get through the series of obstacles and how fast they can do it. But the amazing part is why they're so good.
Cattle dogs and their handlers have to take three cattle through fences using whistles and verbal commands. All done on the clock.
"What you do is you give them a right and a left is what we call it, come
by on the way to me and that's the direction the dogs will go to work for
you at whichever one you desires," said Juan Reyes.
Juan Reyes is from Wyoming. So far with ninety points and the fastest time of 2 minutes and fifty six seconds Reyes is leading the pack.
"Their only limitation is us. We haven't gotten into their heads to the
point where we can make them do some amzzing, more amazing things"
From Kelpies, cross border collies and border collies.
The border collies are believed to be among the brightest. And the work they put in before they get to the competition is what makes them one of a kind.
"What makes my dogs exceptional for what they do is the work they do at home. They'll go gather stock, bring them to you out of brush and trees and open country."
Patty Koller comes from southeast Iowa.
"Their natural instincts want to keep the cattle in a group; they want to
keep the cattle between you and them and they want to keep the cattle calm."
And they do it with their power, presence and intelligence
"You can start them at six months or sometimes it takes a year but once they start showing an interest in the livestock then that's when you start them."
Kolley admits these dogs will learn anything their handler is creative
enough to teach them.
"Sometimes even smarter than the handlers."
If you're wondering if these dogs are smarter than you...
"Their instinct is much greater than ours as far as how to handle the
stock in certain situations."
"They're working three steers, you know they're 1500, 3,000 pounds and here's a dog 40 pounds, 30 pounds that's like going up
Monday's competition is a qualifying round for the National Cattle Dog Association Midwest Regional Finals.
Tuesday will wrap up the competition. The top ten dogs of the state fair's open class division will compete and that will be followed by the regional finals.
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