The annual Dogs with Jobs on the weekend, July 29 – 30 at the North Thompson Agriplex in Barriere was action packed as dogs brought their owners in to compete, demonstrate and engage during the two days of events.
Even though the weather was a bit hot, and some boots kicked up some dust here and there, there was so much to see and participate in thanks to the efforts of many hard working volunteers and participants.
The event included sheep herding, dog agility, hunt dogs, search dogs, and demonstrations involving search and recover, search and rescue. Impressive displays of well trained and practiced exercises that often save lives or at the very least provide closure to families.
Participants in the Cattle Dog Trials included competitors from as far away as Washington state, and various parts of Alberta as well as all over B.C.
Both days started with a hearty pancake, egg and sausage breakfast served by the Lions Club of Barriere with proceeds going to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.
The schedule of events included the Cattle Dog Trials, Sheep Dog Clinic, Hunt Dogs, Agility, Community Dog Instruction with local trainer, Jill Hayward, K9 Behaviour, Search and Rescue and Drug Detection & Cadaver Search.
On both days a variety of vendors were on hand to sell and promote their canine and people products as well as concessions operated by the Barriere Lions and the North Thompson Stock Dog Association.
The couple behind the initial launch of Dogs with Jobs are well known local stock dog handlers Gordie and Brenda Wilson of Little Fort, B.C.
Cattle rancher, Kobe Fehr competed in the novice cattle herding category and describing what they do in the ring, “Lori is my dog. She’s a full-time working dog, three years old. We are working the Harper Ranch during the summers down from Dawson Creek. We are in the novice class. Green handlers and green dogs. Beginners. We go through set obstacles. Each animal is worth one point that goes past or through each obstacle. This trial is young cattle. On this course is a max of 15 points that we can achieve. They must go in a certain direction as well all under a five-minute time limit. At home when we are moving our cows, I usually run two dogs, me on the saddle horse and the two dogs with 300 to 400 head of cattle ahead of us. This is a demonstration to show people what we do when actually working with our dogs. It’s great camaraderie . Lots of good old hands here that are helping us young guys get in on it and learn.”
Fehr, wife Courtney and little girl Reata own RCK cowdogs (named after Reata, Courtney and Kobe) and run a thousand head on Harper Ranch near Kamloops during the summer with the help of their dogs.
Mike Ritcey and partner Monica Worth, of Kamloops Search, Recovery and Detection K9’s of B.C. were also on hand with working dogs Ranger and Rouge doing a drug detection demonstration. They are a Search and Recovery team, not rescue. Rouge is a validated Human Remains detection dog and Ranger is a validated Search dog.
Well known dog trainer, Jill Hayward of Barriere taught ‘Dog Behaviour 101’ sharing her knowledge of working dogs saying, “It’s about teaching how to assess why dogs are doing what they are doing.”
“What a great weekend for RCK cowdogs during this event,” said Fehr, taking home several prizes including beautiful silversmith buckles for Aggregate Dog with his working partner dog, Lori.
More than one person could be heard saying, “Can’t wait until next year’s events!”