Peter Wells looks on as his dog Cowdog Rowdy Yates herds some cows during the Dogs with Jobs competition. (Photo submitted)

Dogs With Jobs – July 29 & 30 at the NT Fall Fair grounds

The second annual ‘Dogs with Jobs’ event will take place in Barriere on July 29 – 30 at the North Thompson Fall Fair & Rodeo Grounds.

Brenda Wilson, Vice-President of the North Thompson Stock Dog Association, event organizer and co-founder recently explained, “The event was well received last year, and we anticipate the same enthusiasm this year. Dogs With Jobs is an opportunity to celebrate working breeds and educate the community that these dogs are so much more than just companions.”

President of the North Thompson Fall Fair and dog instructor, Jill Hayward is really looking forward to the event and shared the history of the concept, “The history of dogs with jobs started with Gordie and Brenda Wilson in Little Fort. It was a plan that they had to put on a stock dog trial competition, and they approached the Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society for support to launch it. They needed a facility like the fairgrounds, which is the only facility in the area that could accommodate this. When they approached the Fall Fair board, the board agreed to partner with them. We provide the facility and share costs in different ways so that we are helping them to get going. It’s an advantage for our facility to have such a good event, a great advantage for people with dogs in competition. It’s a wonderful event for the public as there are not very many people that don’t like dogs. It’s not a rodeo or fall fair or a trade show, its dogs demonstrating skill, which is amazing.”

Calling all dog lovers! Dogs With Jobs returns to Barriere

During the two-day event, there will be several interesting competitions, demonstrations and information sessions taking place.

“There will be a Sheep Dog Clinic, with dogs herding sheep that goes all day both days in the North Thompson Agriplex arena. There will be a clinician who teaches people with their dogs and handlers how to work and move sheep. If you are interested in learning you might want to go and listen to how they are teaching that type of training. In the rodeo arena outside where the cattle dog competition takes place, the dogs will demonstrate how to move a group of cattle through chutes and gates in a pre-set pattern for them. They are also timed on how quickly they can complete that exercise.”

There will be top prize money for the winners of specific competitions in various categories and levels, such as novice and up. Hayward feels that there will be something for everyone that enjoys dogs to see and learn during those competitions, saying, “If you are interested in, for example, ‘how do I get my dog to move cattle’ this will be a great event to attend. It’s not a clinic, but you will be able to see a lot of excitement during those competitions. There will also be an agility demonstration along with a Search and Rescue dog and a ‘sniffer dog’ that detects drugs and helps locate lost people.”

Hayward will be doing a ‘Dog Behaviour 101’ class, “It’s about teaching how to assess why a dog is doing what it’s doing. Basically, it’s how to teach humans how to think ‘dog’. Instead of trying to teach a dog how to speak English, because that’s not going to happen,” she said laughing.

It’s easy to tell how devoted to her own dogs Hayward is when she reflects upon how many dogs she has owned and trained. There is a reverence in the way she speaks about her own life growing up with dogs, “I’ve always had a dog. I’ve recently figured out how many dogs I had in my life. My dad always had a dog and that’s where it started for me, I think. I didn’t get them all as a puppy, sometimes I had four at a time. I’ve had 23 dogs I have said goodbye to over the ‘rainbow bridge’ and talking to my husband about this recently it made me cry because I remembered all those great dogs. They were my whole life. I love them all.”

Organizers are reminding the public planning on attending to not bring their own dogs to this event, especially when it’s predicted to be so hot and pet dogs can be very distracting to working dogs. They are asking that spectators please leave their own dogs at home.

While many working breeds now ‘work’ primarily as man’s (and women’s) best friends, plenty of pups are out there working hard to keep us safer. Catch the following demonstrations throughout the weekend as well:

• Agility Demo

• Search and Rescue Demo

• Drug Detection Demo

• Dog Pulling Demo

• Gun Dog Demo

• and more!

A trade show featuring local crafts and food vendors round out the weekend Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for students/seniors, and kids under 10 are free! Tickets will be available for purchase at the gates.

For more information visit or find them on Facebook.


Peter Wells competed with his dog Cowdog Rowdy Yates at the Dogs with Jobs competition in Barriere last week. (Photo submitted)

(Dogs With Jobs logo)