The Canadian Border Collie Association (CBCA) annual Sheepdog Championship, which alternates between the West and East each year. The association was established to promote the breeding and training of working border collies and is the sole registry for purebred border collies in Canada.

August 21-25, 2024, the Canadian Sheep Dog Championships will take place in Cypress County, Alberta, attracting sheepdogs and handlers from both Canada and the United States who will compete for the 2024 Canadian Championship title.

The trial consists of a Nursery class, featuring two runs with the highest combined score determining the Nursery Champion, and an Open class. In the Open class, there are two qualifying runs, and the top 15 dogs from these rounds will advance to the Double Lift Final Sunday the Aug 25, which will decide the CBCA Champion.

The CBCA Championship provides an opportunity to witness the instinct, athleticism, and intelligence of working border collies as they collaborate with their handlers to guide a group of sheep through a challenging course, performing various tasks that simulate practical farming activities. Handlers communicate with the dogs using a range of whistle and verbal commands, creating a remarkable partnership that is truly captivating to observe. You are cordially invited to attend the 2024 CBCA Championships and witness these remarkable dogs demonstrating their natural abilities!

In the latter part of the 19th century, the best working collies could be found in the border counties between Scotland and England, hence, the name ‘Border Collie’ is used today. Though they are called sheep dogs, these dogs are also used to herd cattle, turkeys and pigs. Border Collies are prized for their skills in gathering, driving, penning, singling and shedding (separating out particular sheep from the flock). They exhibit what is known as ‘eye’, the ability to hold and control sheep with only the force of their firmly planted feet and fixed stare. In October of 1873, in a field near Bala, Wales, shepherds met for the first time to test their skills and determine individual superiority among their collies. This was the first sheep dog trial. This same trial has been running for nearly 125 years. Since the beginning, these trials have spread to every major sheep producing country of the world. In the United Kingdom alone, there are over 400 trials a year. Since 1922, national trials have been run each year in Wales, Scotland and England, with the twelve highest scoring dogs from each country competing in the International trial. In 1967, Ireland took part in the competition for the first time. There is also a BBC television program called ‘One Man and His Dog’ that is viewed by over a million people. The purpose of a sheep dog trial is to test and demonstrate the dog and handler’s ability to move sheep over a prescribed course made up of practical obstacles found in everyday work. In the book, ‘Sheepdogs: My Faithful Friends’ by Eric Halsall, he writes about watching a sheep dog work: “It is magic of the hills which few people other than shepherds and farmers are privileged to see, though thousands of town and city dwellers now thrill to the cleverness of the collie dog at sheep dog trials.”

The History of Sheepdog Trials

The CBCA is the sole registry for purebred border collies in Canada, incorporated under the Animal Pedigree Act