Kids, this weekend is going to bring something unusual and exciting for me. I'm going to be doing a live broadcast from the National Cattle Dog Finals in Leeton. This is going to be a great time, filled with the best of the best when it comes to the USBCHA trained dogs. So me being me, I've decided to do some preparatory work. 

Kids, I'll be frank. I've never owned a dog.  I've never lived with a dog.  I worked in a video store once with an owner that had a German Shepherd, but that's about it when it comes to my dog experience.  So I've been trying to arm myself with knowledge and information to get ready for this big competition.

The first thing I've been doing is watching a lot of dog programming.  I started with The Dog Whisperer.  While you  may  not think that will help, I figured, "Hey, it's dogs, right?"

I learned that different breeds have different temperaments  and just like humans, they all have different needs and personalities. In fact, in a couple of episodes, he works with herding dogs of different kinds.  They have been bred for years and years to work and do jobs, and many of the animals kind of feel lost if they don't have a responsibility or a job to do.  So going in this weekend, I'll know that these dogs are work dogs, and they've been bred for centuries to do this very thing they're going to demonstrate.  They are generally farm dogs, working with cattle and sheep and such to keep them safe and accounted for.

My next attempt at Dog Preparation was less successful.

But then, what did I expect from Courage the Cowardly Dog?  I think my standards had been set too high.  All I learned about that is some shows are annoying.  And dogs don't like aliens?  Maybe.  I decided to move back into the reality format.

As far as shows go, Superfetch was definitely more in tune with something I might need to know come Saturday. This guy teaches people's dogs a simple trick that they use in their day to day lives.  It's either something like moving your alarm clock or helping you in the kitchen, and things like that.  I figured that watching the process of teaching a dog a trick was very important to know for the competition this weekend, since all of the dogs have been methodically trained to do a job.  And they'll get to show us all of their skills with their owners and trainers in action.  I learned all about how people can communicate with a dog through what is important to the dog or what the dog likes, and that helps to convey to a dog what you want it to do.  So that's some of what I'm sure these finalists have done over the years.

While I am certainly not an expert now, I do feel like I know a little more than I did about dogs and dog training.  Maybe you guys can help me by telling me a little something about your experiences on the farm or in the field with trained dogs.  Or maybe I should just go watch the Beethoven series and see what I glean from that.  I'm gonna stay away from Old Yeller, but I might go for a Lassie movie or two.  I'm gonna try my darndest to show up in Leeton on Saturday armed with knowledge.

Join us for the competition in Leeton, and you can see it for yourself!  Here are a few links if you'd like to learn more:  The USBCHA website,  or if you're on Facebook you can check out their Page to get more information.

See ya Saturday, Dog Lovers!