The History of the VWSDA Inc.
It has been said "a good dog is worth two workmen."
In 1927 the Victorian Working Sheep Dog Association was formed by
those who saw the need to foster the working and breeding of better
sheep dogs - to improve their quality. The working sheep dog is a
most important part of our primary industry.
As a result there sprang up in many places around Victoria, Sheep
Dog Trials. In 1930 there were 14 members in the Association and a
few Trials, but over the years great interest has been shown and
today there are close to 400 members and approximately 30 trials
held annually in this state.
Some trials are arranged by local Agricultural Societies and held
on Show Grounds. Other Arena Trials are arranged by various Clubs.
These Societies/Clubs are affiliated with the VWSDA Inc. and comply
with the Rules of the Association for the running of each
Excepting for Farmer and Encourage Trials, each worker is
required to be a member of the Association and their dogs
registered. Most dogs are from a registered stud and have a prefix
preceding their given name and a pedigree. Dogs may also be
registered on 'merit' Strict control and records are kept.
The Association run some of the major trials in this State
- The James M. McIntosh Utility (Station Dog) Trial began in
1975, in which a drafting complex is incorporated to simulate
normal farm working conditions.
- The Victorian Championship (Field Trial) started in 1956.
- The Captain Payne (Field Trial) has been competed for since
Field Trials are conducted in an open paddock situation and have
a very long cast for the dog to pick up sheep. Some variations in
obstacles are used.
These Field Trials and Utility/Station Dog Trials are a good test
for a working sheep dog and have done much to improve the quality
and type of dog for general farm use in Victoria. There are many
Icons/Legends of both workers and dogs that are well worth
Workers and their dogs from this state have very successfully
competed in Interstate competition, some representing Australia in
The Association and Societies/Clubs have been fortunate over the
years to have various sponsorships. This support has assured many
successful Trials and is gratefully accepted.
The VWSDA Inc. has a solid beginning from many of its foundation
members and continues with a hopeful and bright future.