Herding started with the very first settlers arrival in Australia.
The need to drove or herd livestock on farms and to market etc meant that farmers needed dogs which could herd. These were generally breeds that were brought with them from their own countries, which were bred for this purpose. The Australian farmers and drovers did however develop their own breeds which they felt were better suited to our climatic conditions.
With farming came agricultural and livestock shows and competitions following traditions of England and Europe fairs.
These competitions introduced in the 1800’s in Australia encompassed the sheep dog trials where a dog with its handler’s instruction would put three sheep through a course of obstacles in a certain amount of time. The dog and handler who did this the quickest and most direct would be the winner. Following this came the introduction of Cattle Dog Trials, Yard Dog Trials, and Farm Dog Trials. Meanwhile in England, Europe and the United State of America these types of events were being formally recognised by their canine governing bodies.
Up until only recently the only Australian canine body to hold this type of event was New South Wales Canine Council with sheep dog trials at their spring carnivals.