What is the instinct test? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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What is the instinct test?

When I first got my dog I had all these plans for her... Little did I know she had different plans for me! She is very high drive working line, and was absolutely CRAZY and reactive up until recently, she's 11.5 months now.

What do they do during a test? How do you know if your dog will herd or KILL? Has this happened, I'm curious to see if my dog could do it, and there's a place near me. Just wondering if I'm wasting my time or not.

Thanks guys
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 03:25 PM
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When I did it with my Rott, he was on a long line and the person running it had a staff in case they got carried away. That was 1994 or 5, but if I remember right they want to see them go around the sheep and pay attention to one if it separates. Give it a try.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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I'm very curious to see what she would do
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 03:48 PM
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You're required at most places I've gone to/heard of, to sign a waiver saying that you'll pay for any maimed sheep. It has happened.

My dogs were both put on lines, the shepherd with her gloves on handled them and had a paddle stick as well that she swatted Frag with a few times for getting too interested.

Here's a video of Frag's first time on sheep.



eta; they're looking for the type of interest, how easily they change pace and direction primarily, from what I was told.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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You're required at most places I've gone to/heard of, to sign a waiver saying that you'll pay for any maimed sheep. It has happened.

My dogs were both put on lines, the shepherd with her gloves on handled them and had a paddle stick as well that she swatted Frag with a few times for getting too interested.

Here's a video of Frag's first time on sheep.



eta; they're looking for the type of interest, how easily they change pace and direction primarily, from what I was told.



WOW! your dog was so calm about it!! there is no way my dog would be like that- no way at all!
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 04:15 PM
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WOW! your dog was so calm about it!! there is no way my dog would be like that- no way at all!
I think you'd be surprised! I expected more drive and excitement out of both of my boys. My Border Collie ended up being afraid and didn't show a whole lot of instinct. Frag lure courses so I expected chasing a real animal to be pretty exciting.

That said, even if she is wired, as long as she responds to pressure, she'll be alright and can fall into line.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 05:50 PM
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We tested Paisley when she was young, so in addition to a long line, there was another dog in the arena with the trainer who just laid there in case. We didn't have another dog with TJ. We did Leyna and Levi so long ago, and at a different place - but I think they were on long lines as well. Leyna and levi were about 2 when we tested them.


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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 06:47 PM
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I brought my male at 11 months old - I asked what happened if he killed a sheep, they said I would be charged $50...Not bad, but I was still scared for the sheep.

My male had never seen livestock prior.

The Shepherd took him in on a long line with a long rake to use as a paddle. In an instant the prey/interested look turned to herding instinct and my boy was off. The Shepherd had him out there for 20 minutes he loved him so much. Perfect herding according to him!

Try it out - she might surprise you
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 07:03 PM
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I did a tending instinct test and we didn't have the dogs on lines at all...we wanted to see what their natural instinct showed. We did have a staff and kept the dog on the boundary. With a few 'back' commands the dog understood the 'game', but we only did the verbal if the dog was moving too quickly into the boundary. It was mostly us, observing the dog so we could see the actual instinct and not our influence. The other team that went with me had a dog from the same grand dam lines, both of our dogs are higher threshold and thinkers, and basically performed the same. Not starting anything, but super aware of what was going on and proactive.



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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 07:12 PM
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Sorry, I should have said - once it was clear the dog was not going to "get" the sheep, the line was removed and the dog was allowed to work.
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