AKC HIC Questions - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2009, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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AKC HIC Questions

Hi everyone! I am almost certain I've asked this before, but can't find the answers. And am one of the most forgetful people you will ever "meet". LOL

I was hoping to take 2 of my GSDs to be Herding Instinct Tested this year. I was under the impression that the Instinct test is very basic and that dogs who have never herded before can take the test. Is this correct? A friend is insisting that the HIC takes "quite a bit of training". 1 of the girls has her Rally Advanced and so has some obedience. The other is a 6 month old puppy that is readying for the CGC (so is very new).

What skills are required for the HIC? I've read the regulations and all I can find is page 26 with a small paragraph on the test.

Thanks for your help, as always!


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2009, 04:16 PM
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Re: AKC HIC Questions

You do not have to have any training to get your dog instinct tested - whether it be through the AKC (although, personally, neither of the trials we went to actually offered an instinct test or certificate) or just through a trainer so that you can begin training (which is what we did - no certificate involved). I *believe* the only thing(s) required to go for the instinct test is that your dog is a certain age and that he/she is a member of the herding breed group, or other approved herding/working dog.

Getting the HT (herding tested) title through the AKC does take some training so that you (and your dog) know how to move the sheep between cones. The HCT test (through the AHBA) has two legs - the first leg is like an instinct test and the second is like the HT in that you have to move the sheep between cones.

Paisley and TJ
Leyna and Levi, RIP
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2009, 04:19 PM
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Re: AKC HIC Questions

Starts on page 26… http://www.akc.org/pdfs/rulebooks/RG9001.pdf

In Instinct Test the dog must show sustained interest
in herding livestock, either going around them, gather-
ing them and moving them toward the handler, or moving
them ahead of the handler to drive them or a combination.
For boundary, the dog should show sustained
interest in working the livestock and honor the border.
In tests, dogs must demonstrate the ability to move
and control livestock by fetching or driving, and be sufficiently
trained to work at the proper balance point to move
the stock forward on the course. Dogs that constantly prevent
the stock from being moved in a controlled fashion,
or that chase or harass the stock, will not qualify.
Dogs may continue to enter tests to gain experience
after the title for that level is earned with no entry

Section 5. Instinct Tested Certificate. The
American Kennel Club will issue an Instinct Tested certificate
to an eligible dog that has been certified by two
different Judges to have qualified by passing two separate
licensed or member Herding Instinct Tests.

Section 6. Instinct Test Description and Test
Elements. The dog is brought into the arena on a long
line approximately 6-15 feet in length. At some point
while on the line, the dog must demonstrate a stop
(down, sit or stand) and a recall before the line is
dropped or removed. A dog, which cannot be recalled,
shall not be let off line. Dogs must be immediately
removed from the ring if physical force is necessary to
protect stock from the dog.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2009, 04:25 PM
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Re: AKC HIC Questions

I did the HIC with Urro and it was really simple. No training required. She told me not to give any commands to the dog unless she told me to. We went into a small area (Urro on lead) maybe 50 x 50 and the evaluator brought out the sheep from the fence and they pretty much ran straight to me. Guess they knew the drill... LOL Then she told me to drop the lead and Urro started running around in circles around the sheep and they sheep kept circling close around me. About 30 seconds into it he decided to grip one of the sheep and she told me not to say anything but he didn't let go right away so she says out him. I told him out and he let go, no damage to the sheep... It really was very basic and you shouldn't have any issues, they will walk you thru it.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-04-2009, 03:20 PM
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Re: AKC HIC Questions

Is there any organization that allows a mixed breed, like a shepherd mix, to get the herding instinct certificate?

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2009, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: AKC HIC Questions

I just want to thank you for encouraging me! I almost wimped out!

But both of my girls (not the pup - took 2 adult girls) earned their AKC HIC this weekend! Katie, in particular, really turned on and did great. She checked in with me throughout the test and as soon as the judge said, "Go ahead and call her off" (she never gripped the sheep, she was just ending the test), I called Katie and she whirled around and came right to me. Good girl!

So, we must get to a St. Louis Herding Club meeting and find sponsors! Can't wait to learn more and to get a trainer!


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