I actually don't know if AKC herding is "easy." I mean, there is always the variable of the sheep - you can get a group that doesn't want to cooperate (whether it is a larger group that doesn't want to move, or a small group that wants to bolt). Heck, you could end up with the one sheep who doesn't want to play nice (we had one during one run who refused to cooperate during one of the trials). Course B started (AKC) has a bigger outrun that its AHBA equivalant (HTD) - so that would make AKC harder than AHBA in that sense. I prefer AHBA, I think they are a little more lenient in the sense that some of the trials are based on "getting the job done" (ranch courses) vs everything in a straight line (note, they do have line courses as well). Nipping is a big no-no in AKC, but there are times when a dog has to appropriately nip the sheep if they aren't going to cooperate and AHBA is more lenient in this respect. I personally think AHBA is more fun - the courses (ranch courses - RLF, HRD) aren't as set in stone as the ones for AKC.
I think herding in general will always be challenging because you will never have the same run, even if the course is the same - the sheep will always be an unknown variable in the equation.
Paisley and TJ
Leyna and Levi, RIP
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