AKC herding - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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AKC herding

Just curious ... a discussion was started on another forum and a few of the people seemed to think AKC herding was easy. What do you all think? Is AKC herding easy? Do you not put much emphasis on the titles earned by these dogs who trial and then title in this venue?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 08:54 PM
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Can you describe to an aussie who has no idea what is involved in AKC herding....well.....what is involved in AKC herding.....what is required of the dog to get the title etc??
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 10:20 PM
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Having done both AHBA and AKC herding, i will say that AKC is easier than AHBA, especially at the started level. The testing levels are about the same.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-18-2012, 10:27 PM
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That's a big question! There are several courses in two styles- gathering and tending. You can read all about the courses and requirements on the akc.org website. To earn a title you need to qualify twice before two different judges. Typically dogs like border collies, aussies compete in A and B courses which involve moving a small number of sheep through obstacles on a course simulating farm/ranch work and gsds more often work in a tending style which involves establishing an invisible fenceline for a large flock.

AKC has herding instinct tests for dogs who have never seen sheep to determine a natural ability or aptitude, then 'tests' that are pass/fail where the dog has to demonstrate basic control, then the scored trials come after that. AKC has the tests before the started levels to encourage and help the dog and handler learn.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2012, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Stosh View Post
To earn a title you need to qualify twice before two different judges.
Actually, for trials, you need 3 legs for AKC (tests you only need two legs). For AHBA, you only need 2 legs for both trials and tests.

As for the original question - easy is relative. Easy compared to what? AHBA? HGH? In general?

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2012, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Can you describe to an aussie who has no idea what is involved in AKC herding....well.....what is involved in AKC herding.....what is required of the dog to get the title etc??


Sparra - the very short version is that there are different courses, but all courses are timed and require the dog to herd livestock through various obstacles. Basically, you're proving that the dog can guide the livestock, as directed, in a controlled manner.

AKC has both fetching/gathering style and tending style courses.

MSpiker - the comment directed at me was the AKC was easy. So, I'd say it's an "in general" question. I disagree with the statement, but wanted to see what other herding people had to say about it.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 11:10 AM
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Oh, you're right- duh, I was thinking of the HT and PT. My trainer competes with her border collies in both and she finds the AKC trials are judged more liberally so she considers them 'easier'.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-20-2012, 02:52 PM
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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.

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