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Discussion Starter #1
I have a few question regarding the Herding instinct test (HIT)/ Herding Capability test (HCT).

First question, Is there a difference between HIT and HCT or are the same just different names?

Second Question, Are mixed breed dogs allowed to participate in HIT/HCT?

Third Question, Does anyone have experince with the "American Herding Breed Association"?

Fourth Question, For those of you whose dogs have taken the HIT/HCT, who did you go through (club, organization etc.)?

Fifth Question, how old was your dog when he/she took the test?

Sixth Question, Dogs do not have to have herding experience to take this test correct?

I think that all my questions for now.

Thanks in advance!
 

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I'm sure that many people here with more experience will be able to give you good answers, but there are a couple of questions I can answer.

When we took the HIT, we did not go through any club or organization. We found a local herding trainer, which was recommended to us through this board, and asked if she had any openings for testing, then set a date and met her for the test at her farm.

The place we go now is a place that was recommended to me by another person from Virginia Shepherd Rescue who herds there, after I told her we were looking for a place to do herding lessons. We also went through a herding test there before our first lesson, so the trainer could see how Abby did.

My dog was over 4 years old (almost 5) when we tested.

Dogs don't have to have any kind of experience to be tested, they don't even have to have been around any kind of livestock before. The test is to see whether your dog is interested (and stays interested) in the sheep and wants to "chase" them, and whether they will be directed / turned when they're focused on the sheep.
 

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First question, Is there a difference between HIT and HCT or are the same just different names?

from what i know, they're the same. but i assume there is a possibility that the HIT is the initial test that proceeds lessons and maybe the HCT is at the end? no clue, but thats my best guess.

Second Question, Are mixed breed dogs allowed to participate in HIT/HCT?

it depends on the facility / instructor. our trainer specifically works with herding breeds and states that on her website, but will take the occasional mix if it appears that the dog is mostly a herding breed.

Third Question, Does anyone have experince with the "American Herding Breed Association"?

nope. i'm still a newcomer.

Fourth Question, For those of you whose dogs have taken the HIT/HCT, who did you go through (club, organization etc.)?

i actually got the recommendations from this forum. sent a couple of e mails, made a few phone calls and went with the facility/instructor who's approach i liked best for my dogs.

Fifth Question, how old was your dog when he/she took the test?

tilden was 1.5, gia was 8.5

Sixth Question, Dogs do not have to have herding experience to take this test correct?

correct!

I think that all my questions for now.

Thanks in advance!

no problem
 

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I have a few question regarding the Herding instinct test (HIT)/ Herding Capability test (HCT).

First question, Is there a difference between HIT and HCT or are the same just different names?

<span style="color: #000099"> I am not familiar with the HIT but the HCT through AHBA your dog is supposed to be exposed to stock prior to the trial through a trainer. I have taken classes from a trainer who is also an AHBA judge. I believe the HCT is only offered at an AHBA sanctioned trial. It requires passing two basic tests under two different judges. There is some basic OB that the dog needs to do plus they must show general interest in the sheep and they need to move the sheep around a course and then do a stop and a recall. </span>

Second Question, Are mixed breed dogs allowed to participate in HIT/HCT?

<span style="color: #000099"> For the HCT I believe they will allow testing of mixed breeds as long as it "resembles" a herding breed or a herding breed mix. My guess is they wouldn't test a Boston Terrier or a Chihuahua. </span>

Third Question, Does anyone have experince with the "American Herding Breed Association"?

<span style="color: #000099">Yes, I have with KC's HCT. They took a little while to process the certificate but were VERY quick to correct the typographical error that was on mine. They promptly replied to my email about the typo and I had the replacement in less than a week. The group I have worked with seem to be very nice and supportive of newbies. </span>

Fourth Question, For those of you whose dogs have taken the HIT/HCT, who did you go through (club, organization etc.)?

<span style="color: #000099"> The HCT has to be done through an approved trial but there are no membership dues with the group I train with. There are the trial/test fees. </span>

Fifth Question, how old was your dog when he/she took the test?
<span style="color: #000099"> KC was 5 years when she took the test. I am hoping to have my 7, 8 and 10 year olds tested by the end of the year. </span>

Sixth Question, Dogs do not have to have herding experience to take this test correct?

<span style="color: #000099">For the HCT you do have to have a couple classes or at least some supervised sheep exposure. I think it is more for the human part of the team and to make sure the dog can be controlled by the handler. </span>

I think that all my questions for now.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally Posted By: AmaruqI have a few question regarding the Herding instinct test (HIT)/ Herding Capability test (HCT).

First question, Is there a difference between HIT and HCT or are the same just different names?

<span style="color: #000099"> I am not familiar with the HIT but the HCT through AHBA your dog is supposed to be exposed to stock prior to the trial through a trainer. I have taken classes from a trainer who is also an AHBA judge. I believe the HCT is only offered at an AHBA sanctioned trial. It requires passing two basic tests under two different judges. There is some basic OB that the dog needs to do plus they must show general interest in the sheep and they need to move the sheep around a course and then do a stop and a recall. </span>
Ok, so there is a diffference- HIT requires no stock exposure before hand but HCT does?


Also, Camerafodder- you took the HIT test correct? What was it like and how would you compare it to HCT based upon the description Amaruq gave?
 

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Originally Posted By: GSDTrain
Originally Posted By: AmaruqI have a few question regarding the Herding instinct test (HIT)/ Herding Capability test (HCT).

First question, Is there a difference between HIT and HCT or are the same just different names?

<span style="color: #000099"> I am not familiar with the HIT but the HCT through AHBA your dog is supposed to be exposed to stock prior to the trial through a trainer. I have taken classes from a trainer who is also an AHBA judge. I believe the HCT is only offered at an AHBA sanctioned trial. It requires passing two basic tests under two different judges. There is some basic OB that the dog needs to do plus they must show general interest in the sheep and they need to move the sheep around a course and then do a stop and a recall. </span>
Ok, so there is a diffference- HIT requires no stock exposure before hand but HCT does?


Also, Camerafodder- you took the HIT test correct? What was it like and how would you compare it to HCT based upon the description Amaruq gave?
Yes to what Amaruq said regarding the HCT. The HCT (done by the AHBA) is similar to the HT (Herding Tested title) by the AKC. Each requires two legs of pass/no pass to acquire (I guess that is the right word) the title. For the HT, you have to move the stock between 2 cones (back and forth about 3 times) - and you must do that twice on two separate occasions (under two different judges, I believe). For the HCT, the first leg is more of an instict test but the second leg is more like the legs of the HT - in that you have to move the stock from one end of the arena to the other. For both the HT and HCT, your dog must show a sit (stop) and a recall; the judges may also help guide you and talk you through your legs and there is a time limit. Prior exposure to sheep and training is required to complete the HT or HCT (so that you and the dog know how to effectly move the sheep around the pen) - you may not need a lot of training, but I don't think you'd want to go at it with zero experience.

For the HCT:
http://www.ahba-herding.org/hct.htm

The HIT is just an instinct test to see how your dog does around sheep (like leg one of the HCT). An HIT certificate is NOT required to do the HT (or the HCT for that matter). When we began herding, we went to the farm, my instructor had us put the dog in with the sheep (and us too!) to see what they would do (to see if they have an instinct to move the sheep). We didn't get a certificate of any sorts. They did show an instinct to herd, so we kept at it. I believe you can do an official HIT under a judge, but again, it isn't a requirement to continue on.
 

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The only negative that KC had on either of her reports was from the judge in the first part of the test. She said that the "dog was distracted but got right back on task". I personally do not think "believe" that because KC simply reverted back to her original training as a SAR dog. There were sheep in a chute right off the pen she was in and they were behind a tarp. KC simply found the missing sheep (so incredibly cute to see her poking her head behind the tarp and looking at me then the judge like "I found the ones you guys lost- shouldnt they be here too??".
I asked her once to get back to work and she looked at the sheep, judge and me again...back at the judge and huffed (she does this when she she feels she is right and the people are wrong when she is working) then went right back to work. Despite that and the wittle bit of "fleece flossing" KC passed. In fact she was the only dog in the trial to get a standing ovation and the judge was the one that started it!
He really liked her and he was a border collie guy.

KC's trial was over two days and after her first leg this guy kept coming up to me and talking to me, giving me pointers and complimenting KC's incredible drive and focus. Which only led me to be even more incredibly nervous when I realized he was the JUDGE for her second leg!
 

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Originally Posted By: GSDTrain
Also, Camerafodder- you took the HIT test correct? What was it like and how would you compare it to HCT based upon the description Amaruq gave?
yes, we did the HIT. the best analogy i can think of to differentiate the two - it seems like HCT is like getting A's B's & C's in school, and the HIT is like primary students only getting E's & S's. The fact that HCT requires previous exposure to livestock & basic obedience it seems a little more... "strict" (for lack of better words at 4am, lol)

during our HIT, i was asked to show that the dogs were obedience trained and able to be controlled - however she said that she wouldnt be surprised if all of that training went straight out the door their first time in the ring depending on how drivey and excitable they were. after the intro and answering some background questions, etc - she let each dog into the pen on a long lead... allowed them to sniff around... cracked her whip a little to get their reaction to that... then let them into the main pen with 3 sheep and its basically a game of chase, but she pays attention to the dogs interest, movement and thought process. she did a couple of recalls... and that was pretty much it. my girl went in once, my boy twice. my boy was also let off lead his 2nd run, but gia didnt have as "polite" of a herding style as he.
 

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It seems that the HIT can be done by a trainer only. The HCT is done at a trial with "official" AHBA judges.
 

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so after the HIT you get and OK to move forward with lessons. what do you get after the HCT?

HCT sounds like a test, where as HIT is just an orientation.
 

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HCT is a title by the AHBA (vs HIT which is a certificate)...after that you get your JHD (junior herding dog) http://www.ahba-herding.org/jhd.htm which is also on a pass no pass. Here is more info on the AHBA http://www.ahba-herding.org/trialprg.htm

For the AKC, after the HT you do the PT (Pre-trial) which is also pass/no pass I believe. You have to move the stock around the pen and back and pen the stock (pretty similar to the JHD).

We have actually done the PT and JHD courses (or similar) with both our dogs, but we haven't done them in a trial yet.
 

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How did I miss this post before?!!! This is what I've been looking for as far as explanations. SUPER!!!! I am even more proud of Gracie for getting the first leg of the HCT. She's 2 1/2 half with only 4 times exposure to sheep. We're working toward the second leg, hopefully in October.
 

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Sorry I JUST saw this thread again and your post, Camerafodder.

I call Kenya's an HIT "herding instinct test" because that's exactly what it was. It was under an ABHA judge. She tested several things such as the dog's reaction to livestock, can the dog move in BOTH directions, would the dog work ahead of the handler, would the dog actually get the livestock moving, and could the dog predict the movement. Kenya passed and was "recommended for training" which was the highest thing she could have "scored". The judge gave us a paper where she scored things like how well the dog moves in each direction, etc. and wrote some comments.

My understanding is that HIT just means the dog has been tested on livestock for about a 1/2 hour and the judge deems the dog worthy of possible further training. Basically the dog showed interest without hunting and killing, the dog was not scared and did not avoid the livestock.

I think the HCT is an AHBA thing where you do two legs (first is a test probably like what Kenya did, second leg requires a little more but still can be obtained with little training) and the HT is an AKC herding thing?
 
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