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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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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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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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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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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Carly and Sage have their herding instinct certificates. Just like everyone has said, they were on a long line and the judge had a big staff to stop any craziness on the dog's part. One of the judges told me that it's not unusual for GSDs to grip (bite) the sheep. She's only been around one GSD that really tried to kill a sheep.

I had a thread about our instinct tests if you want to read it. :) Sage later went on to do a third test (a year later) and passed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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 :)

Wow, yeah I'm scared and I haven't even tried it yet! the same place we go for dock diving also does herding lessons, were actually going tomorrow morning so I'll talk to them when I get there :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Carly and Sage have their herding instinct certificates. Just like everyone has said, they were on a long line and the judge had a big staff to stop any craziness on the dog's part. One of the judges told me that it's not unusual for GSDs to grip (bite) the sheep. She's only been around one GSD that really tried to kill a sheep.



I had a thread about our instinct tests if you want to read it. :) Sage later went on to do a third test (a year later) and passed.

There is a certificate you get for going? I had no idea, who is authorized to give these out? Is it an AKC thing?
 

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There is a certificate you get for going? I had no idea, who is authorized to give these out? Is it an AKC thing?
You can go for an official AKC herding instinct certificate or you can go to a trainer who will conduct an instinct test without a certificate. I never got one with any of my dogs - just went to a trainer. I did take Paisley to an AHBA trial where the first leg of the HCT is an instinct test (we did this just for fun since she had already been on stock several times. It was more for socialization). The second leg of the HCT requires some training. I then skipped the second leg and went on to the next level.





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You can go for an official AKC herding instinct certificate or you can go to a trainer who will conduct an instinct test without a certificate. I never got one with any of my dogs - just went to a trainer. I did take Paisley to an AHBA trial where the first leg of the HCT is an instinct test (we did this just for fun since she had already been on stock several times. It was more for socialization). The second leg of the HCT requires some training. I then skipped the second leg and went on to the next level.





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Where I went it was with a judge, but because of AKC rules she couldn't hand out any certificates(club affiliation politics) so we just went for an evaluation. There is so little interest in herding in this area, it is sad. We have a local judge who travels all over the US judging, yet in her own back yard, she can't hold trials due to lack of participation.
 

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Where I went it was with a judge, but because of AKC rules she couldn't hand out any certificates(club affiliation politics) so we just went for an evaluation. There is so little interest in herding in this area, it is sad. We have a local judge who travels all over the US judging, yet in her own back yard, she can't hold trials due to lack of participation.

I am lucky that I have a wonderful trainer who absolutely loves Paisley. Not a ton of trials where I am, so I will have to travel at some point. But, we have a bit because she doesn't want me to trial until Paisley is 2.


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Discussion Starter #18
Wow! That's really cool! I had no idea, I just thought it was for fun, I know GSD herd by circling, like an invisible fence, can they do the things that border collies do? Like moving the sheep through openings? I know nothing about this stuff
 

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Yes, they can be taught to gather sheep/livestock as well. My female does a bit of both (tending and gathering). I personally like gathering as it is more fun for the handler (to me anyways).
 

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I remember I trialed and got some title beyond the test. He worked the sheep around a large corral and around some things then back and into a pen. I don't think it was AKC though, some other herding association or something?

Of anything I've ever done, you talk about something that was all the dog. I don't think I did anything more then walk around with a staff and watch. Lol.
 
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