Herding Instinct Test – August 18, 2018

On August 18th, starting at 8am, our club is sponsoring an AKC regulated Herding Instinct Test using sheep and ducks and Farm Dog Certification (FDC). The judge will be Susan Rhoades of Keepstone Farms. The instinct test will be held at:

Keepstone Farms
412 Russell Rd
Berryville, VA 22611

There will be a limit of 50 runs, and for the FDC a 20 run total limit. The fee will be $50 per run, all classes.

The entry form is located HERE [pdf].

Learn more about the sport of herding on the AKC website: akc.org/sports/herding

The AKC Farm Dog Certified (FDC) Test

A new AKC titling test to assess the overall conduct of a dog in a typical farm environment. It isn’t a test to determine herding ability, but rather a foundation of self-control on a farm.

All test areas may be attempted twice, however, all 12 exercises must be passed. When the dog passes two tests it is awarded the title FDC.

The FDC Test is open to all dogs 9 months old, or older that are individually registered with the AKC, recorded in the FSS program, dogs with PAL numbers OR dogs enrolled in the AKC Canine Partners Program.

Dogs with physical challenges (including amputees) are eligible provided, in the opinion of the judge, they display no signs of physical discomfort and can safely complete the test. Bitchess in season may not enter.

12 Test Elements (Conducted on Leash)

Test 1: Greet the Judge. The handler approaches the judge with the dog at their side on a loose lead. The dog must not jump, or show aggression or excessive shyness.

Test 2: Walk around the farm and a passive stranger. The handler walks the dog on a loose lead at least 200 feet around a variety of objects and near a sitting person.

Test 3: Jump on hay/straw bale. Handler instructs the dog to jump on a bale and stay until released by the judge.

Test 4: Walk past farm animals. Handler walks the dog on a loose lead in view of penned farm animals.

Test 5: Walk over or through unusual surfaces. The handler walks the dog over three unusually surfaces found at a farm.

Test 6: Supervised separation. The handler places the dog in a crate and walks out of sight for a minimum of 1 minute.

Test 7: Pass through a gate. The dog stays while the handler opens the gate, passes through on the handler’s command, and stays while the handler closes the gate.

Test 8: Handler feeds livestock. The dog is tethered while the handler approaches and feeds livestock in an enclosure.

Test 9: Reaction to another dog. The dog remains stationary on a loose lead while another dog is walked by twice, about 10 feet away.

Test 10: Reaction to noise distraction. The dog is exposed to two common farm sounds and the dog must not panic.

Test 11: Dog approaches livestock. The handler approaches penned livestock with the dog on a loose lead. The dog may not lunge or be fearful or aggressive to the stock.

Test 12: Physical examination. The handler examines the dog for plant material or debris collected while working on the farm, examining the ears, eyes, mouth, coat and toes.