Herding Title Listings

Herding dogs, also known as stock dogs or working dogs, either belong to breeds developed for herding or have been trained in herding—the task of gathering livestock and moving them from one area to another. In the competitive dog sport of herding, herding dog breeds work in arena, farm, ranch, or pastoral trial environments. Sheep, cattle, and ducks are generally used. Many organizations also offer noncompetitive, herding instinct tests that are used to assess a dog’s natural herding ability and potential to learn the skills necessary to successfully move livestock. Herding instinct tests focus on interest (a dog’s interest in controlling livestock movement); trainability (a dog’s willingness to take direction from the handler); and stock sense (a dog’s ability to read stock).

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American Kennel Club (AKC)

The AKC program includes test, pre-trial, and trial classes that are run using ducks, sheep, or cattle. Three course types—A, B, and C—may be used. Course A (arena) is a standard herding course designed to demonstrate a herding dog’s versatility. It is the most common course type. Course B (field trial) tests a dog’s ability to control and move livestock in an extended area. Course C (tending or boundary) reflects a tending shepherd’s day as he/she accompanies a flock, moving it to various unfenced grazing areas. Only sheep are used on Course C. Herding trial titles are differentiated by course (A or B only) and stock type (e.g., HSAd; HXBsdc, etc.). Course and stock type are not listed for Herding Tested (HT) and Pre-Trial Tested (PT) titles. All herding titles and herding certificates, except HC, DC, and TC, can be added after a dog’s name once they have been awarded. Herding Champion (HC), Dual Champion (DC), and Triple Champion (TC) are championship titles and are therefore listed before a dog’s name. For more information, contact the AKC at http://www.akc.org ; herding@akc.org; AKC Performance Events, 8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27617-3390; or (919) 816-3908.


Title Title Name Certification /Titling Requirements
HIC Herding Instinct Certificate A dog may pass a standardized herding instinct test certifying that it has the instinct and potential to perform herding tasks, but a Herding Instinct Certificate is not a prerequisite for competing in herding trials.
HT Herding Tested A dog must earn qualifying scores under two judges. A Herding Tested title is not a prerequisite for competing in herding trials.
PT   Pre-Trial Tested   An HT title is not a prerequisite. A dog must earn qualifying scores under two judges. A Pre-Trial Tested title is not a prerequisite for competing in herding trials.
Title Title Name Titling Requirements
HS Herding Started The entry-level herding title. A dog must earn three qualifying scores in the Started classes under three judges.
HI Herding Intermediate A dog must earn three qualifying scores in the Intermediate classes under three judges.
HX Herding Excellent A dog must earn three qualifying scores in the Advanced classes under three judges.
HC Herding Champion To be awarded the Herding Champion (HC) title, a dog must earn 15 points with at least two 1st places carrying championship points, one of which must be 3 points or more.
DC Dual Champion Any dog that has been awarded the title of Champion of Record (Ch.) will be designated a Dual Champion after it has also been awarded either a Field Champion (FC) or Herding Champion (HC) title.
TC Triple Champion Any dog that is a Dual Champion and has earned an Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH), Tracking Champion (CT), or Agility Champion (MACH) title.

 

 

AMERICAN HERDING BREEDS ASSOCIATION (AHBA)

The AHBA herding program is focused on practical herding work, and includes herding tests and four types of trial classes, each with three levels. The herding trial dog program uses standard courses and arena setups for its herding trial dog and herding trial dog arena classes. The ranch dog program, on the other hand, uses ranch and farm courses for its herding ranch dog and ranch large flock classes. Titles may be earned using sheep, goats, ducks, geese, turkeys, or cattle. A small initial is placed after a title to indicate the type of stock on which a title was earned. Ducks are only used on HTD and HTAD courses. For more information, contact the AHBA at http://www.ahba-herding.org.


Title Title Name Certification/Titling Requirements
HCT Herding Capability Test Pass/fail instinct test that requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
JHD Junior Herding Dog Pass/fail instinct test that requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
HTD I Herding Trial Dog I Uses a standard herding course. Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
HTAD I Herding Trial Arena Dog I Uses arena setups. Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
HRD I Herding Ranch Dog I Uses ranch/farm courses. Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
RLF I Ranch Large Flock I Similar to ranch dog courses, but requires larger groups of stock. Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
HTD II Herding Trial Dog II Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
HTAD II Herding Trial Arena Dog II Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
Title Title Name Titling Requirements
HRD II Herding Ranch Dog II Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
RLF II Ranch Large Flock II Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
HTD III Herding Trial Dog III Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
HTAD III Herding Trial Arena Dog III Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
HRD III Herding Ranch Dog III Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
RLF III Ranch Large Flock III Requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
HTCh. Herding Trial Champion After a dog has earned at least one Level III title on one type of stock, the dog becomes eligible to earn points for the HTCh. A dog must earn 10 points, either on one type of stock or more than one type of stock, but no more than three points may be earned on ducks, geese, or turkeys. Points are earned on scores of 80 or above on any Level III course, and must be earned under at least three judges.
 

 

AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD CLUB OF AMERICA (ASCA)

ASCA’s stock dog program was developed to preserve and promote the herding instincts of Australian Shepherds, as well as to stimulate interest in the breed’s natural working ability. However, ASCA stock dog trials are open to all breeds. In addition to arena, farm, and ranch titles, ASCA offers a working trial championship. There are also trial classes for novice and junior handlers. For more information, contact ASCA at http://www.asca.org/; 6091 E. State Hwy 21, Bryan, TX 77808-9652; or (979) 778-1082.


Title Title Name Certification/Titling Requirements
STD Started Trial Dog Requires qualifying scores under two judges. Separate STD titles can be earned on ducks, sheep, and cattle.
OTD Open Trial Dog Requires an STD and qualifying scores under two judges. Separate OTD titles can be earned on ducks, sheep, and cattle.
ATD Advanced Trial Dog Requires an OTD and qualifying scores under two judges. Separate ATD titles can be earned on ducks, sheep, and cattle.
PATD Post Advanced Trial Dog Requires an ATD and qualifying scores under two judges. Separate PATD titles can be earned on sheep and cattle.
OFTD Open Farm Trial Dog Requires qualifying scores under two judges. Separate OFTD titles can be earned on ducks, sheep/goat, cattle, and mixed stock.
AFTD Advanced Farm Trial Dog Requires an OFTD and qualifying scores under two judges. Separate AFTD titles can be earned on ducks, sheep/goat, cattle, and mixed stock.
RD Ranch Dog Requires qualifying scores under two judges.
RTD Ranch Trial Dog Requires and RD and qualifying scores under two judges. Separate RTD titles can be earned on sheep and cattle.
WTCH Working Trial Championship Requires all three Advanced Trial Dog titles (cattle, sheep, and ducks).

 

 

CANADIAN KENNEL CLUB (CKC)

CKC herding (stock dog) trials are fairly new. Both arena- (standard) and ranch-type (stock dog) trials are offered, using sheep, cattle, and ducks. There is also a boundary (stock tending) course that provides titles using sheep only. Currently, stock type is not recognized with the title earned, but as of January 1, 2012 (pending board approval), arena titles (only) will identify stock type used. After that time, a lower case letter indicating cattle (“c”), sheep (“s”), or ducks (“d”) will be added to arena titles (e.g., HAs; SDSd; HSc, etc.). For more information, contact the CKC at http://www.ckc.ca; information@ckc.ca; 200 Ronson Drive, Suite 400, Etobicoke, Ontario M9W 5Z9; or (416) 675-5511.


Title Title Name Certification/Titling Requirements
HT Herding Tested Certificate A noncompetitive, pass/fail, herding instinct test open to all breeds that requires two qualifying scores under two judges.
HS Herding Started The entry-level herding title. Requires three qualifying scores under at least two judges and 75 points. As of January 1, 2012, all three HS scores must be earned on the same stock type.
HI Herding Intermediate Requires three qualifying scores under at least two judges and 75 points.
HA Herding Advanced Requires three qualifying scores under at least two judges and 75 points.
SDS Stock Dog Started The entry-level stock dog title. Requires three qualifying scores under at least two judges and 75 points.
SDI Stock Dog Intermediate Requires three qualifying scores under at least two judges and 75 points.
SDA Stock Dog Advanced Requires three qualifying scores under at least two judges and 75 points.
HTT Herding Tending Tested A noncompetitive, pass/fail, tending test that requires three qualifying scores under at least two judges and 75 points.
HST Herding Started Tending The entry-level tending test. Requires three qualifying scores under at least two judges and 75 points.
HTI Herding Tending Intermediate Requires three qualifying scores under at least two judges and 75 points.
HAT Herding Advanced Tending Requires three qualifying scores under at least two judges and 75 points.

 

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