Herding is a wonderful way for a dog and it's owner to connect and experience the purpose for which it was bred. Through several different clubs various types of herding instinct tests and titles are offered. Herding instinct tests offer an owner a way to measure a dog's basic instinct and trainability. The purpose of competitive herding trial programs is to demonstrate that a dog can perform the functions for which they were originally bred and to further develop their herding skills.

dog herding

There are three basic types (or styles) of herding: Driving, what most people think of as herding, involves the dog pushing stock through a stockyard with gates, pens, and chutes. This type of herding illustrates a dog's ability to take stock from one area to another without relying on the shepherd (or stockman) to lead the animals to the designated area. The mustering style of herding involves the herding dog fetching stock from long distances (perhaps from out of site of the shepherd) and bringing them back to the shepherd.

The tending style of herding, at which the German Shepherd Dog excells, involves managing large groups of stock while grazing in an open setting. The tending dog acts as a 'living fence' to move the stock in an orderly manner and keep them gathered to graze in a designated area. While a certain breed of dog may be predisposed to a particular type of herding, that certainly doesn't mean than an individual dog cannot successfully work in any (or all) of the herding styles.

dog herding

The titles the dogs can earn are:

CKC - Canadian Kennel Club

ASCA - Australian Shepherd Club of America

AHBA - American Herding Breed Association

AKC - American Kennel Club

SV - Verein für Deutsche Sch·ferhunde

HGH - Herdengebrauchshund (Herding Utility Dog)

Various Clubs

About The Breed
General Facts | Breed History | Raising Your Dog

Related Activities
Tracking | Obedience | Herding | Agility | Schutzhund

Temperament Test | Aggression