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Video of conformation herding?


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The person is allowed to walk with the sheep in the lower levels of both AKC and AHBA - the idea being the dog has not had enough training yet to drive. The higher levels require more handler restrictions and that the dog do more of the work on its own. Below is a link to a couple of advanced runs - A course (arena course) first and then B course (sort of like a mini-USBCHA course without fetch panels).

 

A Course

 

B Course

 

and here is Advanced A course with ducks:

 

 

I think most of what you'll find on YouTube is the beginning levels just because that's all the further a lot of dogs get.

 

Edited to add a link to a level 3 (top level) AHBA HTD run. I had a heck of a time finding anything AHBA that wasn't beginning levels. It must not be as popular as AKC.

 

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The pure conformation bred BCs from Aussie/NZ lines I have met were VERY short in the leg (almost half the length) compared to a working bred dog. They look like some sort of weird BC x Corgi mix. They physically can't cover ground fast enough to be effective on sheep. The dogs from British show lines aren't as bad, but still very different from their working bred counterparts.

 

The show ring seems to encourage extremes, while breeding for work favors moderation.

 

I'd hate to see those show dogs - our UK show dogs are stumpy enough. I only come across them in agility but you're right, covering the ground at speed isn't their strong point. The ones that are up for it look fast and probably feel fast because their little legs are going 19 to the dozen but the times tell a different story.

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So is the B course an AKC course? It is good to see that both AKC/AHBA have trials where the dog actually does something. It is very interesting to watch these. I think I was just so irritated with that lady and her Kerry.

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So is the B course an AKC course? It is good to see that both AKC/AHBA have trials where the dog actually does something. It is very interesting to watch these. I think I was just so irritated with that lady and her Kerry.

There are A, B, and C - basically arena, field (normally a very watered-down version of a typical USBCHA-style course), and tending.

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Yes, the B course posted earlier was an AKC course.

 

Also, I believe even in USBCHA trials, in Novice/Novice, the handler is allowed to walk the course, having the dog hold the sheep to them? (i.e. not driving)

 

ETA: and before anyone starts "yelling" that Nov/Nov isn't truly a test of dogs' abilities, I know. I'm just pointing out that beginner dogs/handlers have some place to start in all venues.

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zomg, years ago I worked as a groomer/bather and we had 2 OES who came in all the time who would literally poop in their crate and then lie down in it, getting it all in their coats. No matter how frequently they were walked or how big the crate or run was they always did it. We had to wait and groom them at the end of the day, and then hold them on leashes until the owner came.

Ah - this brings back memories. Way back, when I was in my early twenties, my boyfriend (now husband) and I wanted a pup. A 'friend'? who worked with my husband had an OES puppy on his farm that he would GIVE to us. Woo Hoo! He said that the other dogs were picking on it.

 

Being young and very ignorant, we took the puppy. Cutest thing EVER! But we never were able to house-train him and saw zero, zilch, nada improvement in house-breaking manners, nor any understanding of what it was about. I still remember getting up once or twice every night (no crates back then, but from what has been described, it wouldn't make any difference) in response to whining by the puppy, rushing him outside, standing outside in about 40 degree weather while the pup just stood and looked around or sniffed a bit, returning inside - at which time the pup promptly squatted and peed. Routinely!!

 

After about 6 weeks, I just couldn't take it any more so we found it a home with someone who already had a couple of the beasts. They liked them. :wacko:

 

Jovi

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Yes, the B course posted earlier was an AKC course.

 

Also, I believe even in USBCHA trials, in Novice/Novice, the handler is allowed to walk the course, having the dog hold the sheep to them? (i.e. not driving)

 

ETA: and before anyone starts "yelling" that Nov/Nov isn't truly a test of dogs' abilities, I know. I'm just pointing out that beginner dogs/handlers have some place to start in all venues.

 

There is no specified "standard" for USBCHA-style lower level classes but essentially in the Nov/Nov class, there is an outrun, lift, and fetch, then a "wear" (which is when the handler walks ahead and the dog is to keep the sheep walking towards the handler) through a set of gates and then back to the pen. Some regional/local groups may or may not allow an "assisted drive" where the dog drives the sheep but with the handler walking alongside or behind the dog. Once you get out of Nov/Nov, as far as I know, the dog must drive independently with the handler remaining at the post.

 

It used to be that there was nothing but Open in North America (and I think that lower-level classes are still a fairly new thing in the UK and Ireland) but I've heard many Open handlers be grateful for the lower-level classes that allowed them to learn and progress without being tossed into Open from the get-go on the trial field. And it also allows dogs to get some experience and mileage, as well.

 

A downside to lower-level classes is that sometimes handlers and dogs may still find themselves in over their heads - for instance, a team that can do quite nicely on a small field trial that caters largely to the "hobby herder", can enter a trial like the Bluegrass and it may result in a train wreck - the dog may not have the scope to even find the sheep, the handler not have the experience to be able to constructively direct the dog, the handler may not have the control on the dog in a larger area, etc.

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^^ Yes, to the best of my knowledge, Nov/Nov is the only class where the handler leaves the post to wear the sheep instead of drive the sheep through panels. All other classes have drives - either single leg or full cross drive - and the handler stays at the post.

 

For a complete novice (both dog and handler), getting a dog ready to compete moderately well in the Nov/Nov class is a challege. I can't even imagine going from zero to open. :wacko:

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I guess since it's not sanctioned, and there is no standard for it, the USBCHA Novice class has a lot of wiggle room. Watched a few YouTube videos (yes, slow day at work, lol!) and some Novice courses definitely looked challenging for the beginner dogs, while at least one was as easy as (easier, actually) an AKC Started course. Interesting!

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I guess since it's not sanctioned, and there is no standard for it, the USBCHA Novice class has a lot of wiggle room. Watched a few YouTube videos (yes, slow day at work, lol!) and some Novice courses definitely looked challenging for the beginner dogs, while at least one was as easy as (easier, actually) an AKC Started course. Interesting!

 

Remember also that anyone can put on a novice trial and some that do primarily do so for their "hobby herder" (which includes AKC folks) clientele, and they can even include Open classes if they get sanctioning - but that doesn't mean that they are putting on much of a trial to test the dogs' abilities. There is a world of difference between trials put on by different folks at different places and on different stock. I'm not surprised at what you saw, and I think that often it's the beginners that are more likely to post videos so you might be able to find lots of those on YouTube.

 

I will temper those remarks with a comment that just because a course is small (or even an arena) doesn't make it easy and doesn't make it not a test of a dog's abilities - a small course does not give much leeway for correcting mistakes, but it also doesn't tend to test the basic abilities of the gather like a larger course does.

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The person is allowed to walk with the sheep in the lower levels of both AKC and AHBA - the idea being the dog has not had enough training yet to drive. The higher levels require more handler restrictions and that the dog do more of the work on its own. Below is a link to a couple of advanced runs - A course (arena course) first and then B course (sort of like a mini-USBCHA course without fetch panels).

A Course

B Course

and here is Advanced A course with ducks:

I think most of what you'll find on YouTube is the beginning levels just because that's all the further a lot of dogs get.

Edited to add a link to a level 3 (top level) AHBA HTD run. I had a heck of a time finding anything AHBA that wasn't beginning levels. It must not be as popular as AKC.

I still wouldn't consider those dogs AKC conformation bred dogs... They move like athletic Border Collies. And the dog in the last video looks Kelpie almost. Regardless AKC trials are a joke...

 

workindogs:

 

Which dog do you want a puppy from? Scott Glen's June? Or the dog in Danielle's video?

Hmmm... -_- That's a tough one...

 

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Actually the dog in the "Advanced A Course with Ducks" video is conformation bred. He is an Omegan (kennel name) bred dog. I don't know about the others [ETA: but I agree with you, they don't look it].

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have not seen any trials like these.

 

But well I remember my second Open run at Dirt Blowing trial in Eastern WA.

 

I thought I was looking at the field, when my friend told me with a sneaky grin, thats pro/nov!

 

Then she pointed to the Open field which was in the middle of an unfenced section of wheatfields.

 

I could not SEE the set out cone. It was so far away.

 

On 4 undogged range yearlings that far out. You cannot really tell the dog much, at least I cannot. Because I cannot see what is actually happening.

 

You are hopefully relying on the good common sense of the shepherds and herdsman who bred these dogs for work, generations ago. Sweep brought his sheep. Which made me very happy. However he was so dam pushy they were hard to get around the course as he had upset them.Their are trials and then there are trials. Ya know what I mean.

 

Just like in my job, Although in my job, I cannot er retire when the spit hits the fan so to speak.

 

The trials are great teaching and humbling tools at that level.

 

My work has been like that to0. I believe in using both.

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Dear Doggers,

 

When the Virginia Border Collie Assn decided to regularize its novice classes way back in 1986?, there were Big Hats who argued strongly against anything but Open Trials. "That's the sheepdog trial". Those of us who had started with novice (there was no pro-novice) argued that we beginners - especially those who hadn't been raised with livestock - needed "practice" classes. We arrived at the present compromise - novice classes are offered, often less conveniently (Mondays or Fridays) and there aren't any titles or HA voting rights, but they ARE offered as instructional aides.

 

Although, from time to time, there's a kerfuffle "I pay my entry fees, same as the Open handler. Why can't I vote on HA policy" and "I come from the Dog Fancy where all classes, everywhere are the same. Why do they have Pro/novice classes in Virginia but not in Name Another State?" most people are satisfied with the compromise and those more interested in stockwork than rule books, move onto open where things get more difficult and more interesting.

 

Novice/novice isn't to be sneered at. The outrun, lift, fetch and pen are the same for N/N and Open and a shorter course isn't always easier. I hosted a trial when Sam Furman's dog's N/N score was the best of the day until the 12th Open dog beat it.

 

It isn't easy at any level. But then, it isn't supposed to be. It's about the dogs, not our egos.

 

Donald McCaig

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I know without the Novice/Novice and pronovice levels, I would probably still be playing in AKC trials and thinking I was accomplishing something of merit. I think it's hard for the 'old hats' in the sheepdog game to understand how intimidating and impossible that Open course looks to a newbie, and your average newbie doesn't have the connections or knowledge to get there in one big step or to even imagine how they could work their way up to that point. Back when I started with my suburbanite dog and once-weekly lessons and no stock experience whatsoever, I thought even N/N looked really hard. But we did it, and in the process got to watch the other classes and meet up with people who could help us and little by little I started thinking maybe Pronovice wasn't quite so intimidating and maybe something we could do. Now that I've run in PN a number of years, I have a dog who I think could be my first Open dog, and it looks like a very possible step for us to take and one that I'm excited about. I never would have reached this point without all the ups and downs and experiences at the lower levels. A few wins to set the addiction hook, a few embarrassing defeats to keep the ego in check and keep me always looking for more answers, and finally I feel ready to take that big step into Open. And I notice that even the Open handlers frequently enter dogs in PN for their first trial experiences as a way of preparing for Open. I think those lower classes are very valuable and I'm glad that most places offer them.

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Great response Diana. I agree with all the points made about the benefits of having N/N and P/N classes.

 

I agree. I have seen quite a number of handlers who have come over from AKC herding trials to USBCHA style trials because someone talked them into running in N/N and they stuck around, watched some Open dogs and handlers and got the bug. Novice/Novice - the gateway drug.

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