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A Sheepdog Trial Question (again)

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I have insomnia and a question about shedding. In one of my earlier question threads, someone said that, if their time is running out, they may forgo an attempt to get the perfect shed. Being unfamiliar with what a perfect shed might be, I went to the judging guidelines. It appears that some of the points deductions can be made for the dog’s indiscretions, but others for the handler’s. In light of those that involve handler indiscretions, I’m trying to figure out what one might do to get “a” shed before time runs out, but not a perfect shed. For example, would getting a shed, but not a perfect shed, be accomplished by the handler risking a “shed tried but not accomplished” (per the guidelines) and getting some points deducted? Or would it involve the handler giving the dog more assistance than is optimal and taking lost points on that? Or something else? Or is this question predicated on so many misconceptions that it is impossible to answer? If the question is answerable and someone is willing, I thank you in advance.

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Dear Aspiring Sheepdoggers,


In the handler's meeting, the judge announces what sort of shed he wants but usually, for full points, he'll want the "Last one on the head" because that sheep can see its mates escaping and is, hence, the hardest to separate and hold. He may or may not allow, but deduct for an easier sheep (ie. "first one on the butt"). That sheep is acceptable but not a perfect shed.


Also, handler's when short of time may leap into the sheep using "too much man" for partial points.


Donald McCaig

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A "shed tried but not accomplished" will give you no points (if you don't then proceed to accomplish a shed) but it will keep the clock ticking - versus just doing nothing and being called off (disqualified) for lack of progress (should the judge decide to do so). And, then you would not be able to proceed to the pen without accomplishing a shed.


If you then accomplish the shed, after the unsuccessful attempt, you will have lost points for the attempt even if the shed you actually do accomplish is perfect.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'll add that shedding is THE most advanced skill (in trialing). Don't worry if you don't understand all of the nuances at this point - it's something that still eludes many Open handlers!!!


Me. I still count on my dog to pull me through, though I'm sure she's lobbying for a more accomplished handler...

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