Sheepdog trials

sheepdog trials

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What are Sheepdog trials?
A sheepdog trial, also known as a stock dog trial, herding event, or dog trial, is a competitive sport where herding dogs maneuver sheep around gates, fields, enclosures, or fences as their handlers direct. These trials take place in the New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, Chile, Australia, and other farming nations where sheep are permitted to roam extensively on mainly unfenced land.

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Video Sheepdog Trials by japeflakes You can see part 2 on their YouTube page. 


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Video of Sheedog Trails (Judges Speaking) Irish Farmers Journal

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Can any breed of dog participate?
Some venues only recognize known herding breeds for competition. Others allow any dog trained to work stock.

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Are there different event types?
Events differ with various courses taking dominance in diverse areas of the world. In Europe, the United Kingdom, Southern Africa, and North America, the British Course is most common.

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How is it scored?
For most factors, the judges focus on the behavior of the sheep, not the handler or dog. Dogs are assessed on the competence of their work and characteristics of good stockmanship. A dog that needlessly teases or drives the sheep is penalized, and one who bites or nips a sheep may be disqualified.

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What clubs or organizations can provide more information?

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What is the purpose of the trials?
Sheepherding trials follow the conditions and work faced in everyday shepherding on farms. They are not intended to be a series of obstacles or tricks, but instead are a working display of the skills a dog practices every day of its working life.

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How do I find out about participating with my dog?
Many trials take place locally, organized by small, regional groups. All abilities and ages of dogs are eligible to compete. Nursery trials allow young dogs to showcase early-learned skills. Open trials enable handlers to gain points to permit entry to the National events.
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