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GUIDELINES FOR HERDING TRIALS

TRANSLATED FROM THE SV REGULATIONS

Note: the Herdengebrauchshund trial requires a flock of at least 200 sheep which are
unknown to the handler and dog, one handler and two dogs - the "Haupthund" (HGH in
the regulations) is the dog being tested and doing most of the work, the "Beihund"
HGH
C-Course
Herding
Glossary of Herding Terms
works as an assistant to the shepherd if needed but is not scored.

4. Guidelines for Herding Competition

Description of trial exercises

4.1 Exit from the pen (8 points are the maximum available)

In order to establish contact with the sheep the shepherd goes around or in the pen. He/she can do both. The dogs stay on the outside of the pen or are tied to prevent disturbance.

After the shepherd has contact with the sheep he/she opens the pen by taking out one panel in order to make an opening of approximately 4 meters. Where the shepherd opens the pen is up to him/her unless the judge decides. While opening the pen the HGH stands in front of the gate in order to prevent the sheep from escaping. After opening the gate the handler stands in front of it, where the HGH just stood. Then he/she sends the dog into the pen by letting the dog jump over a panel. The dog will stand calmly on command in the pen in a proper position. The handler tries to set the flock in motion by moving slowly backwards and calling the sheep. If the sheep do not follow the handler the dog tries gently to move the sheep. As soon as the sheep move the HGH stands inside the pen at the panel near the opening. If necessary the HGH can go back and move the sheep but has to come back and stand at the opening. The HGH can leave its position on its own or on command, but not before the last sheep has left the pen. If the sheep do not follow the handler as they exit the pen, then the Beihund (man dog) must be used. When the exit from the pen works moothly, the Beihund stays at the opposite side of the opening from the Haupthund (HGH). A stand/stay is not necessary.

Mistakes:
Opening more than one panel unless ordered by the judge
Unnecessarily long in exiting
HGH is led into the pen
HGH does not respond to verbal commands or signals
HGH sits or lies down
HGH stands outside the panel
HGH stands too far away
HGH is called from his position too early
HGH disturbs the sheep
HGH needs too much help

4.2 Obstacles, traffic (10 points are the maximum available)
The exercise will be performed on a road or a path of sufficient width. The handler leads the flock while the HGH moves the sheep far enough to the side that a car can slowly pass the flock, first from the front and then from the rear. The HGH has to patrol between car and flock in order to make room and safety for animals and obstacle. The handler has to watch that the sheep do not damage bordering fields.

Also at other obstacles such as agricultural equipment , the HGH must move or stand between flock and obstacle in order to prevent the sheep from possible injuries.

Mistakes:
HGH is afraid of the car
HGH goes around the car
HGH works behind or too far in front of the car
HGH charges into the flock and creates a disturbance
HGH chases sheep away from the flock
HGH does not make enough room between the car and the flock
Car cannot pass the flock on the marked road
Flock moves too far over on the man dog side

4.3 Wide graze (10 points are the maximum available)
The handler walks in front of the flock and leads the sheep up to the edge of the wide graze. He/she lets the flock go past him/her into the large area with at least 4 sides with marked borders. While the handler stands with the man dog at the corner of the graze the main dog must patrol on the opposite side and if necessary must move along with the flock as it wanders over the graze. The handler can also stand with the HGH on the corner when the sheep begin to graze if there is a field there wherein crops might be damaged, or if there is a road very near. If there is a furrow or marked border, the HGH must to work in/on it correctly and must work alongside the sheep on that border which is closest to the sheep, without being told to do so. It is desired that the HGH cover the whole length of the flock several times. If there is no furrow/border the HGH must patrol along the edge of the graze and otherwise has to show the same behavior. It is not allowed to wander away from the edge of the graze, or to dive into the graze to disturb the flock. If the dog has to patrol several borders, it must turn the corner. It must always watch the lead sheep and has to go with the sheep without being commanded to do so. If the dog has to change sides it has to do so in front of the flock.

Mistakes:
Dog does not stay in the furrow or on the border
Dog covers the whole length only on command or signal
Dog cuts corners severely
Flock is unnecessarily disturbed
HGH lies down, sits, sniffs
HGH shows little interest

4.4 Placement (8 points are the maximum available)
In this exercise, the handler must show that he/she can send the HGH out around the flock to turn and face the sheep without disturbing them. The handler sends the HGH along the furrow or border near the handler out to an intersecting furrow or border which the flock is facing. The HGH must stand on command facing the flock. On command or signal the HGH approaches the head of the flock until another command stops the dog. The dog must move quietly and deliberately until it is very close to the head of the flock. The HGH moves, then stops, then moves again in this quiet approach until the lead sheep turn around

and move away from that edge of the graze. Then the dog must return to the same furrow or border from which it made the approach. The handler is not allowed to stand close to the dog while sending it out to face the sheep. If the handler goes with the dog he will lose points.

Mistakes:
Too many commands and signals
HGH does not stay wide of the flock
HGH does not come straight in toward the front of the flock
HGH disturbs the flock
HGH does not stand steady
HGH moves towards the handler and not towards the head of the flock
HGH approaches the sheep too fast
HGH lies down, sits, sniffs
HGH dives into the flock
HGH takes a bad position or is not steady on the corners

4.5 Narrow graze (10 points are the maximum available)
The narrow graze can be a small meadow, a stubble field, or a narrow 30-meter wide pasture. the flock must graze in a small area. That means the flock must string out. When the handler works with one dog, the dog stands on the corner and the sheep move past the dog into the graze. As the sheep enter, the dog must prevent any sheep from straying onto nearby crops. The HGH stands at the corner until the last sheep is on the grazing area. On the handler's command, the dog changes the side which it works along. The HGH must stay with the flock by moving along the furrow or border. If a handler works with two dogs, the handler stands at the corner of the graze with the man dog and the main dog immediately starts working the opposite border.

On command or signal the HGH has to change sides at least once no matter if the handler uses one or two dogs. The HGH has to be sent several times from front to back of the flock along the side from which the sheep wish to escape. The sheep must not be disturbed nor turned around toward the handler. Stray sheep must be pushed back into the narrow graze and must be disciplined by the dog if necessary, without the dog being commanded. If the flock settles and there is no need for the dog to patrol the sides, the HGH should not lose points. If the flock is lively and wants to escape the narrow graze, the dog must patrol constantly.

The best position for the handler to control the situation is at the side of the flock about halfway along the edge of the graze.

Mistakes:
HGH does not stand on the corner while the sheep enter the graze
HGH leaves the furrow or border several times
HGH dives into the flock
HGH does not cover the whole length of the flock
HGH changes sides too close to the sheep
HGH stands too close in front of the sheep
HGH turns the flock around
HGH shows too little diligence
HGH stands for too long a time, or sits or lies down
Handler helps too much when the dog is changing sides
Handler stays in front of the flock

4.6 Narrow road (8 points are the maximum available)
The road should be narrow and at least 200 yards long. The handler walks in front and leads the flock while the HGH works on the difficult (heavy) side of the flock. Without command, the HGH must cover the whole length of the flock. If all the sheep are on the road, the dog does not have to patrol the entire length all the time. If necessary the dog must go to the rear of the last sheep to keep all sheep moving together in a column. If necessary to change sides, the dog must switch over in front of the handler. It can chase stray sheep back into the flock with a grip.

Mistakes:
HGH lacks interest, shows weak temperament
HGH does not cover the whole length of the flock
HGH chases sheep away from the flock
HGH grips unnecessarily
HGH slows down, stands still, sits or lies down
HGH is heat sensitive
HGH is not weather resistant
Flock moves too far over to the man dog side
HGH works too far away from the flock

4.7 Bridge (6 points are the maximum available)
If there is no natural bridge one must be set up. It should be reasonably wide and long. While passing through the bridge area, the HGH should stand on the sharp corner. The dog should be in position when the first sheep enters the bridge. The dog should stand so that it can see the handler and the rest of the flock. The HGH must prevent the sheep from going around the bridge and possibly damaging themselves. After the sheep have crossed the bridge the HGH follows over the bridge either on command or on its own. The dog must immediately cover the whole length of the flock on the heavy side.

Mistakes:
HGH stands on the wrong side of the bridge
HGH shows little attention to the flock, is under pressure
HGH sniffs, sits or lies down
HGH or man dog lets sheep go around the bridge
HGH dives into the flock
HGH reacts badly to commands and signals
HGH switches sides behind the sheep or the bridge
HGH stands in an unsteady or insecure manner
HGH needs a lot of help to get in place

4.8 Grip (8 points are the maximum available)
In every flock there are sheep who have little or no respect even for a HGH and they will test the dog. In order to gain their respect the HGH has to use a grip occasionally. In order to achieve the proper effect, the grip must be brief, fast, with the full mouth, and only with the necessary amount of pressure. Many unnecessary grips are faulty work. The HGH must move with the sheep while gripping. It must not tear the sheep's flesh. There should be no injuries. Grips on the back of the thigh, on the back of the neck and on the ribs are allowed.

When the handler gives the command to grip, the HGH immediately must go in and grip. It must not hesitate. One or two commands should be enough. The dog must release immediately upon command. The HGH must be able to earn respect from tough adult sheep and also be able to tend lambs. The bark is not strong enough force from a HGH.

Mistakes:
HGH is afraid
HGH does not grip
HGH grips too often
HGH tears
HGH grips too long
HGH injures sheep
HGH ignores lambs
Grip is too hard

4.9 Obedience (10 points are the maximum available)
Obedience is the foundation of the training. The HGH must be willing and easy to handle. When the handler gives a command or signal the HGH must execute immediately. Journeymanlike work is founded upon masterful training. This leads to excellent team work.

Obedience is part of every exercise. All commands and signals must be carried out immediately, willingly and with a lively attitude, even at a great distance as in the wide graze. The dog must not go hunting for wild animals.

The way the handler works with the HGH is demonstrated in the way the dog responds to the handler. The handler's score will be influenced by his/her composure and confidence and by his/her love, understanding and empathy for the creature that is his/her handiwork: the HGH.

Mistakes:
HGH is badly trained
HGH is afraid of handler
HGH obeys unwillingly
Commands and signals are executed slowly and without desire
HGH needs repeated commands and signals
Handler and HGH have no relation of trust
HGH is under enormous pressure
HGH goes after wild animals

4.10 Diligence (10 points are the maximum available)
The HGH must show joyful willingness at all times. It always has to watch the sheep and the handler. Liveliness, quick reactions, and constant patrolling show a good and diligent HGH. An observer should get the impression the dog constantly wants to count the sheep.

Mistakes:
HGH is lazy, tired, or cannot work anymore
HGH does not listen to commands
HGH does not see signals
HGH shows no ambition
HGH shows no interest

4.11 Self-reliance (10 points are the maximum available)
The HGH works on its own and does not rely on commands to do what is necessary. It control both sides of the sheep without disturbing them. It pushes stray sheep back into the flock, disciplining them when necessary. The self-reliant HGH moves diligently with the flock and tends them carefully while they are grazing.

Mistakes:
HGH shows little or no self-reliance
HGH lacks the necessary attention
HGH is not lively in its work
HGH does not cover the whole length of the flock
HGH lacks the ability or confidence to grip
Handler gives subtle help on the wide graze

4.12 Re-pen (4 points are the maximum available)
At the re-pen the handler stands where the HGH stood while exiting but outside the entrance. He/she lets the sheep pass him/her into the pen. If necessary, the handler can lead the sheep into the pen. The HGH must be placed on the farthest end of the panel which was removed to make the opening. The HGH can leave its position if the flock refuses to go into the pen (heat, mud, etc.). The flock should be forced to funnel into the pen. The HGH must prevent sheep from going around the pen. If the last sheep of the flock refuses to go into the pen, the HGH can be commanded to push slowly from behind and can come in as far as the middle of the gate.

Mistakes:
HGH stands too far away from panel
HGH stands too close to the entrance
HGH sits or sniffs
HGH makes sheep nervous
HGH lets sheep go around the pen
HGH dives into the flock
Handler stands in the pen

(Editor's note: total maximum points available=100; dogs demonstrate their protective instinct after the sheep are re-penned; minimum number of sheep in any SV approved trial=200)