Versatility
Agility
Herding
Contacts

Fastpath

> Versatility
> Obedience/Rally
> Agility
> Tracking
> Herding
> Herding Instinct Certificate
> Contacts

Versatility

The CCA versatility awards program is designed to recognize Collies which have distinguished themselves in both the breed ring and in AKC recognized performance events. These dogs possess the conformation, temperament, intelligence, and herding and working capabilities which represent the essential characteristics of the breed. The versatility awards are based on a point system which is used to weight each title based on its difficulty.

The CCA will award a certificate signed by the Club President to any Collie, rough or smooth, owned by a CCA member, or member of a CCA member's immediate family, in good standing with the AKC who has fulfilled the necessary requirements. A dog fulfilling these requirements will be listed in the permanent records of the CCA. The versatility certificates will be awarded by the CCA President at the next annual CCA National Specialty Show.

Applying for a Versatility Award
It is the responsibility of the owner of an eligible dog to apply for either the Versatility Award or the Versatility Excellent Award. The application information should be sent to the chairman of the CCA Versatility and HIC Committee at least six weeks prior to the CCA National Specialty Show to provide adequate time to prepare the awards for presentation.

A new Grand Versatility Award has been added to the CCA Versatility Awards program. The details of this new award are contained in the requirements and application details that can be accessed via link below.

> Download the requirements and application details
> Download the 2019 Versatility Report
> PDF – Get Adobe Reader

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Obedience and Rally

Obedience is a great way to build a relationship with your dog. Whether your goals are just a CD (basic heeling, stays, and recall) or the higher titles of CDX, UD, UDX, or even an OTCH (involving jumping, retrieving, and scent work,) this is a great way to demonstrate teamwork between owner and dog. The AKC has recently introduced new levels of classes and a new advanced title of Obedience Master, which offers something for every competitor. Obedience skills build a useful foundation for other performance sports such as agility.

Rally-Obedience is a wonderful way to start a dog in obedience. In rally you follow a series of signs depicting exercises that make up a course. The exercises are all obedience related. It's a fun way to learn obedience in a less stressful atmosphere. And the first level is all on leash!

We recommend finding a good local trainer and taking a class. Collies make great obedience dogs with the right training techniques. The first step is finding the right instructor with the right techniques that work for you and your dog.

If your goal is to compete then look for an instructor who also competes. If a class is not available there are several good books and magazines that can get you started. Rally signs and descriptions can be found on the internet and there are good internet lists where you can go for help.

> Download 2019 Obedience Point Systems Results

^ MENU

Agility

What is agility?
Running a dog in an agility trial is the ultimate game for you and your dog and is one of the most exciting canine sports for spectators. In an agility trial, a dog demonstrates its agile nature and versatility by following cues from the handler through a timed obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles and other objects. It's an activity that strengthens the bond between dog and handler and provides fun and exercise for both, which might explain why it's so enjoyable to watch and has become the fastest-growing dog sport in the United States!

Collies and Agility?
Agility is an exciting team sport which allows the Collie and handler to work together in an activity that is both challenging and fun for both. Training a Collie for agility can involve enrolling in a local training class, taking private lessons, going to agility training seminars, watching videos/DVDs, and reading books and magazines on the topic. It also involves a great deal of practice and understanding of the rules for those who plan to compete in official agility events. With the right training and a little persistence, this is a sport that both children and adults can enjoy with their collies.

Collies are a larger breed with males standing 24 – 26" at the shoulder and females being 22 – 24". This means that they compete in agility classes against Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Dobermans etc. In order to be competitive in official agility events, a Collie needs to be in good weight, in good athletic condition, and have a desire to work with and for its handler. Some agility events are geared towards speed, while others are more geared towards perfect execution of the obstacles. Requirements vary depending on the particular event.

When looking for a Collie, future owners should consider what they really want. Collies are great family pets and generally do quite well with children. They are a herding breed and training at a young age will help ensure that a Collie directs its natural herding instincts to things that are acceptable within the family home. When planning to participate in agility with a Collie, one should spend some time researching Collie breeders and Collie lines to determine those that may be better suited to performance events. Looking at health history, longevity, coats, and success in the agility ring among a Collie's ancestors may help in selecting a perfect candidate for your new team mate. However, many Collies with unknown ancestry have also done well in performance events, so don't overlook a rescue Collie as a good candidate. Be sure to keep your home climate in mind when selecting a Collie for agility. Many rough Collies carry a very heavy coat, which can be a detriment in warmer climates during summer competitions. While smooth Collies are somewhat lesser known to the general public, they can also make fantastic agility dogs and their short fitted coats make them easier to maintain for travel in any weather or climate of competition.

Collies are generally eager to learn and most are very trainable and excel with the use of positive training techniques. Collies are not necessarily good with lots of repetition, so break up your training time into short sessions and keep it fun. Look for agility instructors that understand how to work with a soft dog and how to keep it light and fun. Consult with your vet and instructors about how soon to work on jumps, because you want to be sure that your dog is physically sound for its entire career and won't want to overstress a young puppies joints and bones too soon.

Organizations Which Offer Agility Titles
For more information about agility competitions and where to locate events in your area, check out the following websites:

AKC (American Kennel Club)

USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association)

ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America)

NADAC (North American Dog Agility Council)

UKC (United Kennel Club)

CPE (Canine Performance Events)

Types of AKC Trial Classes
There are several types of classes offered at an agility trial: Standard, Jumpers with Weaves, Fifteen And Send Time (FAST). The Standard class has contact obstacles, which have yellow "contact zones" at each end. Contact obstacles include A-frame, dog walk, and seesaw. The dog must place a least one paw in the contact zone in order not to receive a fault. This encourages safety in training and in running the course. The Standard class also has a variety of jumps; weave poles, pause table, tunnels, and a closed tunnel. The Jumpers with Weaves class does not have contact obstacles or a pause table to slow the team's forward momentum. This is a very fast course requiring instant decisions by the handler and close attention from the dog. The FAST class is an additional test of strategy, skill, accuracy, speed, timing and distance handling, to demonstrate a dog's athletic ability and willingness to work with its handler in a fast-paced atmosphere over a variety of agility obstacles. As indicated by the title, the Fifteen and Send Time class uses fifteen (15) point-valued obstacles and/or obstacle combinations. The course will include a 'Send Bonus' or distance element that will award a bonus of twenty (20) points if completed successfully.

Levels of Agility Competition
Dogs may compete either in the Regular division or in the Preferred division. In the Regular division, the dog jumps regulation height (based on dog's height at the shoulders) and must meet a standard course time. In the Preferred division, the dog jumps 4 inches lower than regulation height and will have slightly longer standard course times. The Preferred division has its own series of titles to be earned, and a dog may earn both the Regular and Preferred titles.

There are three different levels of competition in AKC agility:

Novice
This class is for the dog that is just starting in agility. There are 14 to 16 obstacles on this course. The focus of the Novice class is on performing the obstacles with minimal handling technique.

Open
This class is for the dog that has completed the Novice level. There are 16 to 18 obstacles on this course. The focus of the open class is on more difficult obstacle course performance with more handling skill required.

Excellent
This class is for the dog that has completed the Open level. There are 18 to 20 obstacles on this course. The focus of the Excellent A & B class is to provide the opportunity for dogs and handlers to demonstrate their superior skills in moving quickly and efficiently with close communication and teamwork through challenging agility courses. The Excellent B level is the class where dog/handler teams can earn the title, Master Agility Champion (MACH), in the Regular Classes.

How is Agility Scored
Agility is a time and fault sport where the qualifying requirements are more challenging as the competition class levels get higher. There are two types of faults: time and penalty. Time faults are given for every second a dog goes over the Standard Course Time, as set by the length of the course. Below are examples of Penalty Faults that a judge may assess a handler and dog:

Agility Jump Heights
The classes are divided by jump heights in order to make the competition equal between the different sizes of dogs.

REGULAR CLASS: A dog may jump in a jump height class higher than his/her shoulder measurement, but never lower.

Qualifying Performance
A perfect score in any class at any level is 100. A dog must earn 3 qualifying scores under two different judges. The minimum score to qualify is 85 in all classes except in the Excellent B class where the minimum score is 100. The minimum time allowed to run the course and the number of obstacles to complete successfully, increase as the level of difficulty increases.

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Tracking

What Is Tracking?
A dog's keen sense of smell has been put to use by humans for as long as the two species have lived together. The dog's ability to locate other animals (possible food!) using their sense of smell was probably one of the earliest motivations for humans to develop partnerships with dogs, and that ability is still put to use by modern hunters. With training, a dog's innate scenting ability can also be channeled to help us locate hidden drugs, chemicals used in the manufacture of explosives, and flammable material left over at possible arson sites. Dogs have also been trained to locate edible truffles that sell at over $1000 per pound, and are used by wildlife biologists to locate specific types of animals either directly or by locating their scat. Dogs are also used in search and rescue to locate people who are lost, people who have run away from a crime scene, or people trapped in rubble from collapsed buildings and other structures. Tracking is one set of scenting skills that may be used in locating people who are either lost or deliberately hiding. In tracking, a dog follows the trail of scent left on the ground whenever a person walks somewhere. Although the trail may be more difficult to follow in some conditions, it is not unheard of for well trained dogs to follow tracks that are well over a day old, to remain on the track of a specific person even if that track has been crossed by many other people, and to follow tracks over a variety of vegetated and non-vegetated surfaces. Besides having practical applications, tracking is an activity that is enjoyable for both the dog and his human partner. Following behind a skilled tracking dog provides the handler a glimpse into a complex sensory world that is otherwise almost non-existent to humans, and forces a good tracking handler to work in genuine partnership with his dog, trusting that the dog truly knows more than the human does in some situations.

Collies and Tracking?
Most dogs, certainly including collies, are physically capable of following tracks left by humans. To be successful as either a "professional" or hobby tracker though, the dog also has to be physically sound enough to traverse uneven terrain for some distance, must have a strong enough work ethic to persistently search for difficult to locate scent, and must have a strong desire to work with his human partner on a specified track without being distracted by other inherently interesting scents. Collies are an ideal size for tracking - large and agile enough to cover ground at a steady pace, but not so heavy that they tire or overheat quickly. And most importantly, collies enjoy working in partnership with their human. They are willing to stick to a task if the trainer makes that task rewarding, are generally less distracted by the scent and sound of birds than many of their keen-nosed brethren in the sporting group, and less easily tempted by the trails of bunnies, mice, deer and other mammals than their scent-obsessed friends in the hound group. Collie owners interested in tracking should keep their collie lean and fit (and it doesn't hurt to keep the handler lean and fit as well!). If seeking a collie specifically for tracking or for other types of scent work (search and rescue, arson detection, drug detection), owners should look for collies that are easily motivated by toys or food, that enjoy interacting with people, that are structurally sound, and that are persistent in attempting to get what they want.

Tracking as a Sport
Even if one never becomes involved in the more professional applications of scent work, tracking can be an enjoyable hobby that physically and mentally stimulates both the collie and the handler. Although tracking requires a certain level of physical fitness in order to eventually put in a mile or two of walking during a training session, it is a low impact activity that is friendly to joints of "mature" collies and handlers alike. Training usually begins with the novice dog literally following a trail of cookie crumbs until he finds an article like a glove or wallet dropped by the tracklayer. These beginning tracks teach the dog to associate the smell of a track with lots of yummy treats, and to develop a dependable desire to stick to the track rather than exploring other enticing smells along the way. Gradually the treats get spaced farther apart, the tracks get longer, turns are added, the age of the track increases, tracks are crossed by other people and animals, and obstacles like road crossings, fences, changes in vegetation, and hard surfaces like pavement are added. In the beginning stages a trainer can lay a track for his own dog, but eventually it is beneficial to work with other trainers to lay "blind" tracks for each other and observe whether the dog is remaining on task and on track. Beginning tracks can be laid in a decent sized back yard, but fairly quickly the tracking team will need access to some open fields of at least a few acres in size. The fields need not be pristine though, and many tracking enthusiasts do much of their training in city parks and large school-yards.

AKC Tracking Tests
The American Kennel Club (AKC) currently offers titles for three levels of tracking proficiency, and a dog that achieves all three titles is designated as a Champion Tracker (CT). All AKC tracking dog tests are judged as pass/fail; there is no competitive scoring or placements given at a tracking test. The Tracking Dog (TD) title is awarded to a dog that successfully negotiates a track of about a quarter mile in length over relatively uniformly vegetated terrain. The track must have been laid between 30 minutes and 2 hours before the dog starts the track, and must include 3 to 5 abrupt turns. Before entering an official TD test the dog must be certified as capable of passing by a licensed AKC judge. Certification involves successfully negotiating a track with all the same elements as an official test track, but may take place informally at a time and date arranged by the judge and handler. Once a dog has passed a TD test, it is eligible to enter both Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) and Variable Surface Tracking (VST) tests. A TDX track is about a half mile long, includes 5 to 8 abrupt turns, is aged between 3 and 5 hours before the dog runs the track, is crossed in two separate places by people other than the original tracklayer, and must include at least a couple obstacles like road crossings, changes in vegetation, steep grades, fence crossing or other similar scenting challenges. A VST track is about 700 yards long, and must cross a variety of surfaces. Much of the track must be on non-vegetated surfaces like pavement, packed gravel, and sidewalks. These tests typically take place in city parks, on campuses, or in industrial parks where any number of people may cross the track as it ages between 3 and 5 hours. The presence of buildings that inevitably generate swirling air currents also adds to the challenge of a VST track. A few breeds like golden and labrador retrievers, German shepherd dogs, Belgian tervuren, and rottweilers tend to earn the most of the tracking titles conferred by AKC. But, with the exception of these few breeds, collies compare very well with other breeds in tracking. Generally about 3 or 4 collies per year will earn a TD title, and on average one collie per year earns the TDX. So far only two collies have earned the highly challenging VST, which along with their TDX's entitles these two collies to the high honor of being designated Champion Trackers.

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Fastpath

> Versatility
> Obedience/Rally
> Agility
> Tracking
> Herding
> Herding Instinct Certificate
> Contacts

Versatility

The CCA versatility awards program is designed to recognize Collies which have distinguished themselves in both the breed ring and in AKC recognized performance events. These dogs possess the conformation, temperament, intelligence, and herding and working capabilities which represent the essential characteristics of the breed. The versatility awards are based on a point system which is used to weight each title based on its difficulty.

The CCA will award a certificate signed by the Club President to any Collie, rough or smooth, owned by a CCA member, or member of a CCA member's immediate family, in good standing with the AKC who has fulfilled the necessary requirements. A dog fulfilling these requirements will be listed in the permanent records of the CCA. The versatility certificates will be awarded by the CCA President at the next annual CCA National Specialty Show.

Applying for a Versatility Award
It is the responsibility of the owner of an eligible dog to apply for either the Versatility Award or the Versatility Excellent Award. The application information should be sent to the chairman of the CCA Versatility and HIC Committee at least six weeks prior to the CCA National Specialty Show to provide adequate time to prepare the awards for presentation.

A new Grand Versatility Award has been added to the CCA Versatility Awards program. The details of this new award are contained in the requirements and application details that can be accessed via link below.

> Download the requirements and application details
> Download the 2019 Versatility Report
> PDF – Get Adobe Reader

^ MENU

Obedience and Rally

Obedience is a great way to build a relationship with your dog. Whether your goals are just a CD (basic heeling, stays, and recall) or the higher titles of CDX, UD, UDX, or even an OTCH (involving jumping, retrieving, and scent work,) this is a great way to demonstrate teamwork between owner and dog. The AKC has recently introduced new levels of classes and a new advanced title of Obedience Master, which offers something for every competitor. Obedience skills build a useful foundation for other performance sports such as agility.

Rally-Obedience is a wonderful way to start a dog in obedience. In rally you follow a series of signs depicting exercises that make up a course. The exercises are all obedience related. It's a fun way to learn obedience in a less stressful atmosphere. And the first level is all on leash!

We recommend finding a good local trainer and taking a class. Collies make great obedience dogs with the right training techniques. The first step is finding the right instructor with the right techniques that work for you and your dog.

If your goal is to compete then look for an instructor who also competes. If a class is not available there are several good books and magazines that can get you started. Rally signs and descriptions can be found on the internet and there are good internet lists where you can go for help.

> Download 2019 Obedience Point Systems Results

^ MENU

Agility

What is agility?
Running a dog in an agility trial is the ultimate game for you and your dog and is one of the most exciting canine sports for spectators. In an agility trial, a dog demonstrates its agile nature and versatility by following cues from the handler through a timed obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles and other objects. It's an activity that strengthens the bond between dog and handler and provides fun and exercise for both, which might explain why it's so enjoyable to watch and has become the fastest-growing dog sport in the United States!

Collies and Agility?
Agility is an exciting team sport which allows the Collie and handler to work together in an activity that is both challenging and fun for both. Training a Collie for agility can involve enrolling in a local training class, taking private lessons, going to agility training seminars, watching videos/DVDs, and reading books and magazines on the topic. It also involves a great deal of practice and understanding of the rules for those who plan to compete in official agility events. With the right training and a little persistence, this is a sport that both children and adults can enjoy with their collies.

Collies are a larger breed with males standing 24 – 26" at the shoulder and females being 22 – 24". This means that they compete in agility classes against Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Dobermans etc. In order to be competitive in official agility events, a Collie needs to be in good weight, in good athletic condition, and have a desire to work with and for its handler. Some agility events are geared towards speed, while others are more geared towards perfect execution of the obstacles. Requirements vary depending on the particular event.

When looking for a Collie, future owners should consider what they really want. Collies are great family pets and generally do quite well with children. They are a herding breed and training at a young age will help ensure that a Collie directs its natural herding instincts to things that are acceptable within the family home. When planning to participate in agility with a Collie, one should spend some time researching Collie breeders and Collie lines to determine those that may be better suited to performance events. Looking at health history, longevity, coats, and success in the agility ring among a Collie's ancestors may help in selecting a perfect candidate for your new team mate. However, many Collies with unknown ancestry have also done well in performance events, so don't overlook a rescue Collie as a good candidate. Be sure to keep your home climate in mind when selecting a Collie for agility. Many rough Collies carry a very heavy coat, which can be a detriment in warmer climates during summer competitions. While smooth Collies are somewhat lesser known to the general public, they can also make fantastic agility dogs and their short fitted coats make them easier to maintain for travel in any weather or climate of competition.

Collies are generally eager to learn and most are very trainable and excel with the use of positive training techniques. Collies are not necessarily good with lots of repetition, so break up your training time into short sessions and keep it fun. Look for agility instructors that understand how to work with a soft dog and how to keep it light and fun. Consult with your vet and instructors about how soon to work on jumps, because you want to be sure that your dog is physically sound for its entire career and won't want to overstress a young puppies joints and bones too soon.

Organizations Which Offer Agility Titles
For more information about agility competitions and where to locate events in your area, check out the following websites:

AKC (American Kennel Club)

USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association)

ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America)

NADAC (North American Dog Agility Council)

UKC (United Kennel Club)

CPE (Canine Performance Events)

Types of AKC Trial Classes
There are several types of classes offered at an agility trial: Standard, Jumpers with Weaves, Fifteen And Send Time (FAST). The Standard class has contact obstacles, which have yellow "contact zones" at each end. Contact obstacles include A-frame, dog walk, and seesaw. The dog must place a least one paw in the contact zone in order not to receive a fault. This encourages safety in training and in running the course. The Standard class also has a variety of jumps; weave poles, pause table, tunnels, and a closed tunnel. The Jumpers with Weaves class does not have contact obstacles or a pause table to slow the team's forward momentum. This is a very fast course requiring instant decisions by the handler and close attention from the dog. The FAST class is an additional test of strategy, skill, accuracy, speed, timing and distance handling, to demonstrate a dog's athletic ability and willingness to work with its handler in a fast-paced atmosphere over a variety of agility obstacles. As indicated by the title, the Fifteen and Send Time class uses fifteen (15) point-valued obstacles and/or obstacle combinations. The course will include a 'Send Bonus' or distance element that will award a bonus of twenty (20) points if completed successfully.

Levels of Agility Competition
Dogs may compete either in the Regular division or in the Preferred division. In the Regular division, the dog jumps regulation height (based on dog's height at the shoulders) and must meet a standard course time. In the Preferred division, the dog jumps 4 inches lower than regulation height and will have slightly longer standard course times. The Preferred division has its own series of titles to be earned, and a dog may earn both the Regular and Preferred titles.

There are three different levels of competition in AKC agility:

Novice
This class is for the dog that is just starting in agility. There are 14 to 16 obstacles on this course. The focus of the Novice class is on performing the obstacles with minimal handling technique.

Open
This class is for the dog that has completed the Novice level. There are 16 to 18 obstacles on this course. The focus of the open class is on more difficult obstacle course performance with more handling skill required.

Excellent
This class is for the dog that has completed the Open level. There are 18 to 20 obstacles on this course. The focus of the Excellent A & B class is to provide the opportunity for dogs and handlers to demonstrate their superior skills in moving quickly and efficiently with close communication and teamwork through challenging agility courses. The Excellent B level is the class where dog/handler teams can earn the title, Master Agility Champion (MACH), in the Regular Classes.

How is Agility Scored
Agility is a time and fault sport where the qualifying requirements are more challenging as the competition class levels get higher. There are two types of faults: time and penalty. Time faults are given for every second a dog goes over the Standard Course Time, as set by the length of the course. Below are examples of Penalty Faults that a judge may assess a handler and dog:

Agility Jump Heights
The classes are divided by jump heights in order to make the competition equal between the different sizes of dogs.

REGULAR CLASS: A dog may jump in a jump height class higher than his/her shoulder measurement, but never lower.

Qualifying Performance
A perfect score in any class at any level is 100. A dog must earn 3 qualifying scores under two different judges. The minimum score to qualify is 85 in all classes except in the Excellent B class where the minimum score is 100. The minimum time allowed to run the course and the number of obstacles to complete successfully, increase as the level of difficulty increases.

^ MENU

Tracking

What Is Tracking?
A dog's keen sense of smell has been put to use by humans for as long as the two species have lived together. The dog's ability to locate other animals (possible food!) using their sense of smell was probably one of the earliest motivations for humans to develop partnerships with dogs, and that ability is still put to use by modern hunters. With training, a dog's innate scenting ability can also be channeled to help us locate hidden drugs, chemicals used in the manufacture of explosives, and flammable material left over at possible arson sites. Dogs have also been trained to locate edible truffles that sell at over $1000 per pound, and are used by wildlife biologists to locate specific types of animals either directly or by locating their scat. Dogs are also used in search and rescue to locate people who are lost, people who have run away from a crime scene, or people trapped in rubble from collapsed buildings and other structures. Tracking is one set of scenting skills that may be used in locating people who are either lost or deliberately hiding. In tracking, a dog follows the trail of scent left on the ground whenever a person walks somewhere. Although the trail may be more difficult to follow in some conditions, it is not unheard of for well trained dogs to follow tracks that are well over a day old, to remain on the track of a specific person even if that track has been crossed by many other people, and to follow tracks over a variety of vegetated and non-vegetated surfaces. Besides having practical applications, tracking is an activity that is enjoyable for both the dog and his human partner. Following behind a skilled tracking dog provides the handler a glimpse into a complex sensory world that is otherwise almost non-existent to humans, and forces a good tracking handler to work in genuine partnership with his dog, trusting that the dog truly knows more than the human does in some situations.

Collies and Tracking?
Most dogs, certainly including collies, are physically capable of following tracks left by humans. To be successful as either a "professional" or hobby tracker though, the dog also has to be physically sound enough to traverse uneven terrain for some distance, must have a strong enough work ethic to persistently search for difficult to locate scent, and must have a strong desire to work with his human partner on a specified track without being distracted by other inherently interesting scents. Collies are an ideal size for tracking - large and agile enough to cover ground at a steady pace, but not so heavy that they tire or overheat quickly. And most importantly, collies enjoy working in partnership with their human. They are willing to stick to a task if the trainer makes that task rewarding, are generally less distracted by the scent and sound of birds than many of their keen-nosed brethren in the sporting group, and less easily tempted by the trails of bunnies, mice, deer and other mammals than their scent-obsessed friends in the hound group. Collie owners interested in tracking should keep their collie lean and fit (and it doesn't hurt to keep the handler lean and fit as well!). If seeking a collie specifically for tracking or for other types of scent work (search and rescue, arson detection, drug detection), owners should look for collies that are easily motivated by toys or food, that enjoy interacting with people, that are structurally sound, and that are persistent in attempting to get what they want.

Tracking as a Sport
Even if one never becomes involved in the more professional applications of scent work, tracking can be an enjoyable hobby that physically and mentally stimulates both the collie and the handler. Although tracking requires a certain level of physical fitness in order to eventually put in a mile or two of walking during a training session, it is a low impact activity that is friendly to joints of "mature" collies and handlers alike. Training usually begins with the novice dog literally following a trail of cookie crumbs until he finds an article like a glove or wallet dropped by the tracklayer. These beginning tracks teach the dog to associate the smell of a track with lots of yummy treats, and to develop a dependable desire to stick to the track rather than exploring other enticing smells along the way. Gradually the treats get spaced farther apart, the tracks get longer, turns are added, the age of the track increases, tracks are crossed by other people and animals, and obstacles like road crossings, fences, changes in vegetation, and hard surfaces like pavement are added. In the beginning stages a trainer can lay a track for his own dog, but eventually it is beneficial to work with other trainers to lay "blind" tracks for each other and observe whether the dog is remaining on task and on track. Beginning tracks can be laid in a decent sized back yard, but fairly quickly the tracking team will need access to some open fields of at least a few acres in size. The fields need not be pristine though, and many tracking enthusiasts do much of their training in city parks and large school-yards.

AKC Tracking Tests
The American Kennel Club (AKC) currently offers titles for three levels of tracking proficiency, and a dog that achieves all three titles is designated as a Champion Tracker (CT). All AKC tracking dog tests are judged as pass/fail; there is no competitive scoring or placements given at a tracking test. The Tracking Dog (TD) title is awarded to a dog that successfully negotiates a track of about a quarter mile in length over relatively uniformly vegetated terrain. The track must have been laid between 30 minutes and 2 hours before the dog starts the track, and must include 3 to 5 abrupt turns. Before entering an official TD test the dog must be certified as capable of passing by a licensed AKC judge. Certification involves successfully negotiating a track with all the same elements as an official test track, but may take place informally at a time and date arranged by the judge and handler. Once a dog has passed a TD test, it is eligible to enter both Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) and Variable Surface Tracking (VST) tests. A TDX track is about a half mile long, includes 5 to 8 abrupt turns, is aged between 3 and 5 hours before the dog runs the track, is crossed in two separate places by people other than the original tracklayer, and must include at least a couple obstacles like road crossings, changes in vegetation, steep grades, fence crossing or other similar scenting challenges. A VST track is about 700 yards long, and must cross a variety of surfaces. Much of the track must be on non-vegetated surfaces like pavement, packed gravel, and sidewalks. These tests typically take place in city parks, on campuses, or in industrial parks where any number of people may cross the track as it ages between 3 and 5 hours. The presence of buildings that inevitably generate swirling air currents also adds to the challenge of a VST track. A few breeds like golden and labrador retrievers, German shepherd dogs, Belgian tervuren, and rottweilers tend to earn the most of the tracking titles conferred by AKC. But, with the exception of these few breeds, collies compare very well with other breeds in tracking. Generally about 3 or 4 collies per year will earn a TD title, and on average one collie per year earns the TDX. So far only two collies have earned the highly challenging VST, which along with their TDX's entitles these two collies to the high honor of being designated Champion Trackers.

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Herding

Herding is a fascinating and enjoyable challenge. Few activities offer the variety of situations and the opportunity for real teamwork between handler and dog that are a part of herding. The herding dog must cooperate with the handler, yet use its own initiative and judgment. It must be able to work with gentleness, yet show strength in facing up to a stubborn animal. The background of the Collie is that of an adaptable, level-headed all-rounder. Collies are capable of being keen herders while remaining sensible, flexible family companions, whether as working dogs on a ranch or farm or helping out a suburban owner who keeps a few sheep, goats, or ducks as a hobby.

Participation in herding helps preserve the special heritage of the Collie and opens up new opportunities for owner and dog. The qualities that make a good herding dog – trainability, adaptability, loyalty, soundness of body and character, agility, grace – are important in many areas, and contribute so much toward making the dog an outstanding companion as well.

Herding Programs
Throughout the country there are local herding clubs that provide clinics, work days, trials and tests. Several organizations provide herding title programs in which Collies regularly participate. These include:

The Australian Shepherd Club of America
This program offers trial classes with three levels of difficulty held on either of two arena courses. The "A" course requires taking stock from a pen, guiding them through obstacles and repenning. The "B" course starts with a small outrun or gather, then the stock are guided through obstacles and penned in a free-standing pen, followed by a repen. Started Trial Dog (STD), Open Trial Dog (OTD), and Advanced Trial Dog (ATD) can be earned on sheep, cattle and ducks; small initials after the title indicate the type of stock. The Working Trial Championship (WTCh.) is earned when the Advanced title on all three types of stock has been achieved. There is also a Ranch Trial course (RTD) held in a ranch setting, a Post-Advanced class (PATD) held in a large field, and a Ranch Dog (RD, RDX) certification earned by a dog being judged on proficiency in its regular work at home. ASCA trials are open to all approved herding breeds.

> Get more information from the ASCA

The American Herding Breed Association
This program offers two types of trial classes, each with three levels, and also includes a test program. The Herding Trial Dog program, with levels HTD I, II and III, takes place on a standard course with outrun, lift, fetch, wear and/or drive and pen; trials may be held in arenas, although the course is not designed as an arena course and larger fields are preferred. The Herding Ranch Dog program, with levels HRD I, III and III, takes place on ranch/farm courses which vary in detail while including specified requirements. Both HTD and HRD titles require two qualifying scores under two different judges. Progression of difficulty in the trial classes echoes the progression in the training of a versatile herding dog.

Titles may be earned on sheep, ducks or cattle, which a small initial after the title indicating the type of stock on which the title was earned. A herding trial championship is earned by obtaining additional qualifying scores after the HTD III or HRD III title is earned. Test levels include the Herding Capability Test (HCT) and the Junior Herding Dog Test (JHD), both of which are run on a pass/fail basis and require two passing runs under different judges. These events are open to all herding breeds.

> Get more information from the AHBA

The American Kennel Club Test/Trial Program
This program offers test, pre-trial and trial classes. At the test (HT) and pre-trial (PT) levels, titles are earned with two passing runs. At the trial level, three qualifying scores under different judges must be earned for each of the three classes – Started (HS), Intermediate (HI) and advanced (HX, for Herding Excellent). A herding trial championship (HCh.) can be earned after completing the Herding Excellent title. There are three different types of trial courses, and titles are not differentiated by type of stock or course. The "A" course takes place in an arena and requires working livestock through obstacles and into a pen. The "B" course is a modified Border Collie course requiring an outrun, lift, fetch, wear/drive, pen and, in the advanced class, a shed. The "C" course is meant to reflect herding as done in Europe with large flocks in unfenced areas. Ducks, sheep or cattle may be used on certain of the courses. All AKC Herding Group breeds, plus Samoyeds and Rottweilers, are eligible.

> Get more information from the AKC

The American Working Collie Association
An organization specifically oriented toward Collies, the American Working Collie Association, also offers Herding instinct certification (HC), earned by passing a sanctioned herding instinct test, and a Herding Trial Championship (HTCh.), earned by accumulating 15 points in intermediate and advanced classes on a variety of courses. Information can be obtained from: The American Working Collie Association, 208 Harris Rd., FA 1, Bedford Hills, NY 10507, (914)241-7094. The AWCA has general information available about its programs, including the herding program rules.

> Get more information from the AWCA

International Sheepdog Dog Society (Border Collie) Trials
ISDS-type (Border Collie) trials emphasize work done at substantial distances from the handler. The course requires a sizable outrun, followed by a life and fetch. The stock are taken through two or three sets of free-standing panels and put into a small free-standing pen. At the novice levels, the handler may accompany the stock throughout the course, but at the higher levels the handler remains in a fixed position until moving to the pen to assist the dog in penning. The higher levels also include "shedding" or separating designated sheep from the group. Specific requirements may vary from trial to trial, as may the name of the class. There are many regional variations in Border Collies trials, and local trials that differ somewhat from the ISDS-type trials.

Because the requirements and judging in these trials favor a wide-running, strong-eyed dog able to work a t great distances from the handler on fairly flighty sheep (the type of work needed in the hills of the Scottish/English Welsh bore regions) breeds other than Border Collies are not commonly seen at these trials, but often the trials are open to other breeds.

> ISDS Course Description/ISDS Guidelines for Judges

Additional Resources
This list covers some of the books, magazines and videos available regarding herding and the herding breeds. Many other interesting titles are available.

Books
Books can be ordered through bookstores, directly from the publisher, or from suppliers specializing in sheepdog items who advertise in herding magazines. In addition, herding books often are available at book booths at dog shows and herding trials. If titles are not in a local library, they can be borrowed through inter-library loan.

Magazines

Videos
Videos are available in the U.S. and Canada from various suppliers specializing in sheep and sheepdog items who advertise in herding magazines.

Audio

More resources

Shepherd's crooks, whistles, sheepdog- and sheep-related crafts, gifts and other items can be obtained from suppliers advertising in herding magazines or sometimes through local feed and tack stores.

Herding description of the collie

History
The Collie originated in Scotland and England as an all-purpose farm and herding dog. The working Collie of the 1800's evolved into the "show" Collie that we know today. The Collie was expected to do whatever it was called upon to do, depending upon the particular farmer's needs. The Collie could herd any type of livestock, whether out in the pasture, in the barnyard, or on the road, as well as protect the stock, farm and family. The versatility of Collies made them valuable workers. In addition to gathering and moving stock at home, they also were used for droving, taking stock from farm to farm or to the city markets; frequently the drover went on ahead and the dog brought the stock along behind, sometimes even working out of sight of the drover.

Temperament
The Collie is well known for its easy-going temperament. To work stock, however, the dog must be able to handle all situations which might arise. The Collie is very adaptable and can learn to handle ducks and lambs gently and slowly, yet use appropriate force when needed with cattle and rams. It is intelligent, imaginative, laid-back, and easy to train if the herding instinct is strong. The Collie is rarely aggressive without provocation. It rarely grips without cause, but often uses "body checks" or pushes the stock with its nose. Many Collies can be barkers until confidence is built through training. Some have soft temperaments and can easily be turned off by a correction or even a harsh voice. While such dogs do not have an ideal temperament for a working dog, they can be trained with careful handling.

Trainability and Working Style
The Collie is a versatile herding dog, capable of working a variety of livestock in different situations. The majority of Collies are naturally gathering (fetching) dogs which cast out and gather up the animals and bring them to the handler; a few will naturally drive, pushing stock ahead of the handler. Many Collies work quietly, while others may tend to bark. Collies usually work in an upright posture. They generally show little or no "eye," although some individuals may show "eye" in varying degrees.

A good working Collie will keep the herd or flock well grouped and moving, combining speed, agility and strength of mind, and determination with the power to shift stubborn animals and to find those who stray. A desire to follow the wishes of the handler and also to use initiative round out the profile of the herding Collie.

When working stock, the dog should tend to pace itself to the stock, slowing down and regrouping the animals should they split or become agitated, moving the animals at a walk or trot rather than at a run. A dog which does not crowd the stock but works at a reasonable distance away from them can control the herd or flock in a calm and orderly fashion. Those dogs which have a tendency to move close to the stock should be encouraged to work further away. At the halt, the dog may remain on its feet, sit, or lie down. All are acceptable, as long as the stop is complete. For a large dog such as the Collie a stand or sit may be less awkward than a down.

These instinctive tendencies may not be immediately discernible in an adult dog because of lack of experience or the conditioning of other training, and they are often not apparent in puppies too young for training. However, with increased exposure to livestock, Collies with an inherent herding instinct will begin to display clearly defined herding skills which are easily molded and developed through sensitive training, appropriately geared to their basically gentle nature.

Behavior During Initial Exposures to Stock
The majority of Collies, upon first exposure to stock, will attempt to circle the stock, often barking. Being inexperienced they may split the stock or attempt to single one out, often just to see what it is. Almost all Collies quickly begin gathering/fetching behavior when guided by an experienced trainer. Collies often "shoulder," push or body-check stock, and sometimes will push or punch at them with their nose or feet, but rarely is any Collie a danger to stock through biting. Dogs which are too "soft" in temperament may be hesitant to leave the owner's vicinity, although they are interested in the stock; sometimes this may give an appearance of "driving," but with proper introduction to stock these dogs usually begin to circle and fetch. Gathering/fetching is the usual behavior seen in most untrained Collies. Because they are easily trained and versatile, Collies are quick to learn any type of herding task. Collies show a good ability to read stock and to balance or control the direction of the stock in relation to the handler. They are quick to pick up new ideas, both good and bad, but may turn off if the handler pushes them too hard during a lesson. A Collie which has been trained to herd usually will work at an easy gait, often a relaxed trot, and will walk up in a straight line rather than moving back and forth excessively. Barking, which is common, will lessen or stop altogether with experience. A good working Collie can be taught to grip noses if challenged by aggressive stock, and will stop immediately on command as well.

Undesirable Traits in the Inexperienced Dog
Most undesirable traits are those seen in a dog with little or no herding instinct. Undesirable behaviors include chasing stock, continually splitting the stock, gripping or biting for no reason, lack of interest, quitting or leaving when being directed by the handler or when challenged by stock, timidity and refusing to leave the handler's side to approach the stock.

Undesirable Traits in the Trained Dog
The level of experience should be kept in mind. A Collie with considerable experience usually works silently, calmly, and is obedient to the handler unless the handler gives an incorrectcommand (a Collie's herding instinct often will override an incorrect command). Undesirable traits include working too close to the stock, splitting the stock, constantly circling the stock, disobeying a correct command, uncalled-for gripping or excessive force, losing contact with the stock or quitting. Also undesirable is a dog who cannot think for himself but needs to be told every move to make.

^ MENU

CCA Herding Instinct Certification Program

Herding Instinct Certification Tests
A Herding Instinct Test introduces Collies and their handlers to herding at the basic level. It is designed to show whether or not a Collie, who may have never had any exposure to livestock, still has the natural instinct to perform the function for which the breed was initially created. It is a non-competitive introduction to carefully selected and easily handled livestock under favorably controlled conditions.

At a Herding Instinct Test, a person experienced with stockdog training supervises the introduction of individual dogs to livestock, usually ducks or sheep, to ascertain the dog's reaction. The tester guides the approach of the dog to the stock and encourages the dog to herd the stock. The owner stays near the tester, but usually does not take an active part unless experienced with stockdog training. The dogs are typically tested first with lead dragging and then may be let off lead.

A dog who, after a period of introduction, shows sustained interest in herding livestock, either circling or attempting to gather it, or following it about to drive it, will pass. A dog who works quietly, who barks (either a little or a great deal), or who may feint as though to nip is acceptable. A dog may be loose-eyed or may show some degree of eye. A variety of approaches and styles is acceptable.

It is to be remembered that many dogs through simple inexperience will make mistakes in their first exposure to livestock, but at all times the tester must see clear-cut evidence of herding instinct.

Explanation of Procedure
In advance of an organized Introduction to Livestock, Herding Instinct Test, or an AKC Herding Test, an owner of a Collie 6 months of age or older interested in having the dog receive a CCA Herding Instinct Certification Title (to be referred to as "HIC") will secure from the Secretary of CCA, the HIC Chairman or a CCA District Director a copy of the Application for Herding Instinct Certification form. Upon the dog's successful completion of the test, the owner will have the application form signed by the Judge and the Secretary of the event.

Any organized Introduction to Livestock, Herding Instinct Test, or AKC Herding Test sponsored by any legitimate club or group is acceptable. Acceptable sponsoring organizations do not have to be licensed by AKC and are not limited to Collie clubs. The Secretary of the sponsoring organization must sign the application for certification provided by the dog's owner. Securing this signature will be the owner's responsibility.

All AKC licensed Herding Judges and AHBA Judges are approved to sign the certification form. Experienced members of CCA or others who are not licensed Herding Judges will be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Working Collie Committee to act as Judges at organized Introduction to Livestock and Herding Instinct Tests and may also sign applications for certification.

The owner will send the completed form and a check to cover processing: $5 for CCA members and $10 for non-CCA members, to:

Jim Smotrel
HIC Chairman
2575 Hawkins Mill Rd
Lynchburg, VA 24503-4968

Phone (434) 384-3177
jsmotrel@jetbroadband.com

HIC event sanction form
This form is used to request that the CCA sanction an upcoming herding instinct certification test event. The form should be filled out and sent to the chairman of the CCA Working Collie Committee for approval.

> Download form now (PDF)
> Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

HIC test form
This form is used by the tester to record herding instinct evaluations. A copy of the completed form is given to the owner of dog. The owner of a Collie that passes should send a copy of this form, signed by the tester, to the chairman of the CCA Versatility and HIC Committee along with the appropriate processing fee to receive a CCA Herding Instinct Certification certificate.

> Download form now (PDF)
> Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

HIC test report
For CCA sanctioned HIC events, this summary report form should be completed and sent to the chairman of the CCA Working Collie Committee after the completion of the event.

> Download form now (PDF)
> Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Non-CCA application
This form is used to apply for a CCA HIC using the results from a herding instinct certification test sanction by an organization other than the CCA. A copy of this form and the evaluation form that the owner recieved should be sent to the chairman of the CCA Versatility and HIC Committee along with the appropriate processing fee to receive a CCA Herding Instinct Certification certificate.

> Download form now (PDF)
> Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Herding Regional Winners

> 2008 - 2017

^ MENU

Herding

Herding is a fascinating and enjoyable challenge. Few activities offer the variety of situations and the opportunity for real teamwork between handler and dog that are a part of herding. The herding dog must cooperate with the handler, yet use its own initiative and judgment. It must be able to work with gentleness, yet show strength in facing up to a stubborn animal. The background of the Collie is that of an adaptable, level-headed all-rounder. Collies are capable of being keen herders while remaining sensible, flexible family companions, whether as working dogs on a ranch or farm or helping out a suburban owner who keeps a few sheep, goats, or ducks as a hobby.

Participation in herding helps preserve the special heritage of the Collie and opens up new opportunities for owner and dog. The qualities that make a good herding dog – trainability, adaptability, loyalty, soundness of body and character, agility, grace – are important in many areas, and contribute so much toward making the dog an outstanding companion as well.

Herding Programs
Throughout the country there are local herding clubs that provide clinics, work days, trials and tests. Several organizations provide herding title programs in which Collies regularly participate. These include:

The Australian Shepherd Club of America
This program offers trial classes with three levels of difficulty held on either of two arena courses. The "A" course requires taking stock from a pen, guiding them through obstacles and repenning. The "B" course starts with a small outrun or gather, then the stock are guided through obstacles and penned in a free-standing pen, followed by a repen. Started Trial Dog (STD), Open Trial Dog (OTD), and Advanced Trial Dog (ATD) can be earned on sheep, cattle and ducks; small initials after the title indicate the type of stock. The Working Trial Championship (WTCh.) is earned when the Advanced title on all three types of stock has been achieved. There is also a Ranch Trial course (RTD) held in a ranch setting, a Post-Advanced class (PATD) held in a large field, and a Ranch Dog (RD, RDX) certification earned by a dog being judged on proficiency in its regular work at home. ASCA trials are open to all approved herding breeds.

> Get more information from the ASCA

The American Herding Breed Association
This program offers two types of trial classes, each with three levels, and also includes a test program. The Herding Trial Dog program, with levels HTD I, II and III, takes place on a standard course with outrun, lift, fetch, wear and/or drive and pen; trials may be held in arenas, although the course is not designed as an arena course and larger fields are preferred. The Herding Ranch Dog program, with levels HRD I, III and III, takes place on ranch/farm courses which vary in detail while including specified requirements. Both HTD and HRD titles require two qualifying scores under two different judges. Progression of difficulty in the trial classes echoes the progression in the training of a versatile herding dog.

Titles may be earned on sheep, ducks or cattle, which a small initial after the title indicating the type of stock on which the title was earned. A herding trial championship is earned by obtaining additional qualifying scores after the HTD III or HRD III title is earned. Test levels include the Herding Capability Test (HCT) and the Junior Herding Dog Test (JHD), both of which are run on a pass/fail basis and require two passing runs under different judges. These events are open to all herding breeds.

> Get more information from the AHBA

The American Kennel Club Test/Trial Program
This program offers test, pre-trial and trial classes. At the test (HT) and pre-trial (PT) levels, titles are earned with two passing runs. At the trial level, three qualifying scores under different judges must be earned for each of the three classes – Started (HS), Intermediate (HI) and advanced (HX, for Herding Excellent). A herding trial championship (HCh.) can be earned after completing the Herding Excellent title. There are three different types of trial courses, and titles are not differentiated by type of stock or course. The "A" course takes place in an arena and requires working livestock through obstacles and into a pen. The "B" course is a modified Border Collie course requiring an outrun, lift, fetch, wear/drive, pen and, in the advanced class, a shed. The "C" course is meant to reflect herding as done in Europe with large flocks in unfenced areas. Ducks, sheep or cattle may be used on certain of the courses. All AKC Herding Group breeds, plus Samoyeds and Rottweilers, are eligible.

> Get more information from the AKC

The American Working Collie Association
An organization specifically oriented toward Collies, the American Working Collie Association, also offers Herding instinct certification (HC), earned by passing a sanctioned herding instinct test, and a Herding Trial Championship (HTCh.), earned by accumulating 15 points in intermediate and advanced classes on a variety of courses. Information can be obtained from: The American Working Collie Association, 208 Harris Rd., FA 1, Bedford Hills, NY 10507, (914)241-7094. The AWCA has general information available about its programs, including the herding program rules.

> Get more information from the AWCA

International Sheepdog Dog Society (Border Collie) Trials
ISDS-type (Border Collie) trials emphasize work done at substantial distances from the handler. The course requires a sizable outrun, followed by a life and fetch. The stock are taken through two or three sets of free-standing panels and put into a small free-standing pen. At the novice levels, the handler may accompany the stock throughout the course, but at the higher levels the handler remains in a fixed position until moving to the pen to assist the dog in penning. The higher levels also include "shedding" or separating designated sheep from the group. Specific requirements may vary from trial to trial, as may the name of the class. There are many regional variations in Border Collies trials, and local trials that differ somewhat from the ISDS-type trials.

Because the requirements and judging in these trials favor a wide-running, strong-eyed dog able to work a t great distances from the handler on fairly flighty sheep (the type of work needed in the hills of the Scottish/English Welsh bore regions) breeds other than Border Collies are not commonly seen at these trials, but often the trials are open to other breeds.

> ISDS Course Description/ISDS Guidelines for Judges

Additional Resources
This list covers some of the books, magazines and videos available regarding herding and the herding breeds. Many other interesting titles are available.

Books
Books can be ordered through bookstores, directly from the publisher, or from suppliers specializing in sheepdog items who advertise in herding magazines. In addition, herding books often are available at book booths at dog shows and herding trials. If titles are not in a local library, they can be borrowed through inter-library loan.

Magazines

Videos
Videos are available in the U.S. and Canada from various suppliers specializing in sheep and sheepdog items who advertise in herding magazines.

Audio

More resources

Shepherd's crooks, whistles, sheepdog- and sheep-related crafts, gifts and other items can be obtained from suppliers advertising in herding magazines or sometimes through local feed and tack stores.

Herding description of the collie

History
The Collie originated in Scotland and England as an all-purpose farm and herding dog. The working Collie of the 1800's evolved into the "show" Collie that we know today. The Collie was expected to do whatever it was called upon to do, depending upon the particular farmer's needs. The Collie could herd any type of livestock, whether out in the pasture, in the barnyard, or on the road, as well as protect the stock, farm and family. The versatility of Collies made them valuable workers. In addition to gathering and moving stock at home, they also were used for droving, taking stock from farm to farm or to the city markets; frequently the drover went on ahead and the dog brought the stock along behind, sometimes even working out of sight of the drover.

Temperament
The Collie is well known for its easy-going temperament. To work stock, however, the dog must be able to handle all situations which might arise. The Collie is very adaptable and can learn to handle ducks and lambs gently and slowly, yet use appropriate force when needed with cattle and rams. It is intelligent, imaginative, laid-back, and easy to train if the herding instinct is strong. The Collie is rarely aggressive without provocation. It rarely grips without cause, but often uses "body checks" or pushes the stock with its nose. Many Collies can be barkers until confidence is built through training. Some have soft temperaments and can easily be turned off by a correction or even a harsh voice. While such dogs do not have an ideal temperament for a working dog, they can be trained with careful handling.

Trainability and Working Style
The Collie is a versatile herding dog, capable of working a variety of livestock in different situations. The majority of Collies are naturally gathering (fetching) dogs which cast out and gather up the animals and bring them to the handler; a few will naturally drive, pushing stock ahead of the handler. Many Collies work quietly, while others may tend to bark. Collies usually work in an upright posture. They generally show little or no "eye," although some individuals may show "eye" in varying degrees.

A good working Collie will keep the herd or flock well grouped and moving, combining speed, agility and strength of mind, and determination with the power to shift stubborn animals and to find those who stray. A desire to follow the wishes of the handler and also to use initiative round out the profile of the herding Collie.

When working stock, the dog should tend to pace itself to the stock, slowing down and regrouping the animals should they split or become agitated, moving the animals at a walk or trot rather than at a run. A dog which does not crowd the stock but works at a reasonable distance away from them can control the herd or flock in a calm and orderly fashion. Those dogs which have a tendency to move close to the stock should be encouraged to work further away. At the halt, the dog may remain on its feet, sit, or lie down. All are acceptable, as long as the stop is complete. For a large dog such as the Collie a stand or sit may be less awkward than a down.

These instinctive tendencies may not be immediately discernible in an adult dog because of lack of experience or the conditioning of other training, and they are often not apparent in puppies too young for training. However, with increased exposure to livestock, Collies with an inherent herding instinct will begin to display clearly defined herding skills which are easily molded and developed through sensitive training, appropriately geared to their basically gentle nature.

Behavior During Initial Exposures to Stock
The majority of Collies, upon first exposure to stock, will attempt to circle the stock, often barking. Being inexperienced they may split the stock or attempt to single one out, often just to see what it is. Almost all Collies quickly begin gathering/fetching behavior when guided by an experienced trainer. Collies often "shoulder," push or body-check stock, and sometimes will push or punch at them with their nose or feet, but rarely is any Collie a danger to stock through biting. Dogs which are too "soft" in temperament may be hesitant to leave the owner's vicinity, although they are interested in the stock; sometimes this may give an appearance of "driving," but with proper introduction to stock these dogs usually begin to circle and fetch. Gathering/fetching is the usual behavior seen in most untrained Collies. Because they are easily trained and versatile, Collies are quick to learn any type of herding task. Collies show a good ability to read stock and to balance or control the direction of the stock in relation to the handler. They are quick to pick up new ideas, both good and bad, but may turn off if the handler pushes them too hard during a lesson. A Collie which has been trained to herd usually will work at an easy gait, often a relaxed trot, and will walk up in a straight line rather than moving back and forth excessively. Barking, which is common, will lessen or stop altogether with experience. A good working Collie can be taught to grip noses if challenged by aggressive stock, and will stop immediately on command as well.

Undesirable Traits in the Inexperienced Dog
Most undesirable traits are those seen in a dog with little or no herding instinct. Undesirable behaviors include chasing stock, continually splitting the stock, gripping or biting for no reason, lack of interest, quitting or leaving when being directed by the handler or when challenged by stock, timidity and refusing to leave the handler's side to approach the stock.

Undesirable Traits in the Trained Dog
The level of experience should be kept in mind. A Collie with considerable experience usually works silently, calmly, and is obedient to the handler unless the handler gives an incorrectcommand (a Collie's herding instinct often will override an incorrect command). Undesirable traits include working too close to the stock, splitting the stock, constantly circling the stock, disobeying a correct command, uncalled-for gripping or excessive force, losing contact with the stock or quitting. Also undesirable is a dog who cannot think for himself but needs to be told every move to make.

^ MENU

CCA Herding Instinct Certification Program

Herding Instinct Certification Tests
A Herding Instinct Test introduces Collies and their handlers to herding at the basic level. It is designed to show whether or not a Collie, who may have never had any exposure to livestock, still has the natural instinct to perform the function for which the breed was initially created. It is a non-competitive introduction to carefully selected and easily handled livestock under favorably controlled conditions.

At a Herding Instinct Test, a person experienced with stockdog training supervises the introduction of individual dogs to livestock, usually ducks or sheep, to ascertain the dog's reaction. The tester guides the approach of the dog to the stock and encourages the dog to herd the stock. The owner stays near the tester, but usually does not take an active part unless experienced with stockdog training. The dogs are typically tested first with lead dragging and then may be let off lead.

A dog who, after a period of introduction, shows sustained interest in herding livestock, either circling or attempting to gather it, or following it about to drive it, will pass. A dog who works quietly, who barks (either a little or a great deal), or who may feint as though to nip is acceptable. A dog may be loose-eyed or may show some degree of eye. A variety of approaches and styles is acceptable.

It is to be remembered that many dogs through simple inexperience will make mistakes in their first exposure to livestock, but at all times the tester must see clear-cut evidence of herding instinct.

Explanation of Procedure
In advance of an organized Introduction to Livestock, Herding Instinct Test, or an AKC Herding Test, an owner of a Collie 6 months of age or older interested in having the dog receive a CCA Herding Instinct Certification Title (to be referred to as "HIC") will secure from the Secretary of CCA, the HIC Chairman or a CCA District Director a copy of the Application for Herding Instinct Certification form. Upon the dog's successful completion of the test, the owner will have the application form signed by the Judge and the Secretary of the event.

Any organized Introduction to Livestock, Herding Instinct Test, or AKC Herding Test sponsored by any legitimate club or group is acceptable. Acceptable sponsoring organizations do not have to be licensed by AKC and are not limited to Collie clubs. The Secretary of the sponsoring organization must sign the application for certification provided by the dog's owner. Securing this signature will be the owner's responsibility.

All AKC licensed Herding Judges and AHBA Judges are approved to sign the certification form. Experienced members of CCA or others who are not licensed Herding Judges will be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Working Collie Committee to act as Judges at organized Introduction to Livestock and Herding Instinct Tests and may also sign applications for certification.

The owner will send the completed form and a check to cover processing: $5 for CCA members and $10 for non-CCA members, to:

Jim Smotrel
HIC Chairman
2575 Hawkins Mill Rd
Lynchburg, VA 24503-4968

Phone (434) 384-3177
jsmotrel@jetbroadband.com

HIC event sanction form
This form is used to request that the CCA sanction an upcoming herding instinct certification test event. The form should be filled out and sent to the chairman of the CCA Working Collie Committee for approval.

> Download form now (PDF)
> Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

HIC test form
This form is used by the tester to record herding instinct evaluations. A copy of the completed form is given to the owner of dog. The owner of a Collie that passes should send a copy of this form, signed by the tester, to the chairman of the CCA Versatility and HIC Committee along with the appropriate processing fee to receive a CCA Herding Instinct Certification certificate.

> Download form now (PDF)
> Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

HIC test report
For CCA sanctioned HIC events, this summary report form should be completed and sent to the chairman of the CCA Working Collie Committee after the completion of the event.

> Download form now (PDF)
> Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Non-CCA application
This form is used to apply for a CCA HIC using the results from a herding instinct certification test sanction by an organization other than the CCA. A copy of this form and the evaluation form that the owner recieved should be sent to the chairman of the CCA Versatility and HIC Committee along with the appropriate processing fee to receive a CCA Herding Instinct Certification certificate.

> Download form now (Adobe Acrobat format, pdf)
> Download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Herding Regional Winners

> 2008 - 2017

^ MENU

Contacts

National Show Chair Liaison for Performance
Sue Larson
trailwind@surewest.net

Register of Merit - Performance
Suzanne Schwab
sschwab@me.com

Versatility and HIC
Jim and Judy Smotrel
jsmotrel@jetbroadband.com

Contacts

National Show Chair Liaison for Performance
Sue Larson
trailwind@surewest.net

Register of Merit - Performance
Suzanne Schwab
sschwab@me.com

Versatility and HIC
Jim and Judy Smotrel
jsmotrel@jetbroadband.com

^ MENU

Please send all questions to ccasec@tctelco.net
^ TOP