^^I had to look it up, as it wasn't a term I was familiar with either.
Found a pretty sussinct overview of various herding breeds on this site: http://www.gopetsame...ding_dogs.aspx.
It's a good basic description of the different types. The only thing I could really wish for such a basic overview is that they'd made a bit more distinction between "sheepdog trial" and "competitive herding events" in the final section so it was clear to the uninitiated that they're not the same thing.
These breeds were developed in Europe to help in the grazing of sheep in areas around crops. Dogs of this type customarily took their sheep out to graze each day and then patrolled along the grazing area to keep the sheep restricted to the unfenced space that they were supposed to graze. Tending breeds include Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervurens, Bouvier des Flandres, Briards, German Shepherds, Beaceron, Pyrenean Shepherds and Pulis.
From what I know of the tending breeds mentioned here, I sincerely doubt the description that Liz gave of their work at the so-called trials would be of much use in practical farmwork, and I'd think that such demonstrations would indeed be "made up" for the ACK-type crowd.
ETA: There is also an American Tending Breeds Association. It appears to be an ACK focused group from my brief perusal. http://atba-herding.org/