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AKC Herding Judges...

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Donald beat me to it. Ulf Kintzel does have a great reputation amongst GSD tending folk. I would love to spend some time with him but it is too far.

Also, there is a lady named Ellen Nickelsbach who is on one of the GSD lists who has excellent knowledge due to having been taught by an old master.

 

Edited to fix the link to Ulfs site

http://www.whitecloversheepfarm.com/

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Ok I see the difference now.

 

 

 

The German Shepherd dogs they leave with the sheep alone.

 

 

 

And they are in a busier place.

 

 

I would not leave my border collies alone with my sheep, either, Sheepdogging Geezer.

 

 

 

But the sad part is my old ewes I could trust to do their job on there own pretty much except for the hikers and all the loose dogs.

I have to add. Old Cap has run off one loose dog.

 

 

And I can't have my LGD loose on unfenced land.

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I have contemplated becoming an AHBA judge but won't enter in CKC because of they move to show the border collie in conformation. So Julie, I do have titles from AHBA on my dogs...granted I don't put them behind their names (or in front of their names); i do have AKC titles on dogs from many years ago.

 

I do think that it is wrong to judge AKC herding events. But I would/do still train people that want to run in AKC/CKC or AHBA herding. I guess that is how I support the machine...inadvertant, but it is $$ in my pocket and helps pay for my dog food and training bill.

 

As for AKC C course; it is really something watching a good tending type dog work a border on a graze. One of the German shepherds (person), would start his dogs on the graze, each took 2 sides, and he would go and sleep in his car. They were something to watch! Again, appreciating a well bred dog that is doing what it is supposed to do.

 

Ulf Kinzel has some very good tending dogs when I watched him 8 or 10 years ago. He also runs the HGH which is much more typical of what they do in Germany.

 

Tea, i too have grazed with my border collies, i've also used a tending dog, and once a border is set it is very neat to watch the dog work.

 

Cynthia

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The nice discussion on tending (thanks!) makes me think of one fall, just two years ago, perhaps, when we were strip-grazing our north hayfield. The field is two to three times as long as wide, and we were grazing it in fourths, using step-in posts and polytape to contain the cattle.

 

They would graze one section and then Celt and I would place ourselves along where the polytape would be relocated, Ed would take it down, letting the cattle into the new graze, and then he would set up the polytape in its new location behind me.

 

Celt, whose strong point is outwork (outrun, lift, and fetch) and not either driving nor holding stock off, quickly got the idea that there was "a line" and the cattle were not to cross that imaginary line. After the first time we did this, I didn't have to move in response to the cattle edging up to the line, but I could see him lying to one side of me, watching.

 

If any cattle from either side would begin to advance, he would quietly and quickly move laterally to place himself in front of the leaders. He'd stand, they'd see him, stop and drop heads to graze (or even shift back slightly first if he stepped forward because they had come up too far), and then he would lie down again and watch for movement in front ranks of the cattle.

 

A form of simple tending, and a new job that a gathering dog understood and was able to do - but I'd have never left him to do it alone. It is a fond memory for me, and an extension of the job of holding stock at a gate (or off a gate) which is something we have to do on occasion - but this involved a "front" that was a hundred yards or more in length.

 

A good tending dog at work must be a beautiful sight to see.

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Donald beat me to it. Ulf Kintzel does have a great reputation amongst GSD tending folk. I would love to spend some time with him but it is too far.

Also, there is a lady named Ellen Nickelsbach who is on one of the GSD lists who has excellent knowledge due to having been taught by an old master.

 

Edited to fix the link to Ulfs site

http://www.whitecloversheepfarm.com/

 

I hate to blaspheme on this board, but I still have a love for the German Shepherd Dog that rivals my newfound love for Border Collies (and my own BC X of course). Hence, this is very heartening to me, as it looks like this fella' breeds GSD's for versatility and working ability. I had friends who did Schutzhund with their German dogs, but I did not know about the HGH thing.

 

ETA: Having said that, there is something about the style of work that the Border Collie does that makes it seem almost magical to me. I don't think I would be quite as moved watching a GSD tend sheep, to be perfectly honest.

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Good tending dogs are beautiful to watch. I saw a many Old German Shepherds (Altdeutscher Schaeferhund) tending in Europe. You can see some interesting shots of the type of work they do if you visit:

 

http://www.a-a-h.de

 

Here is a post with nice pictures of German Shepherds from Ellen Nickelsberg's bloodlines she got got Manfred Heyne, a professional Shepherd. Interestingly, I met Ellen at Manfred's place in Germany.

 

http://www.kleinenwi...ng-wdelta-2011/

 

About Manfred:

 

http://www.german-sh...-manfred-heyne/

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Thank you Jeanne, that is the one! Cool stuff!

OT< just went to your site that was linked through the Tiger. Been doing some searching on the old german herding type dogs for a while now. I did not even know about most of those dogs.

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Good tending dogs are beautiful to watch. I saw a many Old German Shepherds (Altdeutscher Schaeferhund) tending in Europe. You can see some interesting shots of the type of work they do if you visit:

 

http://www.a-a-h.de

 

Here is a post with nice pictures of German Shepherds from Ellen Nickelsberg's bloodlines she got got Manfred Heyne, a professional Shepherd. Interestingly, I met Ellen at Manfred's place in Germany.

 

http://www.kleinenwi...ng-wdelta-2011/

 

About Manfred:

 

http://www.german-sh...-manfred-heyne/

 

Your Wordpress blog is awesome. From the time I could read, as a child, I read every breed history book I could get my hands on. I particularly love reading about the old foundation dogs.

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Claudia, the WTCH is NO where near comprable to a Border Collie trial. I have seen 2 or 3 GSD over the years with both the mental capabilities of large field trial work. None had owners capable of getting them very far. But the clinicians they worked with could do quite a bit with the dogs. But these dogs are the exceptions.

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Hi Pam :D

 

I know a ACSA WTCH does not even come close to a BC style trial as does my friend Darla.

 

But you would not believe the kind of comments one hears when a big, upright breed steps into the arena and thern outshines most other dogs:)

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You have to read between the lines, or look beyond the training so to speak. Just because a dog holds the lines with docile schooling sheep doesn't mean it is any good. I've definitely watched trials where I wouldn't take home the top 3 dogs, but one that was DQed caught me eye. You have to look at how the dog (not the handler) reads and adjusts to the stock. Some people are better than others at seeing past the training.

 

I have definitely met other breeds who had more natural ability than some Border Collies, but some of them could never do the job of a Border Collie. I saw a fabulous GSD at an AHBA trial, but she was physically unable to cover sheep if they bolted.

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There is an Open handler in CA that used have (maybe still does) GSDs. I remember many years ago watching him run a GSD in a PN class on range lambs. Beforehand he was pretty realistic about what he expected the run to look like and that the outrun was not going to be good. The ~300 yd outrun was pretty much straight up the field with a few stops and looking back for encouragement. The fetch was pretty good and the drive was excellent....until the 3rd leg, then the sheep ran away fast (poof!). The dog did not have the speed or the cast/cover to have any hope of catching them. Certainly, there was a lot of handling (obedience) involved in getting the dog around the course. In all, the work the dog did was very impressive....it was not bred to do that type of work but the work was very respectable, especially on the drive. However, it was very apparent that the scope, speed and ability to cover was deficient on a course set up for a border collie.

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You have to read between the lines, or look beyond the training so to speak. Just because a dog holds the lines with docile schooling sheep doesn't mean it is any good. I've definitely watched trials where I wouldn't take home the top 3 dogs, but one that was DQed caught me eye. You have to look at how the dog (not the handler) reads and adjusts to the stock. Some people are better than others at seeing past the training.

 

I have definitely met other breeds who had more natural ability than some Border Collies, but some of them could never do the job of a Border Collie. I saw a fabulous GSD at an AHBA trial, but she was physically unable to cover sheep if they bolted.

 

I'm not that familiar with ASCA. Do they only run arena type of courses? I know in AHBA and AKC, where I see the other breeds often having a problem is more in the open field type of courses (AKC B Course, AHBA HTD, and to some extent AHBA ranch courses depending on how they're designed). It's simply a matter of the sheep have a lot of options for where to go and a lot of the larger upright breeds just can't move fast enough to cover them if they decide to make a break for it. Some of the smaller ones (corgis, shelties) can really move fast, but have the disadvantage of shorter legs. Many of them I see don't read the sheep quickly enough to make a preemptive move - they react when they see sheep escaping and by then it's too late.

 

 

The dogs I enjoy watching are the ones who see it coming while it's still just a thought in the sheep's head and can move to communicate 'don't even think about it' before the handler even sees it. Those are the runs you hear everyone complain that that dog got the 'good' sheep because they never tried to run.

 

 

I think some of the comments I hear about 'trained school sheep' in the other organizations isn't so much really trained sheep as the way the course is set up, the fences are doing half the work for the dog and the sheep know their options are limited, and a dog put in the right place through obedience moves can get through it without having much real stock ability. Those same sheep out in a big field can be another story - trying to 'obedience through' an open field course doesn't work as well as in an arena. The place I see the trained school sheep phenomenon most apparent is in the beginner levels where the handler can walk with the sheep. You see sheep that will follow a person if a dog is anywhere in the vicinity, and the run often looks pretty smooth as long as the dog isn't too involved. But it goes in the toilet pretty quickly the more the dog tries to 'help' because then the dog pushes the sheep off the handler and the handler either is afraid to let the dog cover it, or the dog doesn't know how to cover because he's only been taught to follow sheep that are following a handler. I've seen a lot of these beginner runs that consist mostly of the handler fending their dog off the sheep while the sheep cling to the handler for protection. And then the breeder can brag about the titles. Ugh. I once saw a run score really high where the dog spent most of the run just standing in the middle of the arena (between the sheep and the exhaust) while the sheep followed the person. In an open field, those sheep would have been long gone.

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I'm not that familiar with ASCA. Do they only run arena type of courses?

The only ASCA trial I have seen on video was a National Final, and in an arena. The only ASCA venue that I have seen (not the day of an event) was an outside pen, smaller than many or most arenas. I would be interested to know if they do trial on anything larger.

 

I think some of the comments I hear about 'trained school sheep' in the other organizations isn't so much really trained sheep as the way the course is set up, the fences are doing half the work for the dog and the sheep know their options are limited, and a dog put in the right place through obedience moves can get through it without having much real stock ability. Those same sheep out in a big field can be another story - trying to 'obedience through' an open field course doesn't work as well as in an arena. The place I see the trained school sheep phenomenon most apparent is in the beginner levels where the handler can walk with the sheep. You see sheep that will follow a person if a dog is anywhere in the vicinity, and the run often looks pretty smooth as long as the dog isn't too involved. But it goes in the toilet pretty quickly the more the dog tries to 'help' because then the dog pushes the sheep off the handler and the handler either is afraid to let the dog cover it, or the dog doesn't know how to cover because he's only been taught to follow sheep that are following a handler. I've seen a lot of these beginner runs that consist mostly of the handler fending their dog off the sheep while the sheep cling to the handler for protection. And then the breeder can brag about the titles. Ugh. I once saw a run score really high where the dog spent most of the run just standing in the middle of the arena (between the sheep and the exhaust) while the sheep followed the person. In an open field, those sheep would have been long gone.

I don't know anything about anywhere else but it seems common in the Mid-Atlantic area for people to take lessons in the very same 100x200 (approx) field that they will then "trial" on, and on the same school sheep that are used day in and day out for lessons. The sheep really could do the course on their own and sometimes seem to do so (as you said, dog stands near the center and the sheep follow the handler around the fenceline, which puts them through the obstacles, and when they do have to turn from the fenceline, they do it out of habit at the "right" spot) following the handler.

 

Sometimes, I think teams lose more often because the handler or the dog impede the flow of the sheep around the familiar course, rather than that the winners demonstrate anything but obedience and staying out of the way.

 

One other problem I have seen is the reluctance of judges to take points off because they "don't want to discourage" the handlers. Taking off 1/2 point from 10 possible when the dog and handler do not do the element of the course right in any way, is dishonesty and a disservice to the handler, IMO.

 

You always make some good points, Diana.

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Claudia is more familiar with some of the new ASCA courses but most are in an arena. I think some of the Post Advanced have some field work. and most of the work in the ASCA trials is pushing stock down a fenceline.The intermediate and advanced classes usually have some sort of mid arena work (most typically an Y chute or free standing pen)

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Claudia is more familiar with some of the new ASCA courses but most are in an arena. I think some of the Post Advanced have some field work. and most of the work in the ASCA trials is pushing stock down a fenceline.The intermediate and advanced classes usually have some sort of mid arena work (most typically an Y chute or free standing pen)

 

 

 

Thanks Pam :)

Truth be known, I have little choice, down here in the great state of NM we have about 10 ASCA trials, 5 AHBA Trials, 1 AKC trial weekend and 1 BC (I think) trial a year!

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Claudia is more familiar with some of the new ASCA courses but most are in an arena. I think some of the Post Advanced have some field work. and most of the work in the ASCA trials is pushing stock down a fenceline.The intermediate and advanced classes usually have some sort of mid arena work (most typically an Y chute or free standing pen)

 

 

ASCA also has a RTD title, Ranch Trial Dog. This is for courses designed on a "ranch" course, which allows for as much (or as little) creativity as the course designers wish to employ.

 

Here is what the requirements are for the ASCA Ranch course, taken from the Stockdog Rules:

 

"SECTION 3 – RANCH TRIAL COURSE

Because of the varying setups of ranches and farms around the country, no two ranch trial courses will necessarily be the same. The Ranch Trial Program was set up to simulate ranch type work and no restrictions to the handler shall be added. The following are minimum requirements for a trial setup.

10.3.1 Pen Work: Minimum of ten head required at the start. Minimum of two pens needed. The work will include, but is not limited to, moving the stock from one pen to another before and after sort and/or chute work. The dog should work primarily on its own in the pens.

10.3.2 Sorting: Minimum of ten head required at the start. At least one sort is required. Work required includes the sorting of a minimum three animals and moving them to a separate pen and/or holding them in a designated area. A drafting race may be used to sort sheep/goats. The dog and handler may work together during sorting. Animals to be sorted may either be marked prior to the run, or designated by the Judge during the run.

10.3.3 Chute Work: Will include use of a loading chute, squeeze chute or drafting race. The stock must be put into the chute from a pen, run through the chute and out of it. With a loading chute the stock should be loaded onto a trailer or truck. The dog and handler may work together during the chute work.

10.3.4 Pasture Work: Minimum of ten head to be worked throughout the pasture portion of the work. Minimum pasture size is five acres. The work may be done before or after the corral work. Pasture work can be a gather and/or a drive, from or to a designated area. The distance of the gather and/or drive will be determined by the pasture setup but must be great enough to indicate that the dog is capable of effective ranch work, and to allow the dog to demonstrate it’s ability to maintain good control of its stock in an open pasture setting. Which task(s) is performed (gather and/or drive) will be determined by the trial course. The dog should work primarily on its own with assistance from the handler kept to a minimum. Handler may be on horseback if size of the course requires it. Time will be called for overworking stock."

 

From what I've heard and seen, there can be a *lot* of variance in how challenging these ASCA ranch courses may be. I've also seen people who were reluctant to try a course that seemed too far from the familiar arena stuff. So ... there you have it. :)

 

~ Gloria

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I gave one ranch course a try years ago. It started with sorting about 10 sheep out of a pen then negoitiating some simple obstacles on the course. One handler 's dog lost the sheep half way throught the course. Her sheep busted back into the original sorting pen(dog chasing them). The judge said-get 10 more out and finish the course to top it off that handler then went on to win HIT with that run. That is my experience with ASCA ranch. AHBA not much better, overly simplified courses overly priced entries. Over the years I've run ASCA very few times one main reason is the lack of trials nearby and I don't find them challenging and too expensive for a 'fun day' besides the titles don't mean a tinker's #$%^ to me

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I gave one ranch course a try years ago. It started with sorting about 10 sheep out of a pen then negoitiating some simple obstacles on the course. One handler 's dog lost the sheep half way throught the course. Her sheep busted back into the original sorting pen(dog chasing them). The judge said-get 10 more out and finish the course to top it off that handler then went on to win HIT with that run....

 

 

Jeezo pete! I have *never* seen a dog lose their sheep and then be allowed to start over with fresh sheep! I've only ever seen re-runs allowed if there was something really wrong, like an outside influence that messed up the run,(lose dog outside the fence, etc) or a sheep that was lame or attacking the dogs. But that's very, very rarely. Shame, shame on that judge! The run should have been heavily penalized for lack of control, as "Dog's Ability to Control Livestock" is part of the ASCA scoring. In fact, incompetent work or lack of progress are grounds for a judge to call time.

 

Unless the judge saw some extenuating circumstance that was not apparent to you, that was dead wrong and against ASCA stockdog rules.

 

You're sure right about the costs of entry fees. I guess they base them on the show dog rates or something, but it's ridiculous.

 

~ Gloria

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