The German Shepherds’ ancestral occupation so to speak remains alive and well in many of today’s GSD’s. We have various venues and styles in which we can train and test our GSD’s herding instinct. The purpose of non-competitive herding tests offers owners of herding breeds a standardized gauge by which a dog’s basic instinct and trainability are measured. Under the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) guidelines, the “Instinct Test” does just that – tests the dog’s interest in and ability to move and control livestock by fetching or driving. The purpose of the competitive herding trial program is to preserve and develop the herding skills inherent in the herding breeds, and to demonstrate that they can perform the useful functions for which they were originally bred. There are three basic types or styles of AKC competition herding: The most recognized style of herding involves the dog pushing or driving stock through a stockyard or ranch setting with gates and pens – A-Course competitions test this ability. Another style of herding involves the dog fetching stock from long distances (oftentimes out of the shepherd’s sight) and bringing them back to the shepherd – the B-Course tests these instincts. Tending dogs move and patrol the flock as it grazes or feeds and at the same time protect the large flock from intruders. Our German Shepherds excel at this tending style of herding, which also involves patrolling a border to prevent sheep from trespassing into other areas. C-Course tests our GSD’s talents in this area along with their intelligence, presence and power to independently influence and manage oftentimes upwards of 100 head of stock.*The GSDCSGV offers two all-breed herding trials each spring featuring AKC C-Course and A-Course herding competitions along with herding tests and sometimes instinct tests, too!