agree that the present test is
unworkable and should be renegotiated. A new improved test is, I
believe, vital if the breed is to keep it's image intact. The test
needs to be both achievable and credible if it is to be attractive to
test should not reflect trials, as it does at present, because
trials are competitive by nature and require skills and a degree of
training, clearly beyond the average owner. The test should set out to
demonstrate the dogs
only. The objectives should be clearly defined
so that the assessors are in no doubt. The test should reflect everyday
practical shepherding as closely as possible.
suggestion is thus;
outrun, a lift and fetch of about 200 yards. (emphasis should not be
on the shape of the outrun or on how straight the fetch is). The dog
should be able to gather sheep without undue stress and balance and
control with a definite will to please being demonstrated. Sheep should
then be held to the handler for inspection (the handler should move
around sheep in both directions leaving the dog to head and hold the
sheep as necessary.) The sheep should then be driven back to the top of
the field and the dog called off. (If preferred the sheep could be
penned or driven through a gate into another field.)
important considerations are:-
should be of a reasonable type. (ewes
assessors should have some experience of
the show world (at least one).
should be no age limit (6 months
- No prior
- No limit
on number of tests.
- Success in
the test should be recognised as a
qualification in dogs other than Champions.
hope this has been of some use and would appreciated any information