The Farm Dog Certified test provides for a series of twelve exercises that represent situations a
farm dog would encounter in a typical farm environment. The basic test requirements are designed
to emphasize a dog’s ability of self-control, confidence and trust necessary to succeed in any
canine/human partnership. These traits and foundational training are vital to a working farm dog.
The FDC program provides an opportunity for all dogs to apply their basic training in a novel
environment, demonstrating their natural capability and trainability to work in partnership with
their human companions. The Farm Dog Certified test is open to all dogs.
The Farm Dog Certified test is designed to assess the overall conduct of a dog within a typical farm
environment. The dog must demonstrate self-control when exposed to livestock and other unique
sights, sounds and scents. The dog should exhibit confidence and a willingness to comply with
instruction when confronted with a variety of situations.
The Farm Dog Certification is not intended to confer herding capability, but rather a foundation of
self-control and biddability beneficial to all working dogs.
General Test Requirements
Non-competitive pass/fail evaluation of dog’s ability to exhibit self-control in a rural farm setting.
Open to all dogs at least 9 months of age that are individually registered with the AKC,
recorded in the FSS program, dogs with PAL numbers, or dogs enrolled in the AKC Canine
Partners Program. Females in season may not enter.
Safety is paramount. Farm site must be well maintained, with fences, gates and equipment in
good working order. All livestock must be in good condition, provided with fresh water, clean
housing, and confined to dog proof enclosures during the test evaluation.
The Judge must have at least one assistant to aid in administering the test.
Dogs must be on a leash at all times while on farm site unless confined in a crate, kennel or
vehicle. The leash shall be four to six feet in length.
Dogs must wear a secure, well fitting, flat collar during the test evaluation.
Handlers can use verbal cues, hand signals and praise provided it is not excessive in the opinion
of the Judge.
Dogs may attempt each test element no more than two times.
Dog must pass all elements of the test and overall assessment during the same test to qualify.
Dog must qualify under two different Judges in order to qualify to be awarded the FDC suffix
The Judge may discontinue testing if he/she determines the dog is too fearful or under duress to
perform the required elements.
The Judge may request the removal of any dog from the immediate test area at any time, if
he/she determines the presence of the dog presents a risk to livestock, other dogs, or persons on