Truckee Meadows Dog Training Club
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Farm Dog Certification

Under Construction


The purpose of non-competitive herding tests is to offer owners of herding breeds a standardized gauge by which a dog’s basic instinct and trainability are measured. The initial test is called the “Instinct Test,” and the dog needs no training before entering this class. The judge is looking for the dog’s 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.

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Farm Dog Certification
logo of the Truckee Meadows Dog Training Club

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 title.
 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 the farm.