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Practical Shepherding Tests 

Summer 2000


We must always be aware that working stock with dogs is going to be ever more open to criticism unless people train,handle and 'share' their sheep and their dogs in a way sympathetic to the animals involved. Trialing, and training for trialing, is not work, it's a hobby. A hobby with the side headline, often, of 'saving' the working abilities of the various herding dog breeds, which, given the erosion of the various jobs they may have been originally bred to do, means replacing it with look-a-like training tests devised by various clubs and societies. The sheep, ducks and cattle involved in this hobby would not choose to involved in it. A wise comment I read somewhere is 'It's not what he does with his dog, it's what he doesn't do with it that makes him a good shepherd' And Shepherding is what trialing is meant to showcase. Shepherding is looking after the stock in your care, however briefly.

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