Monday, October 1, 2018

Doing what he loves...

If you read the newest post in our series, the Versatile collie, then you already know that collies love to herd sheep.  If you haven't read the post, then you can find it here.  One of the puppies from our litter back in 2016 has actually been learning how to herd both sheep and ducks.  The puppy, who we called Ben (now called Gibbs) has already earned his PT title and is working on earning his last leg in his HSAd title.  I didn't really know much about all the different herding titles, so I decided to learn more, since one of my puppies is doing so well.

Gibbs, when he was just a puppy, would sleep on his slide every day.

There are different herding titles, and different levels as well.  But there is one thing that is immediately obvious, herding is FUN!  If you watch collies while they herd, you can see that they are all having a wonderful time, just by looking at the happiness on their faces.

These are the titles your dog can earn from competing in herding:

  • HIC (Herding Instinct Certificate) This is now a title demonstrating your dog has herding instinct.
  • HT (Herding Tested) This is the first title one may earn in herding. It requires 2 legs and is pass/fail.
  • PT (Herding Pre Trial) This is the second title one may earn. It also requires 2 legs and is pass/fail.
  • HS (Herding Started) This title requires 3 legs, earning at least 50% on each section.
  • HI (Herding Intermediate) This titles requires 3 legs, earning at least 50% on each section.
  • HX (Herding Advanced) This title requirse 3 legs, earning at least 50% on each section.
  • HC (Herding Champion)

Dogs can compete on 3 types of courses:

  • A course: The minimum size is 100x200. This is generally for most breeds in the Herding group.
  • B course: This is a large field. This is generally for Border Collies and other breeds that herd over fields.
  • C course: This field is set up for herding boundaries. This is generally for German Shepherds and other breeds that were bred to do boundary work.

The HIC, HT and PT are not done on A,B or C type of courses.  They have their own separate course.  These tests are done on sheep only.

Dogs can compete for herding titles with 3 types of stock:

  • Ducks (have smaller fields than the sizes listed above.)
  • Sheep 
  • Cows 

A title showing HSAs means the dog has earned a Herding Started title on A course with Sheep. 
A title showing HSAd means the dog has earned a Herding Started title on A course with ducks.
A title showing HSAsd means the dog has earned a Herding Started title on A course with Sheep and Ducks.  

Looking at Gibbs herding the sheep, you can see this isn't work for him, this is his favorite thing to do.  His Mom, who let us use her pictures for this post, has told me that he waits all week for his herding practice.  His trainer, Karen Malloy, has done a wonderful job teaching this young dog how to herd, while making sure he had fun.  

With all he has accomplished at just 2 years old. I can't wait to see what's next for this beautiful boy.

Our Sophie, who is Gibb's sister, is now a Therapy Dog and we will be starting to train to compete in Rally-O. Our Maizie, another sister, is well on her way to earning her conformation championship. Nigel, their brother, is training to become a service dog, and Finn is now a Therapy Dog as well.  All the puppies in this litter have grown up to be so special, and they make me proud every day.

Thank you Mary, for allowing us to share all these beautiful pictures of Gibbs on the Collie Blog!  And thank you for giving this boy such a wonderful home, and the opportunity to shine!


  1. It is wonderful to see herding dogs at work. They look so beautiful. You must be so proud.

  2. I am so impressed with all the things your dogs do, sports and work, and how fun to see one of your puppies out doing fun things too!
    Will collies herd chickens? Some day we'd like to get a real farm dog breed, and it would be great to have help getting those girls in the coop in the evening! :)
    Thanks for joining our blog hop!

  3. Wow - these Collies are amazing with the work they do! Gibbs is just adorable sleeping on his slide☺

  4. Oh my this is filled with Aww. Adorable and so talented he is. Collies are such wonderful dogs.

    Welcome to Awww Mondays. It's good to see new faces. Thanks for joining in. I've added your blog to my feed so when you post new content I'll know.

    Have a fabulous Awww Monday. ♥

  5. OMD, how funs! Ma had an Old English Sheepdog that used to 'herd' her, butts I don't thinks that's the same thingie ☺
    What wonderful doggies Collies are!
    Ruby ♥

  6. That is awesome. You have very talented dogs. We just lie around all day

  7. Your Sophie is such a beautiful girl! DH had a mixed breed dog when he was a boy named Ralph. I always thought if we got a dog it would be a Collie of sorts, mixed breed. Every time I think of Collies, I think of Lazzie. I loved watching that TV program as a kid. Thanks for sharing such a lovely post of your fur baby! Have a pAwesome week and happy Tuesday!

  8. Love that sleeping on the slide. We have friends who do herding. Great sport for the right dogs.

  9. I would love to do herding with Barley, but the closest place is over an hour away, which means we'd have to do it during the summer when I'm off of work and Barley doesn't love to do much of anything when it's hot. She has been so interested the couple times she's see sheep up close, though. These pictures are amazing! Thank you for sharing this info about herding (and for joining the hop!).

  10. Wow, that litter sounds amazing. You did a great job matching the pups with their people.

    Love the pictures of Gibbs herding. I believe that every dog, like every human, needs a job. Looks like Gibbs loves his work.

  11. This is amazing to read. I never thought of collies as sheep dogs! But then, I forget that Afghan hounds are carriage dogs for the rich! really I need to get out more ;-)

    Thank you for joining the Pet Parade, we really appreciate your friendship and support.

  12. I've seen herding instinct tests before which looked like fun. The ones I saw included ducks. Not compatible with terriers though!