Monday, October 15, 2018

Farm Dog Certified

This weekend we participated in an AKC Farm Dog Test!  The test was held on Saturday in the morning, and then again in the afternoon with a different judge.  It was cold and rainy in the morning, but cleared up by the afternoon.  Even though we were wet and freezing, we all had a lot of fun, especially the dogs who were entered!

Both Sophie and Kori passed both the AM and PM tests, earning their FDC titles!  (FDC = Farm Dog Certified)  I'm very proud of both my girls!  (Ryder passed this test last year, I didn't want to leave him out of the recognition!)

The test is open to all breeds of dogs, not just herding breeds.  There was a Great Dane, a poodle and a Portuguese Water Dog taking the test with all the collies.  The goal of the test is to "assess the dog's aptitude as a working farm dog by exhibiting self-control, confidence and trust with you or his/her handler."  I found the whole test pretty interesting, as some of the elements were similar to what you see in the Canine Good Citizen Test and the Therapy Dog test.  It definitely requires you and your dog to work together as a team, and good communication with your dog is important.

The test is made up of 12 elements that must be completed:

1. Greet Evaluator – Initial Dog Appraisal
Handler approaches evaluator, dog stops at handler’s side on a loose lead while evaluator performs
2. Perform a Walk Pattern around Farm Environment and by Passive Stranger
The handler walks the dog on a loose lead in a prescribed pattern through farm objects. A passive
stranger sits quietly on course.
3. Jump on Hay/Straw Bale
The handler instructs the dog to jump up on a bale of hay and stay on the bale for a minimum of 10
seconds while maintaining a loose lead.
4. Walk by Farm Animal(s)
The handler walks the dog on a loose lead in view of penned farm animal(s) approximately 30 feet
away from the fence line housing farm animal(s).
5. Walk Over or Through Unusual Surfaces
The handler walks the dog on a loose lead over or through three different unusual surfaces, including
a plastic tarp, safe wooded surface, and another typical farm environment surface.
6. Supervised Separation
The handler places the dog in a freestanding kennel or dog crate and walks out of sight for a minimum
of 1 minute.
7. Pass Through a Gate
The handler and dog navigate through a gate on a loose lead, the dog must wait calmly as the
handler opens the gate, calls dog through the gate opening and closes the gate.
8. Handler Feeds Livestock
The handler performs a farm chore of feeding farm animals while the dog is secured a minimum
of 30 feet away from the animal enclosure.
9. Reaction to Another Dog
The handler is positioned in a designated area with the dog at side on loose lead. The dog may
stand, down or sit. Another dog is walked by on lead approximately 10 feet away.
10. Reaction to Noise Distraction
The handler may stand or quietly walk in a designated area with the dog at side on loose lead. The
assistant creates two background noises typical to a working farm environment.
11. Dog Approaches Livestock
The handler, with the dog at side on a loose lead, enters a fenced area that contains livestock within
a separate enclosure. The dog is introduced to livestock and encouraged to approach the pen, the
dog is then called back to the handler and returns readily when called.
12. Physical Examination
The handler physically examines the dog for any plant material, debris or objects that the dog may
have collected while working on the farm.

* To pass the FDC Test, dogs must pass all elements of the test, including test assessment.

The goal is to have the dog be consistently responsive to the handler and successfully exhibit self-control while exposed to a farm environment.

You can learn about this test, and other AKC titles, by clicking on the link below:

So if you are looking for a fun new title to earn with your dog, you should give this one a try!  I also wanted to share our news, this is our 500th post! 


  1. Wow, that's a lot of things to do with your pup. I know many love this.

    Congratulations on your 500th post.

    Have a woof woof day you two. My best to your mom. ♥

  2. Congratulation on 500th post!

    What a cool test to take. Did you and the dogs have to study for it?

    My dogs would be hysterical around livestock, dogs, noises. lol So I am always impressed by those that can do it.

    Congratulations to Sophie and Kori! That's fantastic!

  3. Congratulations on a lot of hard work and 500 posts

  4. WOW! Congrats on passing that test, we're all very proud of you!

  5. Congratulations, Sophie and Kori! No way could I do anything like that! And congrats on 500 posts!

  6. Such fun skills. Congratulations! I am pretty sure I could NOT get through all those tasks. Passing through doorways throws me for a loop, so that whole gate passing thing would definitely not fly with me.

    Love and licks,

  7. Wow that is impressive to test around farm animals and be a good dog! Congratulations
    Hazel & Mabel

  8. was a weimaraner there too? maybe we can be the first ones who pass that test? Congrats Sophie and Kori!!!

  9. Congrats! Somehow I don't think Ruby would pass this test. Her attention sometimes wanders.

  10. That is a long list of things to do! Congrats to you and both of your pups! What kind of livestock did they use for the test? I am so impressed!

  11. hello collies its dennis the vizsla dog hay kongratchoolayshuns on yore noo sertifikats!!! and on all those posts too!!! wel dun!!! ok bye

  12. Great job, girls! That sounds like a really fun test!