Sheepdogs are extremely versatile dogs that can excel in multiple venues. Below
are some of the many activities you can find shelties participating in.
Conformation is one of the most well known dog activities and is often the first
thing that comes to many peoples mind when they think of dog shows. Conformation
is not a comparison of one dog to another. It is a comparison of each dog to a judge's mental image of ideal breed type as outlined by the individual breed's written breed standard. A judge chooses the dog(s) that most closely resemble the ideal on that particular day.
Click here for more
information about conformation.
Basic obedience training helps to teach your dog basic manners and positive
behaviors. For those that are interested in going beyond the basics, competitive
obedience offers a way to test your dogs abilities. In obedience trials, dogs
are judged on their accuracy to perform various exercises as directed from their
handler. These exercises range from basic things such as basic heeling and staying, to more advanced exercises like retrieving and scent discrimination. You can find out more information about obedience by
Rally obedience can be described as obedience exercises performed in an agility format. Rally is a
great way to build a working relationship between dog and handler, and can serve as a foundation for other
A Rally ring contains a course of stations that the handler and dog must complete without direction from the judge. In the Rally ring, the handler can talk to the dog during the course, and give verbal and hand cues for the same exercise.
You can learn more about Rally by
Agility is basically an obstacle course that a handler guides their dog through.
An agility course can consist of jumps, weaves, tunnels and other obstacles
(such as a teeter and dog walk.) Dogs compete against other dogs of similar
height at various levels of competition. They are scored on accuracy as well as
speed. You can find out more about AKC's agility program by
AKC's herding program consists of two separate components. They offer a herding
instinct test that assesses a dogs interest and natural control of other
animals. They also offer competitive herding trials were dogs are scored on
their ability to control and "drive" animals through various things likes gates
and pens. Click here to learn
more about AKC's herding program.
Junior showmanship is open to kids ages 9 - 18. It is similar to conformation
except that the handler is judged instead of the dog. Juniors are judged on their ability to present, or handle, their dogs within the same formats and guidelines as those who compete in the breed ring.
They compete against other juniors of similar age and experience.
here for more information on the AKC Juniors program.
A shelties empathetic nature and compact size make them great for therapy
dog work. Therapy dogs are trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes
and schools. Therapy dogs also help people with learning difficulties, and coping with stressful situations like disasters.
The two main therapy dog certification agencies are
Therapy Dogs International and the