Posted: 01/09/2015 at 06:17
JJ, they do - that's a whole different type of training. There's a German championship in herding every summer, there aren't many dog handlers who go in for herding as unlike Britain, sheep are not found in very many areas in Germany and lamb is not a popular meat here. There's also rescue dog work and of course security work. Lots of agility clubs too.
The training we do at local club level is not all that complicated, each level of exam builds on the level below. The basic is the "companion dog" exam which you must have before being eligible for any other. It is based on your dog walking to heel, both on leash and off, weaving through a group of people to show confidence, obeying the sit and down commands, and finally laying down to the side of the field while another dog completes the same routine. All further exams have that same routine plus additional commands that are progressively more difficult such as the "stay" from a run where the dog has to stop still on command while the handler carries on running. There are successive levels right up through local, regional, national and world championships. In all levels the maximum attainable is 100 points and 70 points is the minimum pass mark. Of course we all want higher than that!