The AKC is pleased to announce a new program called the Farm Dog Certified (FDC) test. Dogs will work through a series of 12 exercises that represent situations they may come across in a farm environment, and must display trainability, self-control, confidence and trust in their owner throughout the experience.
“A wide variety of dogs live in rural areas, so the FDC test is intended to demonstrate good behavior in these settings,” said Alison Ruhe, AKC Executive Field Representative for Herding. “In addition, we view this new class as an opportunity to benefit our herding clubs by attracting new dog owners to their events, introducing them to the fascinating sport of herding.”
About the Test
The test is a non-competitive pass/fail evaluation designed to assess the overall conduct of a dog. The dog must demonstrate self-control when exposed to livestock and other unique sights, sounds and scents. The dog should exhibit confidence and a willingness to comply with instructions when confronted with a variety of situations within farm type surroundings. For more information about the test exercises, visit the Farm Dog Certified Test page in the Events section here.
Who can participate?
The FDC test is open to all dogs at least 9 months of age that are individually registered with the AKC, recorded in the FSS program, listed with a PAL number, or enrolled in the AKC Canine Partners Program.
“The FDC test provides an opportunity for dogs to apply their basic training in a unique environment. One can think of it as a Canine Good Citizen test on a farm,” said Doug Ljungren, V.P. for Sports & Events. “In addition to promoting responsible dog ownership, the basic manners needed for the FDC test will prepare them for many other AKC activities.”
For any AKC clubs interested in hosting an event, all Clubs currently licensed for AKC Herding will be allowed to hold Farm Dog Certified tests. The FDC test can be held as a class at a Herding event or may be held as a stand-alone test. Clubs not licensed for herding may be approved by the Performance Events Department to hold FDC tests in unique situations such as county fairs and community dog events. All individuals approved to judge AKC Herding Tests/Trials are eligible to judge a FDC test.
Clubs may apply for the FDC test starting July 1, 2016. Additional information about the test and all applicable forms can be found at the AKC website at www.akc.org/events/herding/farm-dog-certified-test/.
If you have any questions or comments about this new program, you can reach out to the Performance Events department at PerformanceEvents@akc.org.