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New York, N.Y. – The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest dog registry and advocate for all dogs, is pleased to announce a new program called the Farm Dog Certified test.  The test provides for a series of twelve exercises that represent situations a dog may encounter in a farm environment.  The basic test requirements are designed to demonstrate a dog’s trainability, self-control, confidence and trust when working in partnership with their owner.  

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.

“A wide variety of dogs live in rural areas.  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.” 

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, dogs with PAL numbers, or dogs enrolled in the AKC Canine Partners Program.

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.

“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.”

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    

Questions or comments may be emailed to

The test provides for a series of twelve exercises that represent situations a dog may encounter in a farm environment.