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Herding up fun

Agility competitors and visitors alike try out herding.  Article by Anne Douglas.

For the duration of the Cynosport Games, the Arizona Herding Association is alternatively giving demos and offering instinct tests. The instinct tests are open to any dog. Brad Lee, Secretary of the Arizona Herding Association ( says that they've had Schnauzers, Poodles, and various herding breeds on livestock at this event. "Our instinct test is to see if the dog shows interest in the stock and drive to work it," says Lee. "If they do, we give them certificates sanctioned by our club."

The herding club hopes to generate interest in their sport in agility folks as well as with the general public. It's working.

Last year, Adele Foster and Bill Driscoll came to the Cynosport Games last year for something fun to do, and were fascinated by the variety of different activities for dogs. Two months later, they had a Australian Cattle Dog puppy named Kassandra.

Kassandra did a herding instinct test today with fantastic results. "I'm just tickled pink - in the herding test they said she was outstanding," says Foster. "I definitely will be involved in herding and maybe agility."

Kassie herds!Photos by Brad Lee (

Lee says that more agility competitors are getting their dogs into herding and that it's possible to cross over as long as you understand the different skill sets involved in each sport. "Absolutely dogs can do well at both agility and herding. But herding is a different mindset from agility. The dogs need to flip a switch to a different instinct."

Anne Douglas is the editor of DogSport magazine ( and can be reached at


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