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Trial info

The International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) was founded in 1906 with the intention of stimulating interest in the shepherd, the shepherd's calling and to secure the better management of stock by improving the shepherds dog.

Handlers and their sheepdogs compete at the 'Trials' to test the skills of the handlers and their dogs over a laid out course.

The dogs are guided through a series of commands to complete a variety of tasks which reflect their everyday work with a packet of sheep. Each handler will give their commands, either by voice, by whistle, or a combination of both.

Judges score each element of the run - the outrun, lift, fetch, drive, shed, pen and single. The handler and dog losing the 'least number' of points from a predefined maximum starting number of points is declared the winner.

Hundreds of local Sheepdog Trials are held regularly throughout Great Britain each year.

Each summer the ISDS hold National Trials - in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

During the three days of the National Trials, handlers will run 150 dogs over the course. The handlers aim is to gain a place in their National Team to represent their Nation at the Societies annual International Trial. Each National Trial will also produce a National Champion and a Team Captain.

Every three years a World Trial is held with over 240 sheepdogs and their handlers representing over 25 countries worldwide competing for the title of the 'World Sheepdog Trial Champion'.