February 13, 2010

NZ farm working dogs. Dog trials. The Short Head

By Dr Clive Dalton

The short head and yard
Here the competitor has to gather three sheep, drive then through a simple obstacle made from two parallel gates and then has to pen the sheep.

Picture 1: The competitor approaching the 'mark' with her dog while the releaser at the other end of the paddock has released three sheep from the holding pen out of sight on left of picture. He is holding them with his dog in a corner of a temporary fence.

Picture 2: Competitor waiting for the jugde's call to start. The releaser is walking off to get out of view but leaves his dog in position until the competitor's dog has made its cast to get behind the sheep.

Picture 3: Competitor's dog being released

Picture 4: Competitor's dog is about to come around behind the sheep for the 'Hold'

Picture 5: Everything going to plan - sheep approaching handler in a nice straight line.

Picture 6 & 7: Once passed the markers the handler can move for the 'Drive' through the hurdles. The handler is allowed to assist the dog with a stick (max length 1m).

Picture 8: The final part of the course is for the competitor and dog to pen the sheep. Time ends with the gate being closed. The competitor is not allowed to touch the sheep and there is no long rope on the gate to assist the handler as in the British trials.

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