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     The AKC offers two herding tests, passing of the tests gains the apropriate title.  To receive either an HT or PT title, the dog must qualify twice under two different judges.  The HT and PT titles are not scored, but are pass/fail.

This information kindly provided by Joel Levinson


The arena for HT shall measure no less than 100 X 100 for sheep (50 X 100 for ducks).   If the corners of the arena are square, they are to be rounded.

     Two Pylons or similar markers are placed on the center line of a fenced arena, approximately 10 feet in from the fences at opposite ends of the arena.   Time allowed is 10 minutes.  Handler enters the arena with the dog on lead and with the judge (Who is usually, but not required to be, in the arena) moves to a position appropriate to start the test.  Judge will establish that the dog is under control (While still on leash).  Handler is then instructed to place the dog in a stay (either stand, sit, or down) and remove the lead.

     Testing commences when the lead is removed.  The dog must demonstrate a controlled pause (stay in position until sent).  After removing the lead, handler may assume a position in relation to the stock.

     The judge may provide verbal assistance, but will not interfere with the movement of stock, dog or handler unless necessary to remove dog and handler from the arena.

     The dog is to be under control, and demonstrate controlled movement of stock from the first pylon to the second, turn the stock at or near the second pylon, and move the stock back to the first pylon, where they are again turned at or near the pylon and moved back to the second pylon.  The handler may work the stock across the open arena or along the fence line.

     The test is concluded with a stop and a recall.  The five elements being tested are as follows:
1. controlled pause at the beginning.
2 & 3. two changes of direction while exhibiting controlled movement of stock.
4. Stop
5. Recall.


     The PT arena is 100 X 200 minimum (50 X 100 for ducks) to a maximum of 200 X 400.  There needs to be an exit gate for exhausting the sheep at the end of the run.  At the far end of the arena, opposite where the sheep are picked up, there are two panels, approximately 26 feet from the back (narrow) wall, and 12 feet in from the side.  In the duck arena, the panels are proportional.

     Time allowed is ten minutes.  As in the HT, the judge may give verbal assistance to the handler, and may be inside the arena.  Most judges in PT are outside the arena.  The same proceedures for HT apply to PT for the start of the run.  Stock is free standing at the opposite end of the arena from the panels.   Dog enters on lead, and the run begins when the judge instructs the handler to remove the lead.

     The stock are moved from the pick up point thru the first panel, across the back of the arena, and thru the second panel.  The stock continue down the long side of the arena, to a point approximately half way down the long side, and are then turned around, and brought thru the two panels in reverse order as the first time thru.  The stock will be moved to the exhaust pen, the handler will open the gate, and the dog will pen the sheep.  Four gate passes (two of each gate) are required, and the handler must also demonstrate that a dog can hold a stop.  Test is completed when the handler closes the exhaust gate.

The five elements of the test are:
1. A Stay (controlled pause) at the beginning.
2. Controlled passage of stock including clearing the four gates.
3. One stop on course.
4. One stop while the handler opens the pen gate.
5. Penning the sheep.

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