Herding - NTSRI

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Samoyeds are not technically members of the “herding” group of dogs. (The Herding Group includes Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian Shepherds, Collies, German Shepherds, Corgis, and various sheepdogs, among others.) But the historical use of Samoyeds for herding reindeer in their native land of Siberia means that some Samoyeds do retain the vestiges of the herding instinct.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) does recognize Samoyeds as an approved breed for participation in herding trials.

Unlike Australian Shepherds, Border Collies and others, Samoyeds are called “loose eyed” herders.  That means that they use their body language, rather than their eyes, to move livestock.  They typically work closer to the animals than other herders, as a result, and they may even come in physical contact with the livestock at times.

The Samoyed Club of America and other organizations periodically hold both herding instinct testing and herding trials. Titles can be earned by those dogs that test positive for the instinct.

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