ISDS Trials - Format and Rules
The ISDS sheepdog trial format is the standard adopted by almost every other nation. The rules have been developed and refined over the last 100+ years to provide a fair and proper competition to show the abilities of the working sheepdog. A copy of the latest Rules For Trials (2012) are available as a PDF download.
These Rules are drafted for the ISDS National, International and World Trials. Many other smaller societies and associations, all round the world, also follow them. We are very happy if you wish to read or learn from the document. If you want to copy any of the content then you may do so but do please acknowledge the ISDS as the source.
The standard course is the National Trial Singles Course and a description and field layout for the movement of the five sheep are shown. Brace (Doubles) trials, where two dogs are worked together by the handler, are slightly different: National Trial Brace Course (also called Doubles). Please note that the simple descriptions on these links do not replace the more detailed content that will be found in the current Rules For Trials.
To enter for a National Trial you will need to collect points at local Qualifying Trials.
The ultimate test is the Supreme Championship Course in which the dog has to go and fetch ten sheep, bring them to the middle of the field, and then turn to fetch another ten sheep. For this reason it is called a 'double fetch'. This is principally used at the International and World trials to find the best from the final fifteen dogs.