Rules for Trials

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, and to show the abilities of the working sheepdog.

A copy of the latest Rules For Trials (2024) are available as a PDF download by clicking on the image below. (Please note a PDF will automatically download to your device once clicked.)

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 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 in the current Rules For Trials.


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