Dear friends,

A little bit more than 2 years ago in Milan, you chose me as the President of this great organisation for a second term. Privilege that I have made my life and priority.

The past two years have been hard for our organisation. Internal and external forces have tried to destroy what we have built together for more than a hundred years. The work we have done together in benefit of pure-bred dogs around the world. Everywhere in the WORLD, from Peru to Egypt. From Vietnam to The Netherlands. From Norway to China.

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Rafael de Santiago
FCI President
FCI Commission for Herding dogs - Activity report

The FCI Commission for Herding dogs had its annual meeting in Bergamo (Italy), in June. Members of the following countries were present: Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Russia, San Marino Republic, Sweden, Switzerland.

Concerning the herding situation in the various countries, in general, the number of trials in Traditional Style (TS) is increasing and the level of performance gets higher each year. The implementation of the FCI Rules is however not equal in all of the countries. Some countries just start organising trials, like in The Netherlands. In other, there has been a tradition for a long time, like in France, Italy, Finland and in Czech Republic, with a lot of competing dogs. Every year we have the opportunity to see new herding breeds work successfully and it is surprising to see that this aptitude has been preserved in lines that for many generations have not had any opportunity in this type of work. Each breed has its own style of work as a result of an ancient selection in different environments and with different herds.

In Collecting Style (CS), Border Collie and Kelpie, the number of FCI trials held is lower than in TS, but slowly increasing each year. A lot of Border Collies have double registrations, both FCI and ISDS. Their handlers are getting more interested in FCI CS. FCI trials CS are organised in Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and Germany.

In both styles there is an urgent need of judges. In some countries sufficient judges are acknowledged, but communication is not always easy and, in many countries, the rules to become a judge are complicated and the process takes too much time. In other countries, it is easier. On the Herding page of the FCI website we introduce a judges list following the communications of different country members to the commission’s secretary.

In 2015 the commission decided to set up a new set of rules for herding. During the 2016 meeting, important work was done on the revision. The conditions for organisation, sheep management, animal welfare etc. are the same for all styles and levels. So, in the new set of rules, these conditions will be presented in:


  • General Conditions
  • Rules for NHAT (Natural Herding Aptitude Test)
  • Rules for Tests and Trials Traditional Style
  • Rules for HWT TS (Herding Working Test)
  • Rules for International Herding Trials TS
  • Rules for Tests and Trials Collecting Style
  • Rules for HWT CS (Herding Working Test)
  • Rules for international Herding Trials CS

The Working Group prepared a draft for the General Conditions. This proposal was talked over in the Commission and is almost finished. Also the Rules for the Herding Working Test, Traditional style were discussed. The Rules for IHT will be discussed by either e-mail or video-conference and prepared for the next meeting that will be held in Interlaken on 20-22 April, 2017. Rules and proposals for the organisation of a European Championship will be discussed following the proposal of France and Italy to organise it together in Switzerland.
At the last meeting, Mario Masucci presented how his work and testing of the Protecting Dogs on the flock has developed over the years. In view of the great interest in this area in recent years the commission suggests that the FCI should appoint a special sub-committee about herding protecting dogs.

On the last day of the meeting, the delegates attended an official trial (traditional style). During the trial, the committee members had the opportunity to verify the level of the training of different dogs and breeds to make considerations on rules, application and judging.

The interest in herding dog activities, both collecting (Border Collies) and traditional (inter – breed) has increased in the last few years, and the Commission pointed out this recommendation to the FCI member countries, with the purpose to practice this activity under the FCI umbrella:

  • if the country doesn't have a representative in the commission, nominate a delegate with interest and experience
  • adopt the FCI Herding rules
  • stimulate the organisation of tests and trials under FCI rules
  • control of international trials following the FCI rules
  • promote the formation of new herding judges with specific background

Luigi Guidobono Cavalchini
President of the FCI Commission for Herding Dogs