We all know that photos and videos can be edited or made to look like something is there that’s not. The only way to tell if something is the way it is is for you to see it yourself. Since we aren’t always able to travel to see for ourselves, there is a way to trust that an Australian Shepherd listed here has been proven on a farm or ranch: the ASCA Ranch Dog inspection.

Dogs with the Ranch Dog certification will have an “RD” after their registered name on record.

Breeder members (or applicants) whose current breeding animals are RD certified can enjoy special privileges on Working Aussie Source:

  • “Featured” listings – you’ll show up at the top of all listings and searches
  • Not having to be vetted by our committee when applying for listing and membership.

All you have to do is email us your inspection form for any dogs listed on the website.


Link to the application

Link to the inspection form

List of ASCA clubs – contact to see if you have a judge local to you or a trial happening close by. You will have to negotiate a fee for travel and inspection with said judge.

From the ASCA Rulebook, as of July, 2019:
Chapter 20: Ranch Dog Inspection
20.1 Purpose and Objectives

20.1.1 Purpose of Ranch Dog Inspection
This program is designed to give recognition to those individual herding dogs of any breed that have proven themselves to be of valuable assistance to their owner in his everyday ranch, farm work, day work or in stockyards, auctions, rodeos and related work. “Everyday ranch work” in this instance does not mean seven days a week every week but every day that the owner performs his usual work wherein he could use the assistance of a good dog.

20.1.2 Qualification of Applicant
It is not the intention of this program to recognize those dogs that may be trained well enough to assist in farm or ranch work if the owner were to some day in the future have such an operation. The owner must qualify as being a rancher, farmer, outside day worker, rodeo worker, etc. and the dog must have proven to be a valuable asset in the period prior to application for a test.

20.2 Place of Test

20.2.1 Where Testing Takes Place
Because the dog is required to demonstrate his past and present abilities in assisting the owner in his livestock operation, the test must be a part of the everyday work of the owner and in a place or situation where the dog and owner have been working in the past.

20.2.2 What Type of Test
The test cannot be in a manufactured setting where the task might simulate in general what the dog and owner might do for a living.

20.3 Requirements for Application for a Ranch Dog Request

20.3.1 Application
The Ranch Dog application must be sent to the Business Office and must be postmarked at least 60 days prior to the proposed inspection date. The Business Office shall forward the request to the Ranch Trial Sanctioning Committee. The Ranch Trial Sanctioning Committee shall have 30 days to consider the application and to request clarifications on any details on the application and to request changes to the tasks to be judged. The applicant shall respond to any and all requests within this 30- day period. The Ranch Trial Sanctioning Committee shall then either approve or deny the application and return it to the Business Office.

20.3.2 Selecting a Judge
It is the applicant’s responsibility to engage an ASCA Stockdog Judge to conduct the inspection and to inform the Business Office who the Judge shall be. The Business Office shall then forward the application and score sheets to the Judge in a timely manner.

20.3.3 Declaring Stock Work as Part of Livelihood
The applicant must state in the application that at least part of his/her livelihood is derived from working with livestock in occupations as listed in Section 1 of this Chapter.

20.3.4 Declaring Valuable Use of Dog
The applicant must state in the application that the dog(s) is/are of valuable assistance in performing the tasks listed.

20.3.5 Stating Where the Test Will Take Place
The applicant must state in the application the location of the inspection and the proximity of this location to the applicant’s current residence.

20.3.6 Detailing Work to Be Judged
The applicant must diagram or describe the tasks on which the dog (s) will be judged. This must be sufficiently detailed for the RTSC to determine that the work is worthy of being judged.

20.3.7 Fees, Ownership, and ASCA Membership
The application fees shall be $10.00 for the first dog and $5.00 for each additional dog. The applicant must own or co-own the dog(s) to be inspected. The applicant must be a Full Member or Service Member of ASCA. A check or money order made payable to ASCA must be included with the application.

20.4 Work Requirements

20.4.1 Requirements of Tasks
The task or tasks must be actual work performed in a normal working situation depending on the type of operation.

20.4.2 What is Required
In demonstrating his ability to assist his owner, the dog will be expected to drive and/or fetch if necessary, to gather, to pen or hold and to take general directions – whatever is required to assist the handler in his duties.

20.5 Working Teams
If any two dogs work in their daily routine as a team, a request for an inspection of both dogs must be made at the same time. The dogs will be judged on separate score sheets and will be scored in the same manner as a dog working alone. Each dog will receive credit for his part in the team.