Eeek competing... the dog!

Michen

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Joined
22 January 2014
Messages
7,654
I have entered Pepper in a novice working test, never when I got a springer spaniel did I think I'd actually do any of this competing malarkey I just wanted to "work" her because she's bred for it! But she's so so good, trainer said I will be very surprised at the standard of what else is there (he is a super picky trialling bod) and that if she doesn't win it'll be because I've made a mistake.

No pressure then. I've never competed a dog in my life. Or trained one. This is a whole new world.

Would love to hear from anyone whose done the novice working tests as to what I can expect, trainer has given me a good idea but another trainer told me something quite different!

We have a very good hunting pattern (doesn't pull forward, turns like dynamite on the whistle), steady to shot for a seen retrive. The blind is our weakest whilst she will go out straight and stop, left/right/back if at a huge distance she can sometimes go back and hunt the immediate area so I need to fine tune that a bit over the next couple of weeks.

My weakness is not stopping her early enough to then send her left or right so she's over shot it.

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maisie06

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Joined
31 March 2009
Messages
3,811
Firstly well done!! I haven't competed but have stewarded at a few ( too chicken to actually compete!)

A test is different from a trial, not so much pressure no live game. You will be given a number and the format is you get 2 runs one under each judge. You will be required to hunt alongside another dog and (for the ones I've been at ) a shot is fired with a starting pistol, the judge is looking for your dog to stop on the shot although many also blow the whistle in the novice classes, My trainer who also trials say if the dog stops on the shot don't then blow the whistle...

Depending on which side you are on a dummy will be thrown out for either you or the other dog to retrieve, in a novice test it's usually a straight easy seen, if your dog is not retrieveing he will be required to sit steady while the other dog does. The blind should be fairly easy, once you have done your seen you will be asked to retrieve the blind. TAKE YOUR TIME!! the judge will tell you where it is and in all the tests I've helped at it's usually within a few feet of a white post a leccy fence one!

Practice sending you dog to an area and "holding it there" I started this by putting balls or dummies down, sending the dog out and using the word "lost" and encouraging a hunt for the item, staring at literally 5 yards and building in distance.

Good on you for having a bash, Wish I could but I get the most dreadful stage fright!
 

druid

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Joined
6 December 2004
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6,331
Location
Wicklow
You'll be fine - plenty of dogs and handlers get stage fright. If she's honest to another dog and hunts well you're half way there. They win on their hunting and lose on their retrieves!
 

BallyRoanBaubles

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Joined
7 August 2019
Messages
359
Location
North West
Exciting have fun!

I've just done my first charity working test with my lab, which was more relaxed than I think a normal working test would be.

No real help but I agree you'll be surprised at the standard. Even the pros dogs sometimes go AWOL!
 
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