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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I note with interest the information sent out in the recent edition of the KC FT Newsletter in which it says that CC judges will now be required to attend an Open FT/Working Test and have a copy of the running order signed by the Secretary. This will form part of the criteria for judges awarding CC's for the first time.

The note is information to Secretaries whose clubs put on these events as they may be contacted from prospective judges wishing to attend.

A real positive step and one of the Kennel Club's better idea as I should think there are a fair few judges who have never seen a dog work.
 

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Just read the leaflet with the KC FT newsletter about this in detail.

Chuckle. Sounds a familar idea! ;-) Obviously its something lots of people must have been thinking but the old 'pedigree Dogs Programme' finally kicked them into action.

I hope we don't hear too many wails of 'so what are the WORKING side going to do now to balance the equation' which was a good deal of the feedback I got when I chatted about a 'function certificate type thing' a while back with some of the people this will effect.

I wonder if it being only at Open FT or Test level might be a bit of a negative. In theory thats great, but the standard of work seen might just make some complete novices think 'well thats patently a million miles from anything my dogs would ever have to do so its a bit counterproductive. I would have thought asking them to attend something vaguely achieveable like a NDNH test or GWC day might have been a bit more positive. Throwing Open work at them might be a bit overwhelming and when something is overwhelming I tend to find people switch off.

But I understand the idea is that they need to see dogs working at full stretch (so to speak) to realise what structurally they should be understanding and factoring into their judging. I just think you tend to see a lot of achieveable body shapes at NDNH and Novice level that you tend *not* to see at Open in the main.

Any step forward is good from this keyboard's perspective, but just have reservations on only attending Open level events as being the criteria, especially as part of the idea as mentioned in the announcement, is to maybe enbcourage one or two who never previously participated, into the working gundog world.

Di
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Interesting points and I note what you saying about what the working side.

I was party to a conversation last week where I was interested to note that a few top Field Trial Kennels have had to engage the services of a Championship Show judge to "grade" their dogs to enable the export of semen to some European countries. They need to have a "very good" - of course we took the opportunity to suggest entry to some FT classes at Championship Shows and Crufts so may we will see a few tread the green carpet yet.....

Also I dont think the intention here is to get people working their dogs - it is to get show judges to understand the absolute working function of the breed - with this in mind it would need to be dogs of a high enough standard to demonstrate the ultimate skills of our breed
 

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I understand and agree with you, and thought this all through last year at length on here and elsewhere, you might remember, so do hugely support the principle very much indeed.

But I suppose, yes on paper it is all about simply having CC judges attend an event so they can say they have seen function following form, and they can sleep at night that their judging genuinely reflects that they have viewed.

But in the announcement leaflet they do state that 'Indeed it is hoped that they will enjoy the experience and maybe devlop an ongoing interest in the working side of gundogs...' and I just wondered if that might be better sparked asking them to attend something which doesn't look entirely unachieveable to those brand new to viewing such events?

Its only a couple of tiny ideas or points of thought about it, because patently its a excellent step forward. I just wonder if it could be a tiny bit of a wasted experience and with a minor tweek could pull a few more people into actually wanting to train their dogs up?

I might be thinking about this too deeply ;-)

Di
 

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Looking at the back page of the URC "Schedule For Field Trials" the last paragraph reads:-

Competitors and those members attending the trial should dress appropriately and conform to the traditions of the shooting field. The General Secretary and Field Trials Secretary will strictly enforce this condition at URC events.

Why do I get a picture in my mind of a prospective judge turning up to watch in a dayglow yellow puffer jacket and pink slacks? :lol:

Sorry, John :oops:
 

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;-)

Alan Rountree has thought of everything ;-) There is even a paragraph in the announcement advising potential Cc judges to call the secretary to ask about suitable clothing, behaviour, ettique etc at the working event. And for the secretaries to be obliging, helpful and not bark at them immediately putting them off for life! ;-)

Di
 

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One frustrated FT sec here who's not yet had the latest newsletter - thanks Royal Mail.

However, I have had an inkling that this was on the cards. Seems like a great opportunity for the two disciplines to share knowledge to me.

Would it be helpful if those prospective champ show judges were accompanied by a sympathetic member of the working fraternity when they attended? There are a few of us around :D Questions could be answered at the time, and perhaps most importantly, a commentary on whats happening and why.
(thought - would they be required to have read the J regs first...? If so, they'd be one up on many of the competitors who run in novice Field Trials, and Working Tests come to that....)

Trials and tests are obviously very different. At a trial each retrieve is judged on it's own merits, but at a test it would be possible to explain how the same test could be done well in several different ways, and why.

And then, by way of reciprocation, perhaps the same thing could be done at a Champ Show....! Mutual education - can only be good. I for one would be chuffed to bits if others started to support the FT classes, whatever the motivation. At least I could finally retire my two!!

Oh, and with reference to the yellow puffa jacket debate, I seem to remember a certain high profile KC member running in the Championship at Windsor some years ago, sporting something very similar...were you there John...?

Kate
 

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were you there John...?
Sadly no Kate, or at least, I dont think so. :wink: It's not often I get to wear my "Short trousers" in public! :lol:

Actually I think it would be a wonderful idea if someone could be with the show person. It's not always easy for someone not in the know to understand what's happening. Words like "Eyewipe" and "Second dog down" are like a forign language. They are much more likely to show an interest if someone shows an interest in them. :)

Regards, John
 

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"It's not often I get to wear my "Short trousers" in public! :lol: "

:D Shame.

(sorry - not got to grips with this quote thing yet.... :) )

"They are much more likely to show an interest if someone shows an interest in them. :) "

Totally agree, and works both ways too....

Kate
 

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I'd love to say something insightful but to be honest I don't really understand all of this.

I thought, and this is not meant in a derogatory way at all, that Dog Shows were a 'beauty contest'. If that is the case then why the interest in working dogs at such a high level? Yes, can understand the KC promoting 'fit for purpose' or whatever but to take it this far, what actual realistic value will it have?

If the general move in showing was away from dogs with substantial bone and weight (not talking 'fat' here) towards a 'lighter' KC breed standard with instinctive working ability and a bit more of an athletic look as standard, then I would understand all this a bit more I think, but that's not the case is it?

I mean, how many people who show actually have an interest in working their dogs. I know there are a few on here and elsewhere but really how many is it? At a guess, very, very much the minority and fair enough, so how will Show Judges convey their findings to those that show? What are they likely to take away with them in the first place, Judges that is - what a nice day out in the country they had?! Why should/would anyone in the show world be interested anyway?

Don't understand really....

Don't get me wrong, working, pet or show dog, I'm very much into the breed retaining it's natural retieving instincts and a build (whatever that is) that allows the dog to, hypothetically, carry out a decent job in the field. Of course this is amongst the many other traits I like to see in a lab such as good nature, biddable etc etc etc
 

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Helen, i think you raise some points that really those of us who support ANY move towards bridging the gap know are true even if we don't want to voice them.

I don't think it will have much effect at all, but the effect it is MEANT to have is that the show judge will hopefully, maybe, possibly factor into their judging decisions (and who knows even into their own breeding) a degree of moderation if they go to a working event and lay in bed that ight KNOWING their dogs are physically incapable of the tasks the dogs in the event undertook because of their structure.

I think its 100% understandable for you to say 'but who would do that? What would one day out change?'. I do think its more about doing SOMETHING, from the limited options everyone has at their fingertips about promoting having dogs in the ring physcially capable of the job they were originally intended to undertake. Rather than doing nothing.

I support the move, although I would tweek it as previously mentioned in my earlier posts in this thread. But i do agree i'm not sure quite what it will longterm achieve. Possibly nothing, but it is really difficult to stomach that some show judges at the top end have never seen a labrador working at any level. Therefore in future that can never be said to be the case. Even if it changes nothing in the structure (if anything NEEDS changing) about the dogs winning at the top end.

Judging that horrible slogan, a dog to be fit for function, surely can only be undertaken by someone who has at least SEEN the function. Thats the purpose, I think, alongside possibly sparking an interest in working gundogs in the odd few (you know how addictive gundog work is if you dip your toe in even a little way!).

Di
 

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Is this only relating to Labradors or is this going to relate also to other working breeds ?

I am thinking of HPR's hear but the thought does occur that perhaps other breeds could mean any sort of working group too !
 

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KC says "each breed in the Gundog group will include a mandatory requirement that he/she attend a Kennel Club Field Trial at Open Stake level, or an Open Gundog Working Test for the relevant gundog sub-group, before being considered to award Kennel Club Challenge Certificates for the first time."

Really good news, obviously the KC is not 'an ancient establisment' anymore... :wink:
 

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barney2007 said:
I mean, how many people who show actually have an interest in working their dogs.
Could it not be that, like anything that takes you out of your comfort zone, the fear of the unknown provokes a negative reaction? If there were procedures in place to make it easier to go along and not feel as if you were from another planet then people may feel less awkward about the whole thing, and therefore more open to taking on new ideas (well, not really new...more like going back to the roots)

After all, it applies to working people as well. Suggest they go along to a show, or even enter their dog in the Field Trial Class and the reaction is almost always totally negative...."what, me? Ponce about with me dog on a bit've string?? Not likely...." :wink:

Perhaps if more from the working side understood about the benefits of good coat/construction etc etc then they too might be a little more open minded.

Surely anything that breaks down barriers and preconceived ideas has got to be good.....? :D

Kate
 

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Well Kate some of us working folk do try :wink: :D .

I came along to the Yellow Labrador Champ Show last year and did the Special Working Class. I believe you were one of the very few that spoke to me.

I am not sure I would do it again. It was a very long day to spend waiting for a class with so few people to talk too.
 

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" If there were procedures in place to make it easier to go along and not feel as if you were from another planet then people may feel less awkward about the whole thing "

Definately agree for what its worth, and I think that sums up well what would be at the base of my own thought that attending a Novice or NDNH test might be more of benefit in this area of not feeling 'overwhelmed'.

I suppose its the balance between seeing dogs at full stretch working, hence there being a real correlation to what the potential CC judges are viewing as being related to structure, and what might be less dautning to them to try and gently prod them into maybe enjoying it and thinking it might be 'do'able' with their own dogs...

A tricky balance.

Di
 

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And what makes it more tricky Di, is that you're far more likely to see dogs working at full stretch if you were to go along on a good days picking up, rather than a Trial! Where I am my dogs have to sweep acres of steep Cotswold hillsides, negotiate high stone walls and endless cold water. Then they have to sit (almost ) in line to pick birds that fall in fast moving water, and stay steady and quiet during the drive. :wink:

I also know keepers that wont have trialling dogs on their shoot, saying they can't do a full day effectively. (yes, I have been aware when I've been watched) But that's another debate....

Trial standards can vary so much. I've run in Open Stakes that have been no better than an ok Novice, and Novice stakes that would put said Open stake to shame....

And I do see what you mean when you talk about not over facing show folks, and thereby putting them off for life, but surely there can't be anything more inspirational than watching a dog and it's handler working together at top level?

So, perhaps two visits would be in order - Open to see what can be achieved, and Novice to see that not all working dogs are naturally brilliant..... :D

If they saw the standard at some of the novice stakes I attended last year I'm sure they would come away thinking it would be do-able after all!

Kate
 
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