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Discussion Starter #1
Not for me this year, or maybe not even subsequent ones, who knows eh? However I am genuinely interested in knowing how you know a dog is ready for trialing? Is it in part based on Working test results for instance? coupled with maybe aptitude with game? Can anyone give me their thoughts?
 

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Helen, in general, you would go on a couple of field trial training days on game to see. These are run by quite a few of the gundog clubs, or are often run privately by groups of friends. You can then see under almost identical conditions how your dog reacts. At the very least you can sit him up on a drive without command and see if he remains steady (although of course they are about training - but you also would be using them to test yourself and your dog) and obviously, to check for noise under those conditions. Ditto a walked up training day to see if your dog entirely blanks you under game conditions.... ;-)

It doesn't really have any correlation with how you do in working tests but generally speaking you wouldn't, if you DID test, enter a novice field trial until you had an open test dog (or bitch). However some who trial never run in tests so thats just a guide.

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Di, that makes a lot of sense. However, what about picking up and how your dog performs, is that ever taken into account?
 

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Well only you can decide when you are ready. Noone 'judges' you as ready, you enter at your own risk ... ;-) So if YOU feel that you have replicated trial conditions out picking up multiple times and the dog behaved well, then yes that could be a criteria. A FT training day is better though as you will have Panel judges as trainers, ready to help you make that choice.

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes quite see that a field trial training day would be a very good test. I will look at Barney this season (with whom I am obviously thinking about running) and see. He has his faults, for sure but lots of good points too. I'll see how he goes, and in Working tests next year and then make a decision about training days and ultimately whether to try our luck, or not, next year. Thank you :wink:
 

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For me, the biggest jump was sitting on a drive and not saying a word or using any hand command to keep the dog there reagrdless of what fell around it. Bear that in mind this shooting season and start to keep your verbal and body language down to a minimum as they fall... have to say it really was the biggest thing. I didn't realise I did use 'wait' when something ran, for example, pretty much all the time.... till i couldn't use it anymore ;-)

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Really, really good tip, thank you and just what I'm after. I will try that this season. I should think that really HARD. Anything else to bear in mind?
 

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Oh only EVERYTHING.... ;-) ;-) Like Jill I will tell you after Monday ;-) We may of fogotten how to do it all over the summer ;-)

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #10
lol :wink:

Well I am very excited to hear about how you all get on this season, very excited. I think I must get to one to watch this year.

Too late to wish you good luck today Jill but I hope it is going brilliantly :wink:
 

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helen, incase you nip in here first - Just Pm'd you about a novice FT training day just heard about with spaces. Incase you are interested....

Di
 

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Well I did promise that I would come back to this one Helen so here I am :wink: .

I am not sure I am very clear in my own head, but certainly for me I want to feel that my dog is good enough to trial, which is actually quite hard to quantify. I do not want to feel like I am just there making up the numbers. I also feel extra pressure as a breeder/owner/handler. For me Darcy is the first dog that is good enough to Trial. Although my other dogs may have been good enough, but I did not have the skills to get the very best out of them.

I have to say one of the things that has put me off entering in the past is this statement which is put on some clubs schedules:-

NOVICE HANDLERS PLEASE NOTE THAT THE................ GUNDOG CLUB EXPECTS ALL DOGS TO HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE OF ALL TYPES OF GAME AND REACHED A REASONABLE LEVEL OF TRAINING.

Now there is nothing wrong with this statement it is completely correct but it has always put me off entering.

A Field Trial Training day, as Di says is probably the very best way to be able to tell whether both you and your dog make the grade. Although for me I think a Novice Cold Game Test before a Field Trial Training Day is a good idea. Just to get a feel of how the dog reacts to game under competition conditions.
 

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I'm going to be really boring here, and just quote the declaration that is at the bottom of every Field Trial entry form, and which everyone has to sign when they send their entry in to accept a run in a trial. Basically it's just a declaration confirming that your dog doesn't have any eliminating faults etc, and is why it's a good idea, if you possibly can, to read through the Kennel Clubs J-regs (that is, the regulations relating to rules for the organising and running of Field trials...). Only £1.50.... :D

"I / we agree to submit to and be bound by The Kennel Club Rules and Regulations in their present form or as they may be amended from time to time in relation to all canine matters with which The Kennel Club is concerned.

I / we also undertake to abide by the Regulations of this Trial and not to bring to the Trial any dog which has contracted or been knowingly exposed to any infectious disease during the 21 days prior to the day of the Trial. I also declare that I am fully conversant with the Field Trial Regulations and have studied the guide to Conduct at Field Trials.

I further declare that I believe to the best of my knowledge that the dogs are not liable to disqualification under Kennel Club Field Trial Regulations.


Usual Signature of Owner(s)........................................................................................................................... Date..................................................................


Note: Dogs entered in breach of Kennel Club F.T. Regulations are liable to disqualification whether or not the owner was aware of the breach."


Training days such as Di is recommending are invaluable, but so is going along to at least one or two trials if you possibly can, so that you can see first hand what is expected. Most FT secs are more than happy to encourage newcommers, and will happily slot you into the line to carry game if they possibly can.

Just speaking from personal experience, I think I would've been even more terrified than I already was when I ran in my first trial if I hadn't had the reassurance of at least knowing a bit about how the day was going to pan out, because I'd taken the opportunityto help at several trials beforehand..... :wink:

Kate
 

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Just to add a little to what Kate has said the link to the J Regs is actually in the sticky shown at the top of this section, and my job for today has been to print them off.

I have looked at them before, but probably not fully digested them so to speak. I am sure Kate will be pleased to hear that I am now rectifying this!
 

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I fully agree about the FT training days: they're invaluable and a 'must' for dog and handler for preparing for the 'real deal' trial day. You'll get a clear idea weather both you and your dog are ready. The training days are offered by most clubs and also many trainers early in the season (for real game) or just before the season (with cold game and/or dummies).

Getting a lot of practical picking-up experience is also a must - it will teach you how to 'read' your dog.

I can understand that the clubs put the statement on that Jill mentioned in her post above - there are so many people wanting to trial (nothing wrong with that) but people are not really doing themselves (or others) any favours by entering a dog that's not really ready. Helping out at trials or just go and watch some are really helpful as well.

Natasha
 

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Discussion Starter #16
HUGE thank you to you all for your contributions. It has made valuable reading for me 8)

Contender said:
- there are so many people wanting to trial (nothing wrong with that) but people are not really doing themselves (or others) any favours by entering a dog that's not really ready. Helping out at trials or just go and watch some are really helpful as well.

Natasha
I was talking to my trainer the other day, about all of this, well yesterday actually. He's a FT Judge and competitor. He said he spectated and helped at around 20 plus FT's before entering one 8O (this is sometime ago now). So when it came to it, he knew exactly what the score was. So basically the same view as all of yours above.

Anyways, he's the Chairman of a club and so has kindly now fixed me up with at least two dates this year, plus earmakred me for a FT training day next Aug. Then there's someone else on here who very kindly will sort me out some more FT viewing. So I reckon by the end of the FT season I'll have got out and watched 3 minimum but hopefully I'll do more.

Then it's training days next year, but only if the boy a) does well this season picking up and b) progresses further with his training and working tests the first half of next year.

Fingers crossed and THANK YOU :D
 
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