CKC retr. trial

AKC, CKC, KC, ANKC, UKC, ENZI, etc. testing.

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CKC retr. trial

Postby CBRHunter » Sun Apr 01, 2007 5:00 pm

I'm just wondering who here trials with the CKC? I want to test my dogs this spring and summer- WC, JH, and NAHRA. But am also looking at trialing bc there are many more trials near me than tests. However, I can't find much information regarding what a trial is comprised of. I know the standards for all the tests, but what about trials? Are they similar situations? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!!
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Postby slistoe » Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:44 am

I haven't entered retriever trials but I have been to a few to watch. The Open All Age stakes are an elimination event. They run series, usually 4 in a weekend trial, and if your dog does work of sufficient quality in the series it will advance to the next series. After the last series has been run the judges pick the top 4 placements of the dogs that are left. The National Trial will run 10 series over a week of competition.

A typical set of series will be land marks, land blind, water marks and water blind. I remember the final water blind from one trial last year. 10 dogs ran it from an initial field of about 50 dogs. The dogs were about 40 yards back from the water with a steep bank entry. The swim was about 160 yards of open water. The exit from the water had a carry of about 35 yards to the plant in the edge of a willow thicket. Just after the exit from the water, about 15 yards downwind of the line was a poison bird to keep the dogs honest. When the dogs left on the blind they dropped out of sight down the bank and did not return to sight of the handler until they were at least 20 yards out into the water on the swim. The handler could not see the dog make its water entry.
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Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:36 am

If you're going to be running in a regular field trail where there is a winner chosen, the only difference between the canadian and american field trials is that in canada you can't shoot live birds so you never get a flyer. They make up for it by doing some strange things with marks like throwing them right at you or straight away from you. The blinds are the same as US blinds. If you're running in Kamloops, look for dry conditions and very long marks. Running around Burnaby or anywhere else on the coast, marks are shorter but foilage is green early and heavy. Make sure you don't come out of the snow and try to run there; they'll eat your lunch. I started my field trial carreer in BC.
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Postby slistoe » Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:46 am

In regards to the difference you may see from the tests. As you know a test is a given set of marks and blinds designed to see if a dog can perform to the preset standard of performance for the test level. In a field trial that is extended to find the absolute limits of the ability of the dogs entered. Take the tests you have seen for the Master Hunter and extend the level of difficulty of each of the marks and blinds to the point where many of the dogs fail to perform. Then award the ribbon to the best of those that do. Most folks equate extending difficulty with making things longer (which certainly goes a long way to testing the limits of visual acuity, depth perception and memory), but two seemingly similar short marks can be very different to a dog by virtue of foliage, terrain, distraction etc.
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Postby CBRHunter » Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:15 am

Thanks guys I really appreciate the help. I'll have to see how my dogs do in the tests and how much training I can get in. We're heading up to Edm. to train with the breeder for a while bc she's getting some of her young uns ready to test also and it'd be nice to have some outside input, help and advice. Plus she has a lot of land open to train instead of me trying to do it while there are a million distractions here.

I'm not sure I'm into the whole trial thing but I'll go see what it's like and maybe run them....What are the ages/ skill levels for the stakes or are they all MH level?
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Postby slistoe » Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:02 pm

In some of the trials there will be puppy stakes. Most will have Derby stakes and then there are Qualifying stakes. These are all precursors to the All Age stakes. Degree of difficulty advances at each level. There are age restrictions for the puppy and derby but not for the qualifying. I am not sure if there are rules regarding wins at Qual. stakes to enter the All Age or if they are regarded as practice only. Some folks never run their dog at a higher level than that.
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Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:56 am

There is a hugh difference between running in a Master test and running in an AKC or CKC field trial. If you're doing it for enjoyment, run the Master's. You're only competing agains a standard there and not other dogs. In an AKC or CKC field trial there can only be one winning dog. That is a huge difference. Here's how your stakes go: Up to 12 months, puppy stake. 12 months to two years Derby dog. Two years until a dog get two Qualifying wins, Qualifying dog. From then on you run with the big dogs. You can compete in an upper stake at any time you choose, even 12 months if you want to humiliate yourself. Most handlers and most dogs are best served by progressing through the stakes in an orderly manor. Puppy, Derby, Qualifying, All Age. This way you and the dog gain experience in each level as you run them and you're competing against dogs and handlers of your own level. Most handlers can't wait until they get to the upper stakes, but remember, once you're in those upper stakes, you're there for ever. Many times you drive 10 hours to a field trial, run one series, fail it, and go back home. Not a lot of fun.

Difficulty in marking concepts is determined by four things: Distance of the marks. Tightness of the marks. Direction of the marks. Terrain.
The furthre, the closer the birds land to each other, whether they are converging of diverging marks and whether the terrain is flat or rolling all determing how tough the marks are.

On the blinds, it is generally the distance and the hazards that determine how difficult they are. The more cover the dog has to drive, water entry-re-entries, blinds placed tight together, poison birds; these all increase the difficulty of a blind. Water blinds are tougher than land blinds.

Make certain you want to become involved in field trials; they require an unbelievable amount of time, didication, and knowledge and they also require a most outstanding dog. A good dog is just a waster of money.
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Postby CBRHunter » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:32 am

Thanks for the tips guys! Really helps to clarify it, and helped me put in key words to search the net for more info. There are a number of trials right around here so it won't cost to much to travel to them and test the waters. In May I'm going to run Dozer in the puppy stakes and Pocket in the Derby stakes and see how we do and how they like it. If they/we don't enjoy it then that'll be that. But I won't know till we try it. I'm also going to test them but it sucks that most of the tests are up in Northern AB and at times when Dustin doesn't have any time off so I'm not sure how many of those I can make and the lower levels of the trials will be good practice so that when we test I know they'll be ready. Also will be attending some nahra picnic tests too. I'll keep you guys updated on how we do!
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Postby slistoe » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:46 am

Win or lose (with only one winner most people are losers) the experience will be invaluable for the dogs. Get them confidence in the trial/test atmosphere that they will need if you are going to continue in any venue. The networking with other retriever folks who have "been there, done that" is great as well. Spend enough time for folks to get to know you and there may be training groups to get together with to advance your dogs quicker and to higher levels than you thought you may be able to. I was going to look up the NAHRA contact info for the Wild Rose Club but it seems maybe you have it from your last post.
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Postby crackerd » Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:36 pm

slistoe wrote:I remember the final water blind from one trial last year. 10 dogs ran it from an initial field of about 50 dogs. The dogs were about 40 yards back from the water with a steep bank entry. The swim was about 160 yards of open water. The exit from the water had a carry of about 35 yards to the plant in the edge of a willow thicket. Just after the exit from the water, about 15 yards downwind of the line was a poison bird to keep the dogs honest. When the dogs left on the blind they dropped out of sight down the bank and did not return to sight of the handler until they were at least 20 yards out into the water on the swim. The handler could not see the dog make its water entry.


C'mon, Scott, don't go frightening a newcomer off. CBR, trialing's an addictive thing if you can get acclimated to losing--or to "not winning." We get inured to it to the south because your dog and 100 others didn't win, whereas in Canada, it might be you and 49 other dogs (actually, that 50-dog stakes Scott alluded is pretty hefty for north of the border).

Many retriever trialers cross the border--both ways, coming and going. And the tests are equally demanding in each stake, save for one big factor: can't shoot flyers in Canada for retriever trials. That means no live birds for the dog to deal with. When you factor in one of my training partner's favourite adages--"There are two kinds of dogs, those that break and those that are going to"--it's significant. But many of in the US love to play up there, I was hoping to get in four or five CKC trials this summer but got scotched by a new "life circumstances." Still hope to get up to Quebec for a couple of them in August.

But in short, go for it--do as you've been encouraged and heed what Scott said about the cameraderie and contacts, these in and of themselves make trialing a great endeavor.

MG
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