Cannock Wood 29th June 2024 Kate Wilkes 29 June 2024

Scentwork UK Trial Results

Cannock Wood 29th June 2024
Levels: Level 4 and Level 5
Judge/s: Kate Wilkes L4 and Julie Bytheway L5
Contact for Trial Manager: | 07816 658808


Trial Manager Report

Judge’s Report SWUK Level 5 Cannock Wood
29th June 2024
I would like to say a big thank you to Country Canines for asking me to judge at this Level 5 trial and a very big thank you to Olga for being a great scribe and for being another pair of eyes on the proceedings and for keeping track of the scores.
Weather conditions for the trial were good – it was quite mild, even sunny at times, with an intermittent breeze and luckily it was dry, for once!
10 teams entered the trial and most teams had competed in a Level 5 trial before, it was a first trial at this level for just a couple of handlers.
We set searches that were mostly straightforward, even though areas were quite busy. One or two scents were placed in places that were a little more challenging, as we wanted to see how handlers and dogs worked together as a team to find them.
A white dog was used to check the scents before each exercise began – thanks Jess.
We started the trial searching Interior 1. For this first search we used part of the hall reception area, which included two small walk in cupboards, and also a sectioned off part of the main hall. Five scents were placed in this area and five minutes was given for the search. One scent (cloves) was placed on a shelving unit in one of the small cupboards and most of the teams found this scent first. The other four scents were placed in the hall, one (cloves) was on a radiator valve, one( gun oil) was under a window sill in a fair sized gap between two tables, one (cloves) was on a stack of chairs (cloves) and one (gun oil) was placed on a stand in a small group of articles in the middle of the area. Teams found the scents on the chairs, radiator and stand relatively easily but very few teams found the scent tucked under the windowsill, largely because so few of the dogs searched at this height and many handlers didn’t ask their dogs to search the gap between the tables. Well done to Brenda and Maggie and Rebecca and Freddy for tasking your dogs to do this – these two teams also scored full marks for finding all of the scents in this area so they got their bonus points too – great start for both of you!
We worked outside on the Exterior search next. Part of a children’s play area was used for this, along with an adjacent 3 x 3 m grassed area at the back of the hall. Three scents were placed in this area and three minutes was given for the search. One of the scents (gun oil) was placed at the base of a step in the play area and most teams found this one first (although many handlers were almost standing on it). The scents in the grassed area were quite straight forward, being placed on a set of dog steps (cloves) that were leaning against a wall and on a camping stool (gun oil) that stood in the area, but very few dogs found these as the environment proved too distracting for them. Some teams found it really difficult to get their dogs attention when working on grass, even though they tried so hard to get them to focus on searching. A very well done to Deborah and Jonesy, Kate and Skye and Lynda and Izzy on this one, they made it look easy, and found all three scents with few problems.
We went back inside for Interior 2 next and this took place in a different section of the hall. Four scents were placed around the area and four minutes was given. Several articles were placed around the perimeter and three short rows of chairs were placed in the middle of the area with bags on the back of four of the chairs. One of the scents (cloves) was placed on a step on the perimeter and this posed few problems, with most dogs finding this easily. Another scent (gun oil) was placed on top of a CD player, which sat on a small table and, surprisingly, many dogs missed this one. Another scent (cloves) was placed on a stack of tables that were folded on the floor and most found this one easily. The last scent (gun oil) was placed on the strap of a bag that was hanging on the back of a chair but no dogs found this, very few actually searched the bags, even though they searched the chairs well. Due to this, no teams found all of the scents in this area.
Two teams qualified today.

Things to think about from the trial –
• Remember to task your dogs into smaller spaces if they don’t naturally search there – lots of corners were cut and smaller areas missed.
• Make sure that dogs are searching at different levels – the windowsill was largely ignored.
• Give dogs practice with searching with environmental distractions, for example on grass or in areas where there are trees/bushes on the perimeter.

I would like to say a huge well done to all handlers and their dogs, but a particularly big well done to –

1st Place –Rebecca and Freddy – Well, perseverance pays off! If anyone is ever ready to give scent work up because their dog doesn’t do what you want them to then speak to Rebecca.
What a journey these two have been on and nothing pleased me more to give you your certificate and rosette today – well done!

2nd Place – Lynda and Izzy – I love watching this team work – a calm and steady partnership that were a joy to watch. Izzy knows the job and Lynda trusts her dog and lets her get on with it – a well-deserved rosette for you both today.

3rd Place (NQ) – Kate and Skye – So close to qualifying. Great teamwork, a golden oldie (Skye not Kate) who still enjoys her searching – her tail never stopped wagging – and a handler who knows her so well and gets the best out of her. There’s definitely life in the old dog yet!

4th Place (NQ) – Brenda and Maggie – Great teamwork again, so close to qualifying – a touch of environmental distraction stopped you from qualifying today – better luck next time.

I really enjoyed judging this level 5 trial, there were a mixture of easier and more challenging finds and I was really impressed with the way that some of you handled your dogs, particularly when perseverance was required. I’m sorry that more of you didn’t qualify, some busy searches and environmental distractions, were the stumbling block for some teams, but I hope you all enjoyed the trial and even if the result wasn’t what you hoped for, I hope that it has given you some pointers for what to work on next. (Grass, bushes and more grass!)
I really enjoyed judging all of you and your beautiful dogs and I hope to meet up with you all again in trials in the near future.

Happy scenting!


Trial Manager Report

Thank you to Country Canines for asking me to trial mangers L5 on 29th June 2024.

Thanks must go to Julie for Judging (settings a fair but challenging trial), Ceris for Scribing and lovely cakes and Olga for keeping everyone moving.

We have a great venue at Cannock Wood and I hope the competitors enjoyed the trial and cakes. The weather was good to us it was dry and we had some sunshine but not to warm for the dog’s.
Nice to see new and old faces we hope you will return to our venue.
Well done everyone who took part.
Finally a mention to Country Canines team who work so well together to put these trials on looking forward to seeing you again.
Helen Hepple

Judges Report

Level 4 Cannock Wood Judge’s Report – Kate Wilkes
Table and Chairs with Perimeter Items.
The table and chairs and perimeter items was the first exercise of the day with 4 smaller square tables arranged with space in between and eight chairs in two sets of three and two singles. Articles around the perimeter included children’s footstools and collapsible camping seats. The scents were on the leg of the closest table to the start position, in a high position, and on the furthest table leg from the start in a low position. Distractions were placed on a chair and on one on the perimeter items.
A number of teams indicated on one of the blanks and several teams missed the table and chair closest to the start and never really came to back to the start to search it. Three teams successfully found both hides. Some very different searching styles from these three teams – Jo with Milo with his usual very excitable style, whilst Anna and Cassie, and Lisa and Blaise took a much steadier approach – with only 6 second separating these three.
Top Tip – try to remember which items your dog has searched especially if they are off lead, I was beginning to think that the table and chairs at the start were invisible 😊.
Exterior Items
A mixture of items, laid out in the children’s fenced play area. All of the teams searched well with only a few minor issues with environmental distractions. Well done to Anna with Cassie for keeping her on task, with lots of encouragement, shame she indicated on a blank. The remaining teams took this one in their stride with some lovely methodical searching and some exceptionally fast times from Vicky with Lola, and Rachael and Jemima.
Containers, Bags and Perimeter
The scent was on the flap of a flat bag on the right had side and on a pipe cover in a small corner alcove on the perimeter. Four teams indicated on incorrect items or the blank on the radiator. The remaining four teams found both hides. Some really nice methodical on-lead searching from Liz with Ruby who bagged both hides in 66 seconds. Well done to Helen and Marcus for a lovely off-lead meticulous search and to Lisa and 10 year old Blaise for great stamina and teamwork, searching for 271 seconds to score full marks for this exercise.
Vehicles and Wall
Two vehicles and 10m of wall with one scent on a vehicle rear wheel arch and one on a door frame on the wall. Five teams found both hides with some lovely methodical searching from Jo with Milo and, Rachael and Jemima.
Lisa must have given Blaise some rocket fuel – they found both of the hides within 57 seconds which more than helped them onto their 1st place overall and Excellence on the day; lovely to watch and again great teamwork.
Top tip – watch where your judge is standing, I couldn’t see the front of either car so unlikely to be hidden on there.
There was some really high quality handling and searching today but the blanks proved troublesome and caught several teams out during the trail. I really enjoyed watching you all work and the teamwork was outstanding, you all clearly love your pups and you all took the best dog home – albeit I would have quite liked to have taken Blaise with me 😊.
Congratulations to Lisa and Blaise for gaining your Excellence and 1st place – so well deserved.

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