Sat 01 Jul 2023, Wichenford

Level 1: Judge - Emma Stoker

Wichenford Memorial Hall, Venn Lane, Wichenford,WR6 6XY

Start: 09:30
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Pauline Whittaker
– Tel: 07595710767

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

First let me start by thanking Pauline Whittaker who invited me to judge this level 1 trial, thanks also to Bridget, my very efficient and helpful scribe, and to Liz for keeping the trial running smoothly.
I thoroughly enjoyed my morning – there is something very special about judging at level 1, and it felt like a privilege to be a part of the start of the new teams scentwork journey.
We started with the trial with the Table and chairs search. The odour was put out on beneath a chair on the left hand side of the arrangement as observed by the judge. There was some lovely searching, with all the dogs founding the odour, apart from one competitor who called slightly too early on an adjacent chair.
The vehicle search presented quite a challenge as the wind was picking up. The odour was placed on the front left hand wheel. Some of the dogs picked up the odour on the other side, but were able to move around and indicate at source. Nearly all the dogs found the odour, with Finn and Nellie settling down to search the fastest.
We then moved back indoors for the Bags, boxes and containers search. The odours were placed on a small box near to the start of the search and a black laptop bag near to the back on the right hand side. Most of the dogs found both odours, although there were a couple of false indications instigated by handler behaviour. Lovely handling by Kathy, Joyce, Katie and Catherine, demonstrating how important it is to give your dogs space whilst they are searching.
A cycle helmet and an ‘upside down’ hanging basket, were the items chosen in which to place odour for the exterior item search. All dogs searched this area well, although again a few would benefit from being given more space, with perhaps a longer lead. The wind aided the dogs in this search with many picking up odour on the cycle helmet very early on.
First place – Kathy Killick and Finn. A confident handler who knew her dog well, and gave him the space he needed to work. Finn got down to searching quickly and offered great indications also.
Second place – Joyce Lewis and Halo. Super searching from this youngster, with her thoughtful and caring handler. It was lovely to see this young dog’s confidence grow with each search.
Third place – Katie Weston and Nellie. A great team who worked together very well. Nellie clearly understood what was required of her, and was quick to spring to action whenever she was cued to search! I think she enjoyed her day out.
Fourth place – Catherine Mansfield and Freddie. I so enjoyed watching this little dog search. It was lovely to see him grow in confidence in each search area. Independent, and systematic searching, with great indications.

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