Sat 03 Sep 2022, Little Haywood

Level 3: Judge - Julie Bytheway

Colwich and Little Haywood Village Hall, Chilwell Avenue, Little Haywood, Staffs. ST18 0QZ

Start: 10.30 am
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Dolores Palmer dolorespalmer412@yahoo.com

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Thank you to Julie for being a a superb judge – you are always so calm, which I am sure helped to settle people’s nerves. And a special thank you to Ceris who stepped in to scribe for me and also helped to calm nerves. The competitors at this trial were one of the loveliest group of people I have had at a trial, with people helping one another out and helping me. Special thank you to Paula Davis and Janet Beverley for stepping in as runner for 2 searches enabling me to put the scores on the computer; and, to Jo & Ceris for putting up the fencing for the exterior. I got to watch the first search, vehicle/wall, and saw lovely searching. I am not surprised you all qualified. Well done! And congratulations to those placed and to Helen Taylor on gaining Level 3 Excellent. There were 2 clean sweeps, Samantha & Brandy and Brenda and Maggie, (who also gained full marks.) Good luck to you all in the future.

I would like to say a big thank you to Dolores for asking me to judge at her Level 3 trial, Little Haywood is a great venue for trials and I always enjoy judging there. I would also like to say a very big thank you to Ceris for being a great scribe but also for acting as a runner, a scent checker and for soothing a few nerves before searches began – there really is no end to your talents!
The weather was kind to us, rain was forecast but, other than a few light spots, it remained dry and muggy for most of the day with a gentle, but sometimes swirling, breeze.
9 teams entered the trial and all teams had competed in a Level 3 trial before. We set searches that were straightforward, there were no tricks and we wanted to see how handlers and dogs worked together as a team. A white dog was used to check the scents before each exercise began.
We started outside with the vehicles/wall search as rain had been forecast for later in the morning. 2 vehicles were used along with a length of wall.
The clove scent was placed inside a crack at the right hand side of the wall, quite low down and the gun oil scent was placed in the rear offside door seam of one of the cars, in line with the top of the wheel. Most of the dogs located both scents relatively easily but one or two were distracted by the patch of grass next to the cars and to the noise of the trains passing by. A big well done to Sue and Delphi on this search. Delphi was a little distracted by the noise of a train as her search started but Sue’s sensitive handling and gentle encouragement got her searching again and your perseverance paid off. It was great to watch the different searching styles on this one and a big well done to Helen and her beautiful boy Clay who found both scents in a speedy 32 seconds.
We moved on to boxes and bags next and this one proved to be a bit of a challenge, with only 3 dogs finding both scents correctly. Both of the scents were placed on bags, the cloves scent was placed on a black bag at the top left hand side of the search area and the gun oil was placed on a grey bag which was roughly half way down the right hand side of the search area. Dogs generally searched the area well but there were many false indications, on different articles in the area. Some dogs find boxes great fun and use them as play objects but it was the bags that many dogs wanted to play with today. A big shout out to Paula and Merrijazz and Samantha and Brandy who made this search look easy, the dogs
finding both scents in quick times, 42 seconds and 46 seconds respectively.
After a break for lunch, table/chairs and the perimeter search was next and the cloves scent was put in between 2 of the tables that been tipped to form the back wall of the perimeter area. The gun oil was placed on a chair on the left hand side of a group tables in the middle of the room. There was some really good searching in this exercise, with some quick times. It was nice to see most handlers letting the dogs get on with the search and giving the dogs the space and the freedom to do so. A particular shout out to Janet and Teasel and to Lisa and Reuben on this one who read their dogs particularly well.
We finished the trial with the exterior search, which all dogs completed successfully – a great end to the trial! We placed the gun oil scent on a set of fold out steps to the mid left of the area and the cloves scent was tucked into the end of a piece of pipe at the top right of the search area. Searching the he pipe proved to be a bit more challenging for some dogs as they went into play or retrieve mode. Reuben was really pleased with himself on this one and kept taking his mom back to show her where it was, you had a job and a half there to move him on Lisa but you did it – well done! There was some really good handling on this one; none of the dogs went off task, even though there were quite a few environmental distractions that could have put them off.
The quality of searching and particularly the indications from your dogs was really strong in all of the exercises today and this resulted in all 9 teams qualifying.
I would like to say a huge well done to all handlers and your beautiful dogs, but a particularly big well done to –
1st Place – Brenda and Maggy – a great team who just quietly get on with it.
2nd Place –Samantha and Brandy – You read each other really well. It’s a shame about a few small deductions today but she was having so much fun!
3rd Place –Helen and Clay – Lovely handling – you know your boy so well – it’s a shame he took such a liking to that rucksack!
4th Place –Paula and Merrijazz – A busy little dog that takes some handling, you handled your little pocket rocket so well today Paula – well done.

Thank you for being such as great bunch of competitors today, it was lovely to meet all of you and your beautiful dogs and I hope that our paths cross again at some point in the near future.
Good luck to you all on the next steps on your Scent Work journey. Julie

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