Sat 04 Dec 2021, Slitting Mill

Levels 1 & 2: Judges - Chris Bennett (L1) and Dolores Palmer (L2)

Slitting Mill Victory Hall, Slitting Mill Road, Slitting Mill, Rugeley, WS15 2UW

Start: L1 9.30am and L2 1pm
Entry Fees: £28 per dog.
Contact: Kate Wilkes

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Level 2
Thank you to Kate for asking me to judge and suppling me with lots of drinks to keep me warm and also thanks to Julie, my superb scribe.

It was so lovely to just pop round the corner for my judging appointment, (10 minutes in the car).

I really enjoyed watching all the Level 2 teams working.

We started with the exterior search. With Autumn coming late this year the grass was covered in leaves and most handlers had to work hard to get their dogs in the game & to keep them focused. The scents were on a toy fire engine which was at the front of the search and a thunderbird rocket situated at the back. The teams that stood out in this search were Rebecca Grant’s Marvel who knew his job and wasn’t going to let anything distract him and Rachel Fox who handled Esme beautifully to get the best from her. Brenda Hudson’s Maggy also worked really well. Nigel Parry’s Coco stood out in the way she worked to source beautifully the scent at the front of the search.
Next search was Table & chairs, with the perimeter scent hidden under a plastic basket with numerous holes in it. Most dogs found the scent on the chair easily. Many dogs found the scent on the perimeter okay but were initially unsure about indicating on it, seemingly something they had not come across before. However, the dogs returned to the object and had the confidence second time round to tell their owners that that was where the scent was. This highlights the importance of varying the objects scent is hidden in, helping the dogs to generalise and become more confident. The teams that stood out in this search were Ceris Wolfenden’s Alfie, Sarah Stonton’s Loxy, Nigel Parry’s Coco, Brenda Hudson’s Maggie and Rebecca Grant’s Marvel.
We returned outside for the vehicle search before darkness descended. The shape of this search area meant that once teams stepped into the area, they had the choice of turning right to search the wall or left to search the 2 cars. I was very impressed by the wall search and handlers had obviously given their dogs lots of experience in searching walls. The scent was hidden in a hole at floor level, which many dogs found quickly. The vehicles were also well searched. Lin Jones’ Jess was unfortunate in being spooked by a car back firing just before searching where the scent was hidden on the car. However, Lin handled this really well and focused Jess to re-searching and I was pleased that Jess felt confident to tell her owner where the scent was hidden. The dogs that stood out on this search were Brenda Hudson’s Maggy, Rachel Fox’s Esme, and Rebecca Grant’s Marvel.
Last was the boxes & bags search. All the dogs did really lovely searches. Congratulations and well done to all the qualifiers. Keep giving your dogs lots of experience both in training and in trials
Dolores Palmer

thanks for inviting me to judge today. it was so nice to see people starting out on their adventure. Couple of things to remember folks…dont ask your dog to search before you get to the items, learn how to use a long line if you are using one and try not to use the lead as a correction. Otherwise it was well handled. It was a shame that Ruby was worried by the floor but experience will overcome that hopefully. Some keen dogs who needed time and some slower dogs who needed motivating made for close scores. 3 finished on full marks and fully deserved them. Dog i would take home would be Teasel, gorgeous little spaniel. My thanks to Betty Keepax for scribing. Look forward to seeing you all at trials in the fiture.

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