Sat 15 Jul 2023, Slitting Mill, WS15 2UW

Level 5: Judge - Dolores Palmer

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

Start: 1230
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
BACS acc name Mr C S Wilkes, sort-code 773107, acc no 36130168
Contact: Country Canines Dog Training Club
– Tel: 07816658808

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Level 5 15th July Judges report

Thank you to Country Canines for inviting me to judge and especially to Kate Wilkes, who knowing I was travelling back from a workshop attended in the morning, ensured there was a yummy sandwich and a cup of tea waiting for me; very much appreciated.

Thank you also for my fabulous gifts which my senses are enjoying – the lily is starting to bloom a beautiful pink.

Country Canines has a fantastic team. Today I had Ceris as my very able scribe – thank you! Jo Pegge kept the competitors coming so there was no hanging about, much appreciated. And Helen (TM) who did a great job placing the hides.

Ceris & Helen showed me the possible search areas and I planned my hides as I went round.

There were 8 teams entered with 6 teams working on the day.

We started with exterior as rain was forecasted for later.

The search started at the side of the shed with an early scent, (C), and another scent, (GO) on the shed door. The search then went to the kerb stones at the side of the grass, which led onto the wall search. There was a scent ( C) half way along the kerb stones. Then 2 scents on the wall, one an early, higher up (C) and one low, (GO), just past the drain pipe. Everyone got the early on the shed but with quite a few dogs finding it after researching. Well done to those dogs that found the scent straight away showing a committed and focused attitude from the beginning.
The grass proved to be a great distraction for many dogs when searching the kerb stones. Handlers had to work hard to keep their dogs focused, some much more than others.
Exterior areas can often be the hardest to search. Four teams stood out in this exterior search.
Daniel Gordon who worked his dog off lead. Tess was committed to searching throughout and got all 5 scents, well done.
Kate Wilkes working Skye – I would never have known she was deaf you both worked seamlessly together, with Kate touching Skye when she needed to get her attention.
Brenda Hudson with Maggy – I love your very gentle way of handling Maggie and how you kept her attention on you (& away from squirrels) at the beginning of the search. Lovely handling.
And finally Julie Bytheway & Jess who were the only team to work in the rain – a real downpour. That did not deter them and they put in a very professional performance – well done! I think that’s rain ticked off Julie.

Interior 1
This consisted of a hall search with some items put out to make the area more interesting. There was a scent, (C) in a crack in the floor on the right hand side by the double doors. It was lovely to watch the dogs work the “scent problem” to source. The scent seemed to have drifted along the door to the left and landed on the curtain. The next scent (GO) was close by in the skirting board. The third scent (C) was at the other end of the hall on the corner of the stage with the fourth scent (GO) in the same place on the opposite side of the stage. This last scent caught out half of the teams as they were more intent on searching the nearby door.
It was lovely to watch Fiona Jackson with Ginny and Virginia Richardson with Murphy who both found the interior search much easier to focus on than the exterior showing off their talent to the full.

Interior 2
Consisted of a corridor with toilets off it. The scents were 1. in the ladies on the corner of the cupboard(GO), 2. the men’s in the corner by the urinals under the pipe, (GO) and 3. in the corridor under the socket (C). We thought Fiona Jackson’s Ginny had been fast finding all 3 scents in 55 seconds but then Brenda Hudson’s Maggy finished in 47 seconds. It was interesting watching teams dismissing the rest of an area once they found one scent in there. They had assumed, correctly today, that there was only one scent to be found in each area but that assumption might be wrong at another trial. Team Daniel Gordon with 9 scents already under his belt took his time and ensured Tess searched and cleared the area before moving on. This will stand you in good stead in the higher levels!
A mention for Julie Bytheway’s Jess whose motivation to find the scent was greater than her fear of going into the toilets. I have never seen body language change so quickly on entering the toilets. I know Julie has done a lot of work on this which is paying off.

The standard of work was high, everyone qualified with the first three placings gaining their excellence.

1st Daniel Gorden & Tess Lovely systematic searching, a lovely partnership. Tess is an independent searcher who is responsive to Daniel – just the right balance This team found all the scents. Tess thrives on Daniel’s gentle handling. Well done!

2nd Fiona Jackson & Ginny, lovely searching & handling. Ginny made you work hard outside on the kerbstones but she is a super dog.

3rd Virginia Richardson & Murphy – lovely searching & partnership, just remember the 80 cms. when you are in a trial so you don’t end up over searching where you don’t need to.

4th Kate Wilkes & Skye – this partnership blew me out! It was so lovely to see how Kate handled Skye who is now deaf. They worked so well together. Definitely synergy.

5th Julie Bytheway & Jess – if it had not been for the toilet search you would have been placed today. Another lovely partnership and Jess certainly showed her commitment to finding scent with outstanding focus in the exterior and interior 2, despite the weather & floor/environment.

6th Brenda Hudson & Maggie – really well handled and another lovely partnership.

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