Sat 16th Nov 2019, Rubery

Level 7 Judge - Heather Donnelly
WA = Wrong Alerts (4 = elimination)P = Points (articles found X 10)
B = Bonus (10 if all items found)D = DeductionsT = time (seconds)
Interior Search 1Interior Search 2Exterior SearchTotals
No of itemsTime allowedNo of itemsTime allowedNo of itemsTime allowedP+B-D = Points + Bonus - Deductions
1Chris Gregory & Dilly13000.25190030100165040100.252361100200.5119.5591
2Jeni Pirie & Sullivan14000300130100180030002402100100110720

Ten competitors arrived with smiley faces and happy dogs for this Level 7 trial. The weather was cold but still and everyone ready to start on time at 9.30am. Heather Donnelly was my Judge today and she started with the first interior search which was half of the main hall.

The exterior search was on the wide slabbed area that runs the length of the hall and the second interior area was the committee room and a small part of the corridor leading to it. A white dog was timed and run blind in each of the three area.

All the competitors seemed chilled and ready to take on the challenge of Level 7 and the unknown number of hides in each area. A few handlers were confident enough to declare an ‘all clear’ with mixed results.

Heather set a fair but challenging trial and two out of ten qualified. Huge congratulations to Chris & Dilly for taking 1st place and gaining her Excellent rosette in doing so and Jeni & Sullivan who were 2nd. Well done ladies.

It was a lovely group of competitors and dogs and I wish I could have caught up with people and joined in the chit chat! I enjoy hosting trials but I like the chat and social side of competing too which you don’t get when you’re a Trial Manager.

I’d like to thank Heather for judging and for the feedback she gave at her summing up. I’d also like to thank Liz Beaumont for scribing and Michelle Rodgers for being our runner. Also thanks to Glenis and Sheila who made tea and coffee and sorted the kitchen duties for me.

The handlers and dogs were away by 2pm and I cleared up and afterwards gave my dogs a run on the field for a while and then went home to discover I’d left my laptop at the hall so a trip back at 5pm found it still tucked in the corner!

I hope you all enjoyed the day even if you weren’t successful on this occasion. Thanks for coming and I hope to see you soon.

Karen Denton

My thanks to Karen Denton for asking me to judge this L7 trial. I always find it exciting judging these high levels seeing how the teams take on the tough challenges set upon them at this level.

During my training sessions I am constantly looking at what hides dogs miss and L7 is all about testing the handler’s awareness of this. A ‘missed’ hide really is all about an area or item the dog doesn’t search and the handler doing nothing about it.

My observations today were dog’s missing an ‘early’ particularly if it was hidden on the handler’s right side. It seemed that most handlers were right handed and although most thoroughly searched the left side at the start, none of them searched the other side missing a scented article that I had hidden here.

Another observation was a ‘half baked’ search of items which were similar. I hid three along some fencing and positioned these 4 foot apart. When competitors found 2 of the scented articles they assumed that there wouldn’t be anymore and either left the area or under searched it. Also some dogs just walked past the fence sniffing the ground with their handlers being convinced that their they were searching. I can only say that those that did this went straight past and missed two of the ‘scented’ articles which were hidden only 2ft above the dog’s head.

However handler coverage of all three areas was generally good and all except the last decoy, decoy’s were ignored although handlers did push their dogs onto the last decoy despite their dog rejecting it. Some handlers still don’t know when their dogs have checked out and rejected a distraction with some handlers continually asking their dogs to ‘check it out’ again costing valuable time. Lastly some teams would benefit using some more precision handling in some situations which would increase their ‘hit rate’. Casual handling creates casual searching not appropriate for those hides that need ‘nose on’ touch by the dog in order to be found.

Two of 10 teams qualified and a huge well done to both Chris & Dilly for winning and Jeni & Sully for coming a very close 2nd. Both these handlers allowed a certain amount of free search, from their dogs, and equally knew when to step in to be more precise with their handling. Both teams had great attitude taking up the challenges of L7 and neither were bothered about risking calling the ‘All Clear’ which could have paid off for a couple of other teams. Dilly was particularly impressive outdoors when Dilly caught the odour from an article, from the other side of the patio, and Chris allowing Dilly to have her head illustrating the trust between this team. Jeni & Sully excelled in the first search being the only team to find 4 and calling an impressive ‘All Clear’ in the final search. as Jeni didn’t know what else to search this being the right time to call the ‘All Clear’.

Finally thank you to Liz Beaumont for scribing who had to quickly get her head around the differences with this level which she did most competently. Karen was super speedy on the computer gathering marks as soon as the competitor finished and Michelle was very good at keeping the competitor flow as it was quite a walk from the car park to the hall itself. Also not forgetting Glynis & Shelia for keeping everyone supplied with teas and coffees all contributing to a very well organised trial.

Rubery Community Centre, Rubery, Birmingham B45 9AD

Start time: 9am
Entry Fees: £22 per dog. Caped at 10 entries. Only one dog per handler per level
Contact: Karen Denton 07968 413543
Download Entry Form to book a place. Fully booked.