Sat 18 Jan 2020, Rubery

Level 3: Judges - Ellen Ward Lindley & Janet Wykes
  T&C - A/FT&C - HT&C - TES - A/FES - HES - TVS - A/FVS - HVS - TB&L - A/FB&L - HB&L - TMarksTime
A/F = Alert FindH = HandlingT = Time (seconds)
Tables & ChairsExterior SearchVehicle SearchBoxes & LuggageTotals
Level 3A/FHTA/FHTA/FHTA/FHTMarksTime
1Paula Davis & Bonnie Jazz20577205272058820541100233
2Joanne Andrews & Cora20573205692056520553100260
3Jane Page & Dinah20547204.81622051102055999.8378
4Paula Warwicker & Ludo204.910820548204.82032057199.7430
5Serena Stewart & Lyric204.7513220553104.92252054589.65455
6Kate Wilkes & Tali20595104.898204.9103204.920089.6496
7Pam Butcher & Willow20578204.5211205209104.74789.2545
8Katie Dew & Red20467205115105224204.911688.9522
9Wendy Cook & Talie204.9106104.9281058020510479.8318
10Rachel Richards & Chip204.9142104.721205225104.99079.5478
11Julie Bytheway & Jess204.8196104.9179204.7527010520479.45849
12Nancy Chalmers & George204.963104.958105149104.71769.5287
13Pat Wills & Toby204.9158104.5148104.81541055469.2514
14Lisa Finney & Brew104.75293204.7159104.930004.811659.15868

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Many thanks to Karen Denton for inviting me to co-judge the level 3 trial with Ellen Ward Lindley at Rubery. Special thanks to Peter my scribe who was great company and did an excellent job, and Sarah and Karen who both made sure everything ran smoothly.

Level 3

Exterior
This level 3 trial had fourteen teams competing and I started off with the exterior search. The gun oil was placed in the end of a piece of pipe quite close to the start, with the clove swatch in a hole in the seat of a child’s chair towards the back of the search area. Many of the dogs picked up the clove odour early in the search and made their way towards the back of the search area. It was lovely to see so many dogs work diligently around the child’s seat until they located the hole in the seat where the odour was the strongest. The pipe was a little more difficult as it required the dog to investigate the open ends of the pipe. Several handlers tasked their dogs onto this object, but the solid central area rather than the open ends, and the dogs just didn’t knock the scent so easily from that position. As the pipe was also an object near the boundary, several handlers missed searching it.

Unfortunately, a few handlers also called too early in this search. Several of the items were quite interesting to the dogs due to different textures and nose-sized holes. If the handler recognised this as interest and didn’t immediately call an alert, the dogs moved on after their investigation, but those that felt the pressure to call early unfortunately called false alerts. This is very common, and it can be useful to carry out an exercise to watch how your dog’s behaviour varies when they are actually on odour, as opposed to just checking out an alternative scent.
Of the fourteen teams, eight found both odours with Paula & Bonnie Jazz, Katie & Red, Jo & Cora, Paula & Ludo, and Serena & Lyric also obtaining maximum handling marks. A special mention must be made of Lyric who held the pipe beautifully with his paw so he could perfect his indication.

Boxes and Luggage
In this search both odours were placed in bags – the gun oil in a blue rucksack at the back of the room and the cloves under the latch of a hard brown suitcase towards the front of the room. Eight teams found both scents in this search with Serena & Lyric, Paula & Bonnie Jazz, Jo & Cora, Pala & Ludo, Jane & Dinah, and Wendy & Tallie also obtaining maximum handling marks. There was some lovely handling in this search and it was great to see several handlers positively identify the difference in playful exuberance and an indication. A large blue squishy bag (close to the gun oil) grabbed several dog’s attention but very few handlers actually called on it.

This was a lovely trial to be able to judge, and it was great to see so many dogs work independently from their handlers, with the handlers interjecting with the relevant tasking when items were missed. It was also clear to see the wonderful relationships that you have as a team, well done everyone.

Congratulations to:
Paula & Bonnie Jazz– 1st Place and obtained their Excellent. There was some lovely confident searching from this team, a clean sweep, and a very well deserved 1st place -– well done.
Jo & Cora – 2nd Place. Cora appeared quite a sensitive girl but was beautifully and quietly handled by Jo, and this worked really well as they obtained a clean sweep. It was lovely to see this team rewarded with a 2nd place
Jane & Dinah – 3rd Place. Jane worked hard to keep Dinah focused in the external search, but this was rewarded with both finds, and overall a clean sweep. Well done.
Paula & Ludo– 4th Place. A lovely partnership and nice confident searching. The added bit of parkour on the suitcase made me smile. Well done

A big thank you to Karen for asking me to co-judge today along side Janet. It’s always a privilege to be able to watch the teams in a trial, and a great responsibility to identify areas to improve on. I hope all of those who competed today took away something positive.

I judged the Tables and Chairs search first, and thought I’d set up quite a challenging search. The tables were split with the scent (G/O) hidden on a chair with its back to another between the two tables. The perimeter swatch (Clove) was under a plug socket next to an item in the corner of the search area. Definitely a search to allow the experienced handlers to shine which everyone did! To my amazement everyone made it look easy.

Jane Page with Dinah was a particularly stand out search not only because it was fairly quick, but also because it was so calm and relaxed. Nancy Chalmers with George also deserves a very special mention due to Nancy’s incredible ability to manipulate the lead under the table without touching anything (George’s searching and Nancy’s handling were also very good). Bonnie Jazz, handled by Paula Davies, gave myself and my scribe quite a show as she demonstrated her chair hopping skills as well as scent finding ones.

There was some wonderful independence given to a lot of the dogs, which is always easier to do inside than out. Several handlers cold have called it earlier than they did – I understand how frustrating it is when we’re waiting for the indication they do so well in training, but it is important to remember that our anxiety levels will be up, so they might not give us the indication we’re used to in a trial, especially when working on a scent that is newer to them.

For my second search I did the Vehicles and again I was very impressed at just how many teams managed to get both hides. A swatch (G/O) was hidden in the seam of the rear driver-side door on the left most car in the search (which was the closest car to the cones) and another (Clove) in one of the indentations of the driver-side front wheel of the middle car .
The wind wasn’t particularly powerful, but coupled with the low temperature it made the external searches quite hard as the later dogs were all more interested in the last car in the search which was likely having the scent from both the other cars blown onto it. Despite this most teams did manage to find both hides.

Kate Wilkes and Tali really stood out in this search for some beautiful off lead work. In particular when Tali showed some interest in an area, Kate was able to stand back and give him some room to work it out for himself which really paid off. Rachel Richards and Chip were also another team to really stand out to me as Chip worked so hard for Rachel and they were both able to go out on a bang. Julie Bytheway and Jess had both myself and my scribe holding out breaths as Jess decided to indicate on the second hide just seconds before time.

A few handlers fell into the trap of wanting to keep dogs on a shorter line due to distractions, but this can have its own pit-falls with us inadvertently blocking the dog’s ability to search the area fully. I completely understand how difficult it can be to keep a dog’s interest on a car when there are exciting birds in the field, however sometimes the dog loses focus because we don’t trust them. A vicious cycle, but one to work on.

A big thank you to Sarah Squires for being my enthusiastic, inquisitive and diligent scribe – you were a real pleasure to work with.
Thank you to all who competed today. You really were a joy to watch and I hope you are proud of your dogs – they certainly looked proud of you.

May the odour be ever in your favour
Ellen

Trial Manager’s report
L3 Rubery 18 January 2020

It was a cold but dry day for my Level 3 trial today. My judges, Ellen and Janet arrived promptly and soon sorted out which areas they would be searching. All the competitors arrived on time and we were able to start as planned at 10.30am.

After the white dog was run, Janet started with the Exterior search and Ellen with the tables and chairs. All the dogs found at least one scent in each of these area.

For the next two search areas Janet was inside with Bags & Boxes and Ellen was judging the Vehicle search. Again, all the handlers found at least one scent.

Three dog/handler teams didn’t qualify but I think they had got some valuable info to go home with.

Congratulations to all the qualifiers but, in particular, Paula & Bonnie Jazz who came 1st with 100 points and was awarded with Excellent too, Jo & Cora who also scored 100 points coming in 2nd, Jane & Dinah 3rd, Which was very well done as Dinah hasn’t been 100% herself in recent days and Paula and Ludo who came 4th, Paula having been bitten by the trialling bug after telling me a few months ago she enjoys classes but was never going to compete in trials!

Many thanks indeed to Ellen Ward Lindley and Janet Wykes for their excellent judgement and feedback to every competitor after every search. Many thanks too to Peter Jeffries and Sarah Squires for their competent scribing skills.

I hope you all enjoyed the day. Keep up the good work.

Karen Denton

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