Sun 02 Apr 2017, Finmere

Levels 4 & 5 Judge: Rick Burgess
Levels 1 & 2 Judge: Kate Kemp
Level 1

1st Linda – Tassle – 100
2nd Helen – Sweep – 100
3rd Anne – Molly – 99.5
4th Lynda – Teddy – 99.5
5th Nikka – Peppa – 99.25
6th Tracey – Brooke – 98.75
7th Julia – Jade – 97.75

Level 2

1st Karen – Foxy – 99.75
2nd Helen – Trek – 99.25
3rd Lynn – Passie – 94.5
4th Dave – Nikan – 89.7
5th Linda – Skye – 87.25

Level 4

1st Nikki – Elli – 98.5
2nd Karen – Zsa Zsa – 97.5
3rd Karen – Malik – 96.75
4th Susan – Lyla – 86

Level 5

1st Michelle – Maya – 116.5
2nd Val – Indy – 98.25
3rd Ali – Maya – 97.75
4th Carolyn – Enzo – 92.5

This was the first trial where I decided to run 4 levels (1,2,4 &5) with 2 judges all in one day. It meant that I had to be highly organized and after abit of sitting down and planning an ‘Order of judging’ schedule it seemed possible that competitors weren’t having to hang around for too long before their turn. But like everything, things didn’t quite go to plan. I think the first lesson that I learned is to send the ‘Order of Judging’ to our judges so that they had a chance to absorb it. We were due to start judging the L5’s at 8.30am but unfortunately after exercising dogs and setting up the first search the L5 didn’t start until 9am. The L5’s started with the ‘exterior search’ which meant that the whole of the outside was out of bounds meaning that no one could use the toilets & kitchen areas. Fortunately the L1 & 2 being a well natured lot, didn’t mind waiting for the last L5 competitor to run but it was quite amusing seeing a few competitors  dashing off to the loos.

The L1 & 2 started with their ‘vehicle search’ which was the plan but owing to Kate Kemp’s super speedy judging all managed to finish well ahead of time. As the L5 were only  just starting their second interior search, I had no choice except to keep the L1 & 2’s outside, so with Kate’s agreement she then went on to judge the ‘Exterior Search’. This meant the toilets were out of bounds so L1 & 2 were off looking for available bushes again! Fortunately Rick Burgess, our L5 judge knew this, so he very efficiently kept the L5 competitor flow with the L5 competitors finishing around 12.30am.

After the L5 presentation the L1 & 2 could then start both their ‘interior searches’. Again Kate speedily got through her competitors setting up straight forward searches meaning  that the L4’s didn’t have to wait too long to do their interior searches with everyone finishing around 4.30pm.

I must also thank the scribes Marianne & Tracey and Tracey’s friend Kate (who was the L1 & 2 runner) for their part in being ultra efficient. Also thank you to my husband who sorted out the car parking as everyone arrived and again to the competitors for being a ‘sporting’ bunch.

Thank you to Heather for convincing me to judge Levels 1 & 2. Despite my previous reservations I had a really good day. I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the dog and handler teams work. I know from personal experience how nerve racking these trials can be so regardless of results I hope everyone had an enjoyable experience.

A huge thank you must go to my scribe Tracey for all her hard work, it was a real pleasure to work with you. Also thanks to Kate for her super-efficient rounding up keeping the competitors flowing which meant we were never kept waiting. Finally thank you to all who entered. I was really impressed with the strength of indications, desire to stay at the source and the handler’s confidence and ability in reading their dogs to call the alerts.

Level 1

We started with the vehicle search with a straight forward confidence find on the bottom wheel nut of the passenger front wheel. Handlers were started on the right hand rear of the vehicle with most opting to work up the right side of the vehicle. All handled nicely with the majority having the confidence to call the alert without having to complete the whole vehicle. Jill with Drama, a very honest red collie performed a nice methodical search.  Unfortunately Noodles picked the scent up on the opposite side wheel which resulted in Hazel calling a false alert.

We moved on to the Exterior item search which was hidden in the end of a black canvas bag. Although handlers were shown three items of which one would be scented I was pleased to see everyone systematically search all the items in the area. Anne handled Molly, a lovely flatcoat brilliantly along with Linda & Tassle a Pyrenean Sheepdog and Helen & Sweep, lovely little blind terrier.

With both the exterior searches completed we moved inside for the interior searches. The all-important third search of the day and it was the boxes and luggage!

With the confidence growing in the handlers the scented box didn’t pose too many problems. Tracey handled her Aussie Shepherd Brooke beautifully, very calm & quiet. Nikki with Peppa, a fantastic 9 month Lab, handled with enthusiasm and encouragement, always making the search an enjoyable game gained themselves top marks. As did Linda with Tassle and Helen & Sweep. Sweep following his nose to end up sat in the box.

With 7 of the 9 already qualified we had the final search, Table & Chairs. All tackled the search with enthusiasm with Julia & her Lab Jade, who just loves to work completing the fastest search of the day taking just 11 seconds. Closely followed by Linda & Tassle and Anne & Molly. Lovely work from Lynda & Teddy the rough collie.

The winner was Linda & Tassle with consistent & calm workmanship throughout. A well earnt 100 marks.

2nd Place went to Helen & Sweep. Absolutely loved this little man. I knew he was blind beforehand but didn’t realise until later that it was only recently. Helen’s kind and compassionate handling meant that Sweep could perform his searches with confidence. What he lacks in sight he certainly makes up for in his nose work ability. Another well-deserved 100 marks.

3rd Place Anne & Molly lovely enthusiastic searches from this flat coat and very well handled.

4th place Lynda & Teddy really nice methodical searches and great handling.

Also qualifying all with ‘Clean Sweeps’ Nikki & Peppa, a very talented puppy who I have no doubt will soon be up there in the places alongside her Mum. Tracey & Brooke really good work from this Aussie Shepherd with very nice handling & Julia with Jade, very enthusiastic and confident Lab just loving her job. A joy to watch.

Special mention to Hazel, you are doing everything right in your handling and once Noodles has that scent locked in there will be no stopping you.

Level 2

This vehicle search consisted of three vehicles with the scents placed behind the number plate of the first and the passenger side door seal of the third car. The ‘start gate’ placed in the middle of the three vehicles giving the handlers the option to search the vehicles in any order.

All handlers wasted no time working the vehicles efficiently and effectively all calling the alerts within 3 minutes of the 5 allowed. Nikan picking up the scent behind the number plate from the middle vehicle and Dave trusting to follow his dog giving them both successful alerts in 51 seconds.

The two scents for the exterior search were placed inside the ear muff on a safety helmet and in the end of a piece of black pipe.  All handlers & dogs worked the exterior area so well that they all achieved full handling marks with just a couple of handlers to go on to lose them due to some unfortunate accidents. Dave and Nikan wasted no time along with Karen & Foxy and Helen & Trek all with quick solid finds. Linda quietly allowing Skye to search independently by standing well back were also successful.

The first interior search was the Boxes & Luggage with one of the scents placed in a bag and the other a box. All teams searched nicely and all correctly calling the box. Only one unfortunate false alert called on the bag by Dave, but lovely confident handling. Karen giving me a heart stopping moment hesitating to call the bag on Foxy’s first indication but successfully calling it on the second after making sure.  Helen had to be quick with Trek, a Border Collie, as he carried out his speed search enthusiastically finding both correctly in 24 seconds. Passie a lovely little Australian Terrier handled very nicely by Lynn. Sue & Tia carried out a lovely search successfully alerting both correctly.

Again we came into the Table & Chairs with most having already qualified. Two scents to find, one on the chair and the other was placed on a jump wing that was situated in the corner of the room for the perimeter search. Dave working Nikan nicely into the corner earning them their qualifying point. Great work.

Our winner for the Level 2 went to Karen & Foxy. Cannot fault this partnership a great team to watch.

2nd Place – Helen & Trek, very fast and accurate.

3rd Place – Lynn & Passie, great little worker and nicely handled.

4th Place – Dave & Nikan loved this dogs enthusiasm, really nice confident handling.

The overall standard of dogs and handlers in both levels was very high. Very well done all.

Kate Kemp

I was honored to be asked to judge a Scentwork UK Levels 4 and 5 on Sunday and very pleased to see the variety of dogs competing.  I was slightly apprehensive to be honest however I was in good hands as my Scribe was Marianne.

Thank you to Heather for inviting me and to you the competitors for having a go, it was a great day.

It has to be said that Level 5 is a big step up from the other levels that we train mainly because it simulates real world search dynamics i.e. large external area, multiple room searches with all the distractions that our modern world can throw at it, which are many and varied.

Level 5

The first search of the day was the exterior area search which included the exterior of the hall, both sides and the front, it included a small tree surrounded by a fence, a gravel area with a vehicle parked on it and a small area of flowers trees and shrubs.

5 Scents were placed and allowed to mature, handlers were given 5 minutes to search the area designated.

The searches are technical by design and require dog and handlers to cover a large area with a mixture of accuracy and time management.

Ali with Maya her Malinois were first to go, Ali got into a nice search mode with Maya working the areas with plenty of drive and covering the ground well, a quick find settled Ali down but unfortunately she also had a false alert which knocked her confidence slightly, but dog and handler worked very well as a team. Next up was a super little Spaniel called Indy who with her handler Val worked very hard on the exterior search. Carolyn and Milly were next, Carolyn had two dogs the other being Enzo both dogs worked hard but time was always a factor. Myah with Michelle found 3, nicely handled. Next up came Nigel with Breezer, I do like this dog, very steady and nicely handled, Nigel systematically covered the ground with good use of the time.

Ann with Maisey worked well, a steady and honest little dog. Tinker with Jenny a lovely combination, Tinker always trying his best and last to mention but by no means least Rags with Nicky a lovely dog and handler team.

The first interior search was the top of the hall with a small annex room to the right. The 3 scents were hidden on a radiator, a plug socket and a stereo in the annex, with various other articles situated around the perimeter of the room. The hall was warm so there was plenty of scent movement. Many of the dogs and handlers found this more to their liking and it produced good results, Rags worked well as did Ali with Maya, Nigel with Breeze and Michelle with Myah.

The last search of the day was the second interior search. This consisted of 4 scents and the search was to be completed in 4 minutes. Search areas were confined spaces so handler and dog co-ordination was paramount. Ann with Maisey and Michelle with Myah found all 4. Carolyn with Enzo worked hard and also found 4.

Level 4

We started with the vehicle search as there was a handler with 2 dogs a total of six vehicles were placed on the grass which acted as the distraction. 2 Scents were placed on one of the three search vehicles for the first group and on two of the other three cars for the second dog.

Start position was into the wind and most dogs used their noses to push on to the first find on the rear left mud guard of the middle vehicle. The handlers in most cases went on to search the third vehicle and then the first vehicle leaving the middle where the second scent was placed on the front right mud guard. Most handlers however eventually worked it out and all the dogs had shown interest as they searched the third vehicle. Karen with Malik handled the area nicely.

The next search was the exterior items, all dogs achieving good results and handlers settling down and working their k9’s efficiently, as this ground had been well used throughout the day there were plenty of distraction scents.

Nikki with Elli a lovely black lab who certainly has a passion for nose work and Karen with Zsa Zsa worked the area well.

The third search was table and chairs, perimeter and room. Scents were hidden and distractions were dog toys and a very smelly piece of blanket which were ignored. Again Nikki with Elli worked nicely on this test, the dogs drive is amazing.

Boxes and luggage was the last test, again distractions were laid out as well and all the dogs found the finds with Sue and Lyla doing their best search of the day.

Thank you to all of you for putting up with me and thank you to Heather and Marianne for all your help throughout the day.

Rick Burgess

Level 1 A/F = Alert Find H = Handling T = Time (seconds)
  Tables & Chairs Exterior Search Vehicle Search Boxes & Luggage Totals
Name of Handler & Dog A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T Marks Time
1st Linda – Tassle 20 5 13 20 5 32 20 5 28 20 5 25 100 98
2nd Helen – Sweep 20 5 79 20 5 33 20 5 36 20 5 47 100 195
3rd Anne – Molly 20 5 15 20 5 24 20 4.75 20 20 4.75 21 99.5 80
4th Lynda – Teddy 20 5 27 20 4.75 25 20 5 40 20 4.75 26 99.5 118
5th Nikka – Peppa 20 4.75 47 20 4.5 51 20 5 53 20 5 62 99.25 213
6th Tracey – Brooke 20 5 36 20 4 28 20 4.75 37 20 5 30 98.75 131
7th Julia – Jade 20 5 11 20 4.25 35 20 4 82 20 4.5 32 97.75 160
Level 2 A/F = Alert Find H = Handling T = Time (seconds)
  Tables & Chairs Exterior Search Vehicle Search Boxes & Luggage Totals
Name of Handler & Dog A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T Marks Time
1st Karen – Foxy 20 5 64 20 5 26 20 5 85 20 4.75 73 99.75 248
2nd Helen – Trek 20 5 30 20 5 33 20 4.5 110 20 4.75 24 99.25 197
3rd Lynn – Passie 20 4.75 108 20 0 91 20 5 98 20 4.75 56 94.5 353
4th Dave – Nikan 20 4.75 76 20 5 18 20 5 51 10 5 22 89.75 167
5th Linda – Skye 10 3.5 204 20 5 89 20 4.5 175 10 4.25 83 87.25 551
Level 4 A/F = Alert Find H = Handling T = Time (seconds)
  Tables & Chairs Exterior Search Vehicle Search Boxes & Luggage Totals
Name of Handler & Dog A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T A/F H T Marks Time
1st Nikki – Elli 20 5 50 20 5 42 20 3.5 252 20 5 59 98.5 403
2nd Karen – Zsa Zsa 20 3.5 174 20 4 135 20 5 71 20 5 54 97.5 434
3rd Karen – Malik 20 4.5 113 20 4 91 20 4.25 140 20 4 103 96.75 447
4th Susan – Lyla 20 4 89 20 3.5 96 10 3.5 300 20 5 38 86 523
WA = Wrong Alerts (4 = elimination) P = Points (articles found X 10)
B = Bonus (10 if all items found) D = Deductions T = time (seconds)
Level 5 Interior Search 1 Interior Search 2 Exterior Search Totals
Items Time allowed No of items Time allowed No of items Time allowed P+B-D = Points + Bonus – Deductions
Handler & Dog WA P B D T WA P B D T WA P B D T WA P B D P+B-D Time
1st Michelle – Maya 0 30 10 2.5 180 0 40 10 0.5 215 0 30 0 0.5 300 0 100 20 3.5 116.5 695
2nd Val – Indy 0 30 10 1 179 0 30 0 0.5 240 1 30 0 0.25 300 1 90 10 1.75 98.25 719
3rd Ali – Maya 0 30 10 1.25 155 1 30 0 0.5 240 2 30 0 0.5 288 3 90 10 2.25 97.75 683
4th Carolyn – Enzo 0 20 0 0.5 180 0 40 10 0.5 238 1 30 0 6.5 300 1 90 10 7.5 92.5 718