Sun 04 Sep 2022, Stithians

Level 4: Judge - Debra Cassidy

Stithians Centre, Church Road, Stithians, Truro TR3 7DH

Start: 2.45 pm
Entry Fees: £28 per dog.
Contact: Denise Pile jackie@capablecanines.org

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Judges Report
As always it is a pleasure to be invited to Cornwall to judge, this time Stithians. The weather was forecast to have heavy rain in the afternoon and the sky overhead was certainly dark. So thank you all teams for agreeing to do back to back wall and exterior searches so we could keep dry. We did although there was a swirly wind which did cause some issues in dogs getting to source. Those that did worked hard and showed true determination.

As a judge and as a competitor the jump to level 4 is a big leap with the dreaded distraction scents which in this trial were coffee and peppermint. All dogs ignored these, well done teams.

Teams were at various stages of their scent journey, some choosing to reward after the first find and others to carry on; some working off lead where the handlers watched for changes in behaviour and interest from dogs especially in the tables and chairs and perimeter which was a big area to search.

Competitors always ask where the clove and gun oil and distraction scents were hidden. As a handler I note where my dog finds the hides and what the scent was, especially if he is working independently I am always interested to see what he picks up first.

Some of the searches involved the dogs problem solving and it was a joy to watch dogs tracking back to sources, this was especially true in both hides on the wall search. The first hide (clove) at the start of the search area, on the underside of the post. Those determined dogs worked their round the post to get exactly on source. The gun oil was under the window still of the wall and most teams picked it up then the dogs back tracked to the source.

The exterior search needed a little more problem solving as it was very windy and some dogs struggled to get to the source but there were some that did, really tracking their way round the items. The clove oil was on the blue reel, the gun oil on the red/black press up handles and the coffee on the large black reel.

It was a big ask for teams to do back to back searches but all the teams were successful with some minor deductions with regard to not quite on source.

The tables and chair and perimeter was a large area but in the main dogs coped well. The clove was hidden at the bottom of a table leg and again problem solving by dogs required, as they could not all climb through the chair but they then worked their round the chair to the table leg. The gun oil was on the bottom left of the door of the cupboard which was set in a recess and had quite a pool of scent which a number of dogs picked up going past the closer table to the cupboard. The peppermint was hidden on the far right hand corner of the toilet door.

Lastly containers and bags: the gun oil was on the corner of the front flap of the silver bag ( in the middle), the gun oil on the middle front of the shoe box ( far left) and the peppermint on the scales box (far right).

Well done to all teams, with everyone qualifying. I trust you took away something from the searches as every trail is different and all a learning curve. Dart was spot on with all his indications really working hard to get to source and a well deserved winner with Jackie. Pip and Molly are a joy to watch with fantastic systematic searching in 2nd place, Sue and Megan in third place, a great team and lovely to watch with Megan problem solving and working her way to the source. In fourth place Lesley and Chiara who could not quite believe it, bit Chaira lovely almost balletic searching is always a pleasure to see.

To all other qualifiers well done, I hope you all took away something from the trial ready for the next one.A big thank you to all the helpers who enable these trials to go ahead. Keep sniffing .

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