Sun 09 Oct 2022, Finmere

Levels L1 & L7: Judge - Dolores Palmer

Finmere Village Hall, Water Stratford Road, Finmere, Bucks MK18 4AT

Start: 9am – L1 & L7 – 1pm
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Heather Donnelly

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Level 7

Thank you for entering under me. There was a high standard of searching and handling – it was truly lovely to watch you all. I had watched many of the dogs when judging before except for Ruth with Dot – it was lovely watching you two together. It was also good to see Sara with Tia back in level seven again.

Interior 1
There were 6 scents hidden in the first search. Most people found 4 scents and they were the handlers who mostly called the area clear. Well done for having the courage to do so. 2 teams found five scents, (well done Yaz with Banjo & Helen and Chip) and 2 people found all six. Well done Sue for correctly calling the area clear. Peter I was willing you to call clear after you found that 6th scent.
The scents in order of the search were: folded up doll’s pushchair, (cloves); doors leading to the car park, on each side (gun oil and truffle oil) then one on each side of the back doors with the full window panes (gun oil & truffle oil) and cloves on the bottom of the folding shelf. The early scent caught most dogs out but many found it later in the search. Congratulations to the following who all got that scent right at the beginning of their search: Hazel & Cedar, Anne & Missy, Sue & Tiva, Emma & Danny, Richard & Ziggy and Yaz & Banjo. The scents that were problematic for most people were those on both sides of the doors leading to the car park. These doors definitely needed the handlers to focus their dogs in on both sides. With both the doors there was an assumption made by some handlers that there would only be one scent on a door, which was not the case.
The scents on the exterior were on the pipe just inside the start line, (gun oil); in the second hole of the first white door stop, (truffle oil) and in a crack close to the door leading to the kitchen, (cloves). Most people found 2 of the scents. Some people tasked their dog high on the wall and some tasked their dog to the door at the beginning of the search, completely ignoring the pipe. Then only a few people went right back to the beginning to search again after covering the area once. This meant only a few teams found that first scent – well done to Helen & Chip, Richard & Ziggy, and special mention to Sue & Tiva and Emma & Danny who found the 3 scents in the order they had been put out.
Unfortunately for Yaz, her dog Banjo decided to do sillies, (minor thrashing) with the door mat and deductions for this proved to be costly for a qualification – bad luck Yaz.

Interior 2
The start line was the doorway and the first scent, (truffle oil) was on the closed half of the door. Second scent, (cloves) was on the right corner of the lockers and the third scent was on the corner of one of the stacked stages. Most teams found two of these scents; many needing to get all 3 to qualify. The scent on the door proved to be problematic for most teams; many handlers didn’t return to the start to search. Those that did could smell the scent but had difficulty locating it as they were smelling the chair legs. Massive congratulations to Peter & Dolly who located the truffle oil to its source.
For those who didn’t qualify keep at it, get more experience and your time will come.
There was 5 qualifiers. Well done and congratulations to Richard & Ziggy, Emma & Danny, Helen & Chip, Peter & Dolly and a very worthy winner Sue & Tiva

Level 1

Thank you to Heather for asking me to judge and Yaz for doing a superb job of scribing.

Its been some time since I judged level 1 and it was lovely to see the high standard and with trained indications.

Tables & Chairs
We started with tables & chairs. Quite a few dogs searched the perimeter and owners needed to keep tasking the dogs to search the chairs but once the dogs got the idea of what they were searching they stayed focused on the table/chairs. For those handlers it helps to go through the start cones to the chairs and then task the dogs to search. Marianne Tembey & Nutmeg completed the task in an amazing 17 seconds. Sue White with Puffin was the next fastest at 30 seconds – not that the searches are about time, though it is amazing how quickly dogs can locate scent.

Wall Search
Nearly all the dogs had their nose close to the ground on the first pass but handlers tasked their dogs higher on the second pass meaning that most teams found the scent on the second go round. Some dogs found the scent on the first pass as the handlers tasked them higher and the dogs searched at that higher level. All the dogs that found the scent worked to source beautifully, it was lovely to watch them.
You do need to ask your trainer/s how to handle when a dog has peed in the search – it happens. I had carefully marked, with a cone. where the pee was and either I or my scribe pointed this out & informed each competitor that they did not need to search that area. I was therefore surprised when everyone carried on past this area, of course some handlers knew their dog would not be affected, however, some dogs were affected. You could have moved out away from the wall, passed the cone and then returned to the wall and told your dog to search again.

Bags & Boxes
Traditionally this search has a reputation of being harder than any other searches; though that has not being my experience. I was very impressed by the high standard of searching and handling in this search. You all made it look easy and everyone found the scent. Well done

The exterior search was performed well with everyone finding the scent. Amazingly Louise Claydon & Winnie doing it in 11 seconds.

Well done and Congratulations to everyone on qualifying, Special congratulations to Marianne Tembey & Nutmeg, (4th), a young dog that will thrive with Marianne’s lovely handling; Joanne Bow with Poppy (3rd), Caroline Foster with Ruby, (2nd); and Louise Claydon & Winnie (1st). It was a first trial for two of those placed – what an amazing achievement!

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