Sun 30 Apr 2023, Lydiate

Levels 6: Judges - Dolores Palmer

1st Lydiate Scout Hut behind – Lydiate Parish Hall, Southport Road, Lydiate, L31 4EQ

Start: 10.30am
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Susan Taylor
– Tel: 07590261721

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Dolores Palmer

Thank you to Sue for inviting me to Judge. A massive thank you to John for your superb and efficient scribing.

The venue was a scout hut. Each search areas was white dogged before and after the scents were put out. A lovely clean venue.
There were 4 scents in each search. Consideration was given to the elderly & the small dogs that had entered. The standard of work was high and a pleasure to watch. This was also true for the two NFC teams. Well done!
Interior 1
This was in the main room. The scents were situated on
1. 3rd leg of a stack of chairs early in the search area, (Cl),
2. black door hinge, (T),
3. hole in one of the storage boxes, (Cl), and
4. back leg of the trolley, (G).
There was some really nice considered searching. Well done. Shout out to Alan Clancy who could see that his dog was not working as normal so he withdrew from the trial – a wise decision but can be a hard one to make. There were a few wrong alerts in this search but no particular pattern to the wrong alerts unlike the last search. However I do think humans were quick to call an alert, its worth holding off a bit to ensure that your dog is committed to that indication. Most dogs found all the scents.

This was the perimeter of the scout hut.
The scent were situated in
1. Hole in the wall close to the silver doors, (G),
2. the silver mat, (G),
3. back of the first pipe on the green metal container, (T) &
4. at the end of the container, low down, (T).
The last scent was a bit tricky but excellent handling enabled the dogs to find this. Well done.
The scent which the dogs found hardest was the first one on the green container. Dogs were passing this twice, both ways and showing no recognition of odour. Some dogs found it on the third pass; well done handlers. Other than the wet conditions I don’t know why it was so difficult; it was an open scent and the white dog found it with ease. In the end all but three dogs eventually found this scent.
The scent on the silver mat also proved difficult but mainly because handlers were not focusing their dogs to search the mats which I said were included in the search. In the end it was the dogs that focused themselves on the mat.
Not sure what happened to the deductions I made for this search but thankfully it would not have made any difference to the order of the line up.
Interior 2
This search area was a room at the back of the hall with various bits and pieces around the room. The start line was set back from the door.
Scent was on
1. the back of the door, (T), as teams entered the room,
2. bottom shelf of a cupboard of drawers, (G),
3. bookcase of maps, (Cl) and
4. bottom of one of the coats on the coat stand, (Cl).
Most teams passed through the door area without searching it & never came back to it. A few teams focused their dogs on the left hand side of the door frame and never came back to search the door. Three teams did search the door. Sadly Christine Cummins ran out of time before Teasel could work it to source. A special well done to Vicky Woollard who focused her dog, Dexter, on the door before going through at the start of her search. Also well done to Helen Taylor who had focused Skylar on the door whilst going through but with no commitment to the scent and who then brought her back to it later in the search; this time Skylar gave a lovely indication.
All the dogs found the other 3 scents, though not always in the order they had been put out. The clove scent on the bottom of the coat created a scent puzzle for the dogs as the scent had spread out from the coat stand. The dogs picked up the scent after passing the coat stand and most dogs then worked back past the stand, only to find that they had moved out of the scent plumme. The dogs were then able to work the scent to source. It was lovely to watch the dogs working the scent puzzle.
There were some more wrong alerts in this search with owners interpreting interest by their dogs as an indication. I’m sure pressure of the competition caused owners to call earlier than they would have done in training. Just keep your nerve and wait for your dog to tell you.

1st Helen Taylor & Skylar. Your win takes you into Level 7, well done on finding all 12 scents with 30 bonus and gaining your level 6 Excellent. Helen is an experienced handler who works 2 very different dogs and is always a pleasure to watch. Congratulations
2nd Vicky Woollard & Dexter. You were unlucky to be competing against Helen today. Another lovely team to watch on all 3 searches, just one missed scent on exterior. Well done!
3rd Elaine Jubb & Jack, lovely gentle handling, a pleasure to watch. Just one missed scent in interior 2. Watch out for those scents really close to the start line – especially round a doorway.
4th Jo Stocks & Dolly, very steady work, lovely to watch and gaining Level 6 Excellent under the old system. You just need to remember to give your dog more space when she is searching – working too close cost you one scent. And watch out for those scents on doorways.
Well done everyone else, another day, another test and you could well be placed.

I would like to thank Dolores for coming up to Lydiate again, I’m so sorry I couldn’t guarantee the weather, it was raining quite heavily when you arrived but slowly it became better and even got a bit of sun at the end. I think we managed to do the exterior area with just a light shower.
Thank you, John, again for your scribing skills.
Thank you to the competitors for accepting me shouting across the field, so I didn’t get wet to get you into the search areas and I think you all did well.

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