Sun 06 Feb 2021, Lydiate

Levels 1 & 2: Judges - Dolores Palmer & Tracy Ridgeway

Lydiate Parish Hall, Southport Road, Lydiate, L31 4EQ

Start: 10am
Entry Fees: £25 per dog.
Contact: Sue Taylor

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

I would like to thank both Dolores and Tracy for judging and braving the wind. Trying to think back on previous trials Tracy has braved rain which was so bad it flooded the kitchen and sun when it was so hot you needed a sun hat.
I was injured so not sure if the trial would go ahead but everyone gave a helping hand and I must thank Dan, John and Brenda for your help before the trial and Lin,Denah, Clare and John for scribing. I can’t mention all of those who came to set up and pack up at the end but thank you all you know who you are.

Dolores Palmer – Interior Judge

Thank you to Sue for asking me to judge at your lovely venue. And thank you to my two efficient scribes: Lin in the morning and Denham in the afternoon. And a big thank you to Tracy Ridgeway who judged all the outside searches, so glad the sun shone for you in the afternoon after all the rain in the morning.
I was very impressed by Sue’s system for the trial, with competitors arriving in four’s, & going from one search to another. It meant that there was no waiting around for trialists.

Level 1
The handling for level 1 indoor searches was outstanding. Well done everyone!
The first indoor search was table and chairs and all but two teams found the scent. The scented chair was on the far side and was the last chair. Most dogs indicated the scent on the side of the chair rather than the back. A lot of dogs caught scent first time round but didn’t indicate. Some dogs picked up the scent from two chairs away. The confident dogs were able to work this to source. One dog picked up the scent on the next chair and really quickly worked out which chair housed the scent, very impressive.
The dogs not confident enough to work to source or to indicate on first upon the scent, needed to continue searching until they found the scent again. Other dogs were noticeably confident and indicated as soon as the scent was found. These teams were Serena Green & Puzzle, Janet Walsh & Inca, Kelly Lee & Kelrick Tiffin, Denah Jones & Simon, and Doreen Wright & Bramble. Helen Taylor’s Clay did a very confident search but a slip on the floor when he found the scented chair affected his concentration. However, Helen got him searching again & quickly encouraged him back to the scented chair. Great confidence-recovery from Clay and lovely handling from Helen. For the other dogs they just need more experience, including working through pooling to develop that confidence.
Something which would help these less confident dogs is to wait till you get to the first chair before giving a verbal command & a hand signal at seat height.

Finally special mention to Denah & Simon who did a lovely systematic search of the chairs.
Boxes and bags
This search proved problematic. There were five false alerts, all but one called in less than 30 seconds. This may be down to nerves. However, I think it’s important for handlers to differentiate the behaviour generated between a interesting smell to the dog compared to the signs your dog gives off when they have found the scent.
There was one team who had an unfortunate scenario, the dog does a nose touch indication. From the handler’s view the dog looked like it was indicating. From my view point I could see the dog’s nose was about an inch above the object & he was sniffing the object- bad luck!
It is also a lesson in the importance of reading other signs your dog gives off when telling you they have found the scent. For instance, my dog does a nose touch; her tail movement also changes to a slow wave backwards and forwards.
I think one of the difficulties with boxes & bags is that boxes have their own individual smell. This can also be true of bags. These smells are of great interest to the dog.
Louise Smith & Rosa had both my scribe & myself holding our breath as they approached the thirty second warning but Rosa found the dog just before a warning needed to be give
The really confident teams in this search were Lisa Blackhurse & Blaise, Brenda Dolan & Zita, Denhan Jones & Simon, and Doreen Wright & Bramble. Helen Taylor’s Clay also showed great confidence searching in spite of Clay struggling with the floor. Fortunately, he found the scented object before going splat.

Level 2
Again, the standard of handling was excellent, well done!
Tables/chairs & perimeter was the first search. Everyone got both scents in this search, well done!
If a team decided to search the perimeter first & to the right the dog came upon the scent on the first object. Most dogs did not notice the scent, mostly because they didn’t sniff this first object. Always make sure your dog searches from the beginning, it’s something to teach. Of those dogs that did sniff the object they couldn’t quite believe that the scent would be on the very first object – something to think about for training. It is good to sometimes have the scent on one of the first two objects. Well done to Susan Daly & Daley whose dog found that first scent straight away and also the scent on the chair in 19 seconds. Very Competent search!
The teams that stood out for me due to very confident & efficient searches are as follows: Nancy Kelly & Izzy, Rachel Richards & Daisy, Daniel Gordon & Tess, Susan Daly & Daley, Jane Chapman & Patch, Pat Dawson & Jazmin and Julie Nelson & Ricco.
Boxes & Luggage
In this search the scented bag was placed in a central position and the box was at the back, on the far-right side of the start line. The scent was on the side of the box facing into the centre of the search area. So, if the dog decided to go to the right the scented box was one of the first objects searched, see comments for perimeter search above. Many dogs did not really sniff the box, even though they went to it, clearly not searching from the beginning. Some dogs went behind the box & then moved on thereby missing the scent. Subsequently dogs found the scented bag easily but took some time finding the scented box. At times, this box was ignored when going round the search area a 2nd & 3rd time.
Rachel Richard’s Daisy had me holding my breath at one point when she paid a lot of attention on one of the blank boxes having shown no apparent interest in the scented object. Well done Rachel on your excellent reading of your dog and picking up something in Daisy’s behaviour around the scented box which meant you took her back to it & got her to search it more fully.
The dogs that stood out to me for their confident, efficient searches were as follows: Jane Chapman & Patch, Vick Woollard & Dexter, Susan Daly & Daley, Rebecca Grant & Pixie and Nancy Kelly & Izzy.

Well done everyone!

It was a pleasure to be invited back By Sue to Lydiate for a Level 1 and 2 trial.

The day was of mixed weather with plenty of wind, rainy showers and sunny spells in the afternoon. We had a job to keep the fencing upright and now and again we had to chase down some exterior items that had blown a little.

Level 1
We saw 13 teams enter, I was judging the Exterior and Vehicle searches, it was very blustery but all the dogs did great locating the finds, with only a couple of false alerts.

We had some great work from the teams with some really fast times on both searches especially Helen and Clay who didn’t want to hang around with a 6.4 second on the vehicle and 8.5 seconds on the exterior items and with a lovely indication too, it was lovely to watch this team and Clay certainly knew what he was doing, also a mention to Brenda Dolan and Zeta who did the vehicle in the second fastest time of 14 seconds followed closely by Serena Green and Puzzle 14.3 seconds, to be honest we had quite a few speedy dogs on the vehicle.

There were a few dogs that had lovely indications and those that didn’t I loved the handlers ability to recognised when their dog had a find, great work reading your dogs.

Also I saw some lovely detailed searching from a few dogs one to mention was Blaze handled by Kirst Irvine, Blaze did a wonderful detailed search on both the vehicle and Exterior. Also Luna handled by Zoe Lindop also had a lovely details search on the vehicle and was thorough on the exterior items.

Congratulation to all who participated.

1st Helen Taylor and Clay
2nd Doreen Wright and Bramble
3rd Denah Jones and Simon
4th Louise Smith and Rosa

Level 2

For the level 2 we had 12 teams participating, the wind got slightly stronger but we more sunny spells and no rain.

We had 3 vehicles in the search area and there was some tactical play involved with some of the teams, I loved how they thought about the system of their search pattern and using the wind to their advantage, there was some beautiful handling from the teams on and off lead, Daisy, Tess, Dexter, Toby and Izzy with some great indications.
A mention has to go to the Izzy and Nancy who found the first find in 3.4 seconds with a few other teams within 7 seconds to find the first hide Daisy, Flake, Tess.
The two exterior items were on a battery drill and the other on the handle of a toolbox, Daisy was handled on lead and got the first find in 5.95 seconds, she dragged her handler right to it, flake followed in 12 seconds, again some awesome handling and indications.
It was lovely to see teams I’ve not seen for a few years and to see how they have come on was beautiful, either with their search or indication or both, I would have loved to give everyone a mention as the quality of searching was fantastic and some great work from all the teams.

Congratulation to all who participated.
1st Nancy Kelly & Izzy
2nd Andrea Little and Flake
3rd Rachel Richards and Daisy
4th Daniel Gordon and Tess

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