Tue 01 Nov 2022, Wichenford

Level 2: Judge - Fiona Somerville

Wichenford Memorial Hall, Venn Lane, Wichenford, Worcestershire WR6 6YF

Start: 3pm
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Bridget Francis pauline@paulinewhittaker.co.uk

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Fiona Somerville

Was very lucky to be asked to judge a L2 in Wichenford Village Hall. Familiar territory but know it runs really efficient trials. This was no exception – Well done to Bridget (TM) and Judy (Scribe) who were amazing and worked as a seamless team (in very trying circumstances!)…the facilities including cake are always a welcome treat.

Unfortunately, they didn’t order reasonable weather as a torrential gale passed through, however everyone arrive safely and got home OK – albeit a lot of very wet and cold dogs and people!

As it is now winter and light was against us, we worked the outside searches first and then moved inside. All searches were “grey” dogged

We started off with an L shaped wall, was partly under cover and partly open and as on the edge of the building was pretty wet and environmental. One hide was on the junction of the L – this was great as allowed the enthusiastic dogs to get into their stride. The other hide was on the second leg on the edge of a drain pipe surrounded by shingle. This was a struggle for lots of the dogs, either not being used to searching a wall and/or the weather conditions – completely understandable as was challenging.

Exterior Items:
Laid out 12 items on tarmac car park. The scent was on a wooden planter right by the gate – this was interesting as was only picked up when dogs went on one side of it (lesson is to work round articles). The second was in a water pipe at the back of the search area – this was picked up very quickly as soon as the dogs approached it.

Chairs & Exterior Items:
Inside in the warm and dry! Both scents were on the right hand side of the search area. The exterior item was on a folded deck chair in the far right corner – no problems here as was picked up very quickly, most got this first. The chairs were in the traditional set up and it was placed on the first one and as soon as dogs sniffed them they found it easily. I would add that those that were most efficient had a plan and tasked their dog into search – lots of the dogs were running from place to place and I am sure the handlers had no idea what had been covered and what hadn’t.

Boxes & Luggage
Six bags and six boxes. The bag was a large boot bag to the left of the entrance. The box was standard parcel in the middle. While it took time was successful for most, remember to cover the whole area, check items from different directions and look at your dogs behaviour, if they stop working ie start playing/trashing then remove them and reset.

I saw some lovely partnerships and have seen real progression since my last L1 trial, but feedback for everyone would be…
1. Indication – this was this area that most struggled with (there was a huge amount of pawing, biting and licking) – it is something that needs work on all the time. Get this right and it really helps you read your dog.
2. Have a plan in every search you do.
3. Reward your dog at every opportunity – even if you lose time, that relationship is the best.
4. Have fun – your dog doesn’t know whether they have done good or not – they go home as the best dog!

Well done to everyone but especially:
1. Becky & Shadow who also got their excellence
2. Charlotte & Bailey
3. Pauline & Hope
4. Kerry & Daisy

Look forward to seeing you all progress and have fun with your lovely dogs and for keeping a great sense of humour, hopefully next time it’s a little nicer weather!

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