Tue 25 Apr 2023, Wichenford

Level 1: Judge - Fiona Somerville

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

Start: 9.30am
Entry Fees: £30 per dog.
Contact: Pauline Whittaker pauline@paulinewhittaker.co.uk
– Tel: 07595710767

Trial Manager and Judges Reports

Fiona Somerville

Thanks to Pauline for asking me to judge the L1 in the morning. It was a lovely day but started off very cold so I put the heating on in the hall. We used a white dog and all hides were found but it was more challenging than expected (despite the humans smelling the odours!)

We started off with:
1. Tables & Chairs: Traditional layout and odour was place at front to right. Lots of nervous competitors so it took some time to settle. The competitors that did best kept their dogs on lead and systematically works the chairs in both directions. It was clear the scent plume was spreading quite widely so the dogs had to work to source. Great searching from Elaine & Pip, Robert & Echo and Hazel & Jake.

2. Vehicle: Was a van and the odour was placed in the grill at the front. Generally the dogs that searched the area found it easily. Unfortunately may did not cover the whole vehicle. It was also clear the environment was a struggle for a number of the dogs (I can empathise!). Lovely searches by Anne & Del and Roger & Milo who worked through the exterior distractions.

3. Boxes & Bags: The odour was on a coloured shoe box in the middle. This was tricky as the dogs had to sniff around the box to hit the odour. However, if they searched around all sides of the items there were no issues. Really nice searching and clear indications by Irene & Tilly and a very confident Nadia and Smudge despite struggling earlier.

4. Exterior Items: The odour was on a large wooden planter and it was a joy to watch the dogs work to source rather than just call a first sniff. A real positive for lots of teams. Really lovely searches by Paul & Rheba who was very fast. Also Elaine & Pebbles…just try and relax, and focus your lovely girl on working rather than social meetings. Also Pat & Milly who had gone into training mode and was so confident her dog had found the odour she called it (correctly)!

Would like to make a special mention to Kelly & Winx. Winx is a very people reactive dog who started off very stressed, very sensitive to any changes in the environment and struggled to concentrate. Kelly was truly impressive how she supported him. Despite this challenging environment he did some amazing searching and really shows what scentwork can do for us and our dogs. Well done!

I know that many of you didn’t qualify but don’t give up as you are all more than capable of progressing and having lots of fun with your dogs. I look forward to seeing you all in the future.

Congratulations to the rosettes:
1) Anne & Del (plus excellence)
2) Hazel & Jake
3) Paul & Rheba
4) Roger & Milo

Finely, but most importantly thanks to Pauline for managing this trial and Judy for being a brilliant and entertaining scribe. Plus also Liz for herding the competitors so efficiently.

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