this is what they’re meant to do

Much of our Saturday in Calgary was spent out in a field watching the working certificate tests. (We watched and participated in Conformation on Friday and Sunday.) It was my first time seeing this kind of event in person–I am still quite clueless as to what was going on. But I do know that it looks like lots of fun and the dogs all clearly enjoyed it! Plus the people were all super nice and many helped explain things to us. (Like that a hunt test is NOT the same thing as a field trial… I don’t remember the difference.)

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There were multiple parts to the test. Again, I don’t really know what I’m talking about so if you know more than me… sorry for my crude and rookie explanations.

The first chunk of the test was in the first field. One bird would be thrown, the dog would retrieve it, then another would be thrown, and the dog would get it.

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I loved watching the different dogs and their handlers. Each handler had a different style, as did each dog. The differences between breeds was fascinating, too. (There were mostly Tollers there, but there were a few Labs, Goldens, and Flat Coated Retrievers, too.)

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Those that passed the first part of the test moved on to the second in another field area. This time two birds were thrown right after one another (in different directions and areas) so the dog has to mark and remember where they both are, then retrieve one then the next.

Before the first dog runs the handlers get a “prep” talk from the judges and a test dog is run to make sure everything is set up correctly and so the handlers know what to expect.

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The third chunk the handlers have to aim towards the ducks with fake shotguns while another dog and handler “honor” them–basically be next to them without freaking out.

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There was also a water portion of the test.

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We didn’t stay very long into the water testing… I don’t know if they did just one or multiple scenarios.

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It was a great way to spend the day! Great weather, beautiful fields…

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I loved it! And I learned a lot–mostly that I still have a long ways to go to knowing even a fraction of all there is to know about any type of field trial!

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