All text courtesy of and copyrighted to Lisa Coull of Callisae Weimaraners
Working trials is an exciting sport and a challenge for any dog and handler. It is often described as the equivalent to canine three-day eventing but in reality, is the civilian equivalent to police dog work. Dogs and handlers work against a set standard and have to be physically fit as it is a demanding sport – certainly for the dog and often for the handler!
Working Trials has quite a history and dates back to 1924 when the Associated Sheep, Police and Army Dog Society held the first event. In May 1927, the first Championship Working Trial to be recognised by the Kennel Club was held by the Alsatian League and Club of Great Britain at Castle Bromwich.
All breeds can and do participate and compete, mainly GSDs border collies and a wide variety of gundogs. I have seen a huge variety working from a great dane to a papillon! Weimaraners can excel within the sport with several competing at the moment with some degree of success. They are naturally good scenting dogs and with appropriate training, they track and search with a fabulous attitude.
Dogs progress through ascending stakes – Companion Dog, Utility Dog, Working Dog, Tracking Dog and Patrol Dog which includes manwork. The sport involves three main disciplines – nosework, control and agility. The dogs need to excel in all three areas to be able to achieve the necessary standards and gain qualifications.
There are Open Trials where Certificates of Merit are gained and Championship Trials where Qualifying Certificates allow the suffix – CDex through to TDex and PDex – to be gained. In order to qualify you need 70% of the available marks in each section and 80% of the total marks in each stake to gain either a Certificate of Merit at an Open Trial or a Certificate of Excellence at a Championship Trial.
In the tracking stakes – UD, WD, TD and PD, the dog follows a scent track laid by a tracklayer, walking a set pattern determined by the judge. The track is approximately half a mile long and laid on a variety of ground surfaces from grassland, ploughed field, crop to heathland. As the dog follows the track it has to find and recover articles placed along the track by the tracklayer. In UD the track is aged for half an hour before the dog works, in WD one and a half hours, in TD three hours and in PD two hours. The other component of nosework is the search square, where the dog has to search for and retrieve articles placed in a marked area within a set time limit.
Morpheus Ruler of Dreams at Astraios – Tracking
Consisting of heelwork on and off lead, sendaway, retrieving a dumbbell, sit and down stay, steadiness to gunshot and speak on command. In the PD stake, in addition to the control, agility and nosework exercises, the dog has to quarter the ground for a hidden person, complete a test of courage, escort a person following a search by the handler, detain a running person and perform a recall from a running person. These exercises are completed under strict control and the dog has to qualify WDex before entering the Patrol Dog stake.
Consisting of the following:
A three foot clear jump A six foot scale A nine foot long jump
Pictures shown above are of Morpheus Ruler of Dreams at Astraios –
He does not do or train to do the 6ft scale by my choice