Flatcoat in the Field

Discussion in 'Dog Pictures and Pet Photos' started by Shai, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Over the last couple weeks, Mira and I wrapped up her Junior Hunter title, JH, and earned her Working Certificate, WC, and Working Certificate Excellent, WCX, on the same day (in reverse order, ironically...they ran the Excellent test first so we passed the WCX before the WC, haha).

    So she earned all four JH legs in four attempts, and passed both working certificate levels the first time either of us had ever seen a test. As a owner-trained/handled dog with no training group saddled with a first-timer on the other end of the leash.

    Yeah, I am crazy proud of my dog.


    For those curious as to what the tests entail:

    The Junior Hunter test is a series of four singles (call, gun, bird goes down, dog is released by handler at the judge's word, dog runs straight out, finds the bird quickly without handler input, returns bird to hand), two on land and two on water, run as two sets of two (two mark series). Gotta pass the first set to go on to the second. Dogs are scored on marking ability, trainability, style, and perseverance. Four legs needed to title.

    The Working Certificate Excellent test requires a quiet off-lead walkup from holding blind to line and back again after finished. The land series is a triple ending with a live flyer --- three birds go down in sequence, landing in cover, while the dog sits quietly, marking all three. On the judge's signal, the handler releases the dog who goes out and picks up the first bird, and brings it back to hand. Dog is then released to the second bird, has to remember where it is and bring it back at with the first bird. Repeat again for the third bird. Dog needs to find all birds with no handling, may not set up a hunt for one bird then go look for a different bird instead, etc.
    That is followed by a water double -- same deal, but two birds down, in water, with the memory bird hidden from view.
    After the working portion of the water double but before leaving, there is an off lead honor. Dog and handler sit about ten feet to the side of the new working team, dog sitting in heel position. Dog is quiet and steady through both birds dropping for the working team, the judge's cue, the handler's release, and the working dog entering the water and heading toward his first bird. Then the judge releases the honoring dog who heels off leash away from the water and ducks.

    The Working Certificate test is basically the same as the WCX but simpler -- walkups are on lead, you may use a slip cord on the line for steadiness insurance if you so desire, the land series is a double, the water series is two singles, and there is no honor portion. Marks are generally a little closer, placed a little more intuitively. This is the only test in which a delivery all the way to hand is not required and decoys may not be used (both delivery and decoys are required for JH and WCX).


    Da Cheese and her JH ribbons and title tab
    [​IMG]

    Again with her WC/X prizes -- engraved metal duck bands, delivered by tying them onto duck toys.
    [​IMG]

    I don't have any working photos of her in the field at this time -- didn't have anyone to take pictures for me -- so here she is wearing half a field, just because she's cute ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. yv0nne

    yv0nne Vizsla mom

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    Congratulations! That's super impressive for both you guys :) As someone who is 'training' a dog to work in the field, I am envious of your success! Also, love how well your dog matches all those orange ribbons!
     
  3. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    So awesome! I'd love to watch sometime. Congratulations!!!
     
  4. Sit Stay

    Sit Stay Not a Border Collie

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    I am so, so impressed with you both right now! Thank you for the write ups on the titles - I had no idea how much they entailed and how thorough they were! That's tough work! Mira is such a wonderful representation of her breed and you have done such an excellent job handling her.

    I'm still just so wowed lol.
     
  5. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    Are live birds used in the tests?

    Huge congratulations to you guys, and love the pictures!
     
  6. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    That's awesome! Way to go Mira!!
     
  7. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    So awesome! Congrats to you and Mira! :)
     
  8. Zhucca

    Zhucca Lab Love

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    Yay Mira! What a good girl.

    She is such a pretty dog, too.
     
  9. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Go Mira!! Go Shai!! Go both of you!!

    So much congratulations, it's well earned. You've got a one of a kind, amazing dog right there.
     
  10. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Thank you! And yeah as tough as it can be to get decent pictures of a black dog, they look good with just about any color, haha.

    You should! There is always a "gallery" for the people not working to watch. Bring a chair and as long as you aren't distracting the working dogs, people are usually happy to answer questions and explain what's going on.

    Thanks, guys. She really is a very special dog. Our focus is not on field work and I'm a first-timer so she was really making up for a lot in drive, instinct, and honesty. And a good obedience foundation goes a *long* way in any sport.

    Thank you!

    And it varies. For many tests they don't use live birds, but for the WCX they are required to use at least one live flyer which is a captive bred live bird that is shot as the mark. By the time a dog is running a WCX test, they are being assessed for suitability in an actual hunting situation (vs. the WC which is more of an instinct test). Could you take this dog out with you hunting where there are multiple birds going down and remember them all. Could you take this dog hunting with your friends where their dogs are going after their birds and yours needs to hold until released on your bird. Part of that is willingness to pick up a freshly killed/wounded bird, and it really does make a difference. At this test I believe 1/3 passed, 1/3 failed on the live flyer, and 1/3 failed on various other things (switched birds, broke on the honor, couldn't find a memory bird, etc.). So half of all the fails were on that live flyer because the dogs refused to pick it up.
     
  11. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    That's so exciting for you! Well done, Mira!

    She's so beautiful. You must be so proud of the work you both put in!

    My question is, "A black dog is what color?" I'm half tempted to write LEAVES!
     
  12. Keechak

    Keechak Aussie Obssessed

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    Totally Awesome, you guys got some great achievements going there! A great team!
     
  13. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    Congrats!! That's awesome! Way to go, both of you. :)
     
  14. Kayla

    Kayla New Member

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    Wow!

    First of CONGRATULATIONS! Thank you for the write up and explanation of each title, soo cool I didn't know.

    Secondly I looove Flat coat retrievers, what a gorgeous dog you have!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Kayla
     
  15. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    Awesome! Way to go, Cheese!

    I've been following your progress as DH is an avid bird hunter and I think someday he would enjoy getting involved. Your practice field pictures are great. I hope someone will be able to get some of you trialing someday!
     
  16. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Thank you guys! It was a lot of fun in the most fulfilling way possible to see the dogs work through the challenges and to successfully work with my own girl.

    I've had a couple private inquiries so just to answer openly -- no, I don't train with an ecollar and Mira has never worn one.

    Thanks, and good luck to your DH!
     
  17. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    How exciting. So horrayy for both of you and all your hard work. Watching a lab learn is endlessly fascinating and beyond rewarding.
     

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