Scope. GRCA's purpose in establishing and making available a Working Certificate (WC) and Working Certificate Excellent (WCX) to all owners of Golden Retrievers is to encourage the use and maintenance of the natural hunting and retrieving abilities which are genetically vital to the breed.
In establishing the criteria for the WC, the GRCA realizes that most Golden Retrievers will not be as thoroughly trained as those who compete in field trials and therefore has devised simple land and water tests using designated game birds. These tests are designed to demonstrate the following natural abilities of a retriever as stated in the AKC Retriever Advisory Committee Supplement: accurate marking and memory of falls, intelligence, attention, style, good nose, perseverance, desire and trainability.
The purpose of the WCX test is to encourage the development of the Golden Retriever's natural hunting and retrieving abilities through additional training. In preparing the criteria for the WCX, the GRCA realizes there are many people who do not wish to compete in AKC field trials but who do want to train their dogs beyond the level of the WC. The WCX is designed to demonstrate through training the development of marking ability, memory, intelligence, perseverance, and retrieving desire.
Requirements. WC and WCX tests may be held at any AKC licensed retriever field trial or at any event held in the name of GRCA. The tests are to be conducted and judged under the requirements of these Rules and Regulations. Any retriever club as well as all Golden Retriever clubs desiring to hold a WC or WCX test shall submit an online application (www.grca.org) or a written request on the appropriate form 60 days prior to the first day of the test, listing test location, date(s), judges' names, names and addresses of the club's WC/WCX Committee Chairman and committee members, and the types of birds to be used. Permission must be granted by the GRCA. Upon approval, the GRCA WC/WCX Committee will send a test kit to the club's WC/WCX Committee Chair. The test kit shall include the WC/WCX Rules and Regulations, official GRCA WC/WCX test entry form, instructions and additional related material.
All dogs entering must be at least six months of age, have an individual AKC registration number, foreign registration number, or an ILP number. A dog with an AKC pending number will not receive a certificate until the individual number is acquired. A fee may be charged for entering the test. The entry fee and the type of birds to be used shall be included in the announcement of the test.
Entries for each dog should be submitted on a standard entry form which contains the name of the dog, its registration number, the names of the sire and dam, the name(s) and address of the owner(s), and the name of the handler. A closing date should be specified. Local clubs are permitted to accept additional entries after this closing date, but they must make certain that they have adequate birds for additional entries and they must include the entry information in the catalog which is sent to the WC/WCX Recorder.
Entries may not be accepted after the published closing date for WC/WCX tests at Regional or National Specialties.
With a few exceptions, the WC test shall be conducted and judged under the AKC Derby rules as described by the AKC for field trials for non-slip retrievers.
The WCX test shall be conducted and judged under the AKC Qualifying rules as described by AKC for field trials for non-slip retrievers.
INFORMATION FOR CLUBS
1. The Committee. The WC and the WCX tests are intended to be self-regulating. To accomplish this objective, the host club shall appoint a WC/WCX Committee of at least five members. Three of these Committee members must be GRCA members, including the Chair, and must be present during the test. No one serving as a judge for either of the tests should serve on the Committee. The host WC/WCX Committee shall have complete responsibility for the planning and conducting of the test. The host Committee shall be held responsible for compliance with all of the rules and procedures. Additionally, this Committee has the authority to decide upon any matter arising during the running of the test, except a matter coming within the jurisdiction of the judges. AMONG THOSE MATTERS MAY BE THE AREA OF MISCONDUCT. WHEN THE COMMITTEE RECEIVES A FORMAL COMPLAINT OF MISCONDUCT, THEY WILL USE THE AKC’S “DEALING WITH MISCONDUCT GUIDE FOR EVENT COMMITTEES” (CURRENT EDITION) TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION AND HEARING, AND TO MAKE FINDINGS AND A DECISION ON THE INCIDENT. AS THE WC/WCX TEST IS NOT AN AKC EVENT, ALL RECORDS OF THE EVENT WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE GRCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR FINAL ACTION. THE GRCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS WILL DETERMINE IF APPROPRIATE DISCIPLINARY ACTION IS WARRANTED, UP TO AND INCLUDING DISMISSAL FROM THE GRCA, OR WITHHOLDING OF A CERTIFICATE IN THE CASE OF NON-MEMBERS.
Such Committee decisions must be made in accordance with the WC/WCX Rules and Regulations and the AKC Derby/Qualifying rules and standard procedures. All individuals who agree to serve on a WC/WCX Committee should be prepared to carry out these duties creditably and exercise these powers fairly, firmly and impartially.
While it is the responsibility of the judges to set up the tests, if the tests run contrary to the intent of the GRCA rules, the Committee should step in and tactfully explain the problem to ensure a proper test.
The Committee should ensure that the judges receive copies of the WC/WCX Rules and Regulations, the AKC Field Trial Rules, and the AKC Dealing with Misconduct Guide, in advance of the test, with particular emphasis on familiarizing themselves with the intent of the test.
The Committee should make the Rules available to all participants. The premium list should state that copies of the Rules would be mailed upon request.
2. GRCA Approval. GRCA grants permission to member, provisional and non-member clubs to hold Working Certificate and Working Certificate Excellent tests under its Rules and Regulations. Golden Retrievers meeting the requirements set forward in the rules and who complete the designated tests at one of these events are eligible to receive a GRCA WC or WCX certificate. The club holding the test is the sponsor, not GRCA. There is no limit to the number of tests a club may hold as long as they are conducted properly.
3. GRCA Application. Clubs must apply for permission to hold a WC or WCX test on an official GRCA application form or the use of the online application (www.grca.org). Applications may be obtained from the regional WC/WCX Committee members whose names and addresses are listed in the Golden Retriever News or from the GRCA website (www.grca.org). Send completed applications to the same person for approval. Occasional changes in committee personnel occur. Check the Golden Retriever News for any changes before mailing the application.
The regional WC/WCX committee member must receive all applications at least 60 days in advance of the test date or a late fine will be imposed on the club submitting it. To avoid a delay in approval, make certain the applications are properly prepared. Be specific when filling in the judges' qualifications. What, where, and when are the key questions. A correct answer to the question "What type of birds will be used in the test?" would be to designate on the application for both the land test and the water test any game bird as defined in paragraph Number 6 “Birds” of these GRCA WC/WCX rules.
4. Other Retriever Breeds. GRCA allows other breeds of dogs to run the tests hosted by GRCA member clubs. If the other breeds have the same test requirements, they shall be included in the random draw for the running order. GRCA only awards certificates to Golden Retrievers. The host committee does not turn in results of non-Goldens to the GRCA WC/WCX Committee with the final reports. Each of the parent breed clubs has its own rules. Non-Golden owners are responsible for handling the necessary paperwork for certificates and approval from the specific parent breed club. For GRCA Regional and National Specialties, only Golden Retrievers are allowed to run.
When the Flat Coated Retriever Society of America sponsors and runs these tests, Golden Retrievers will be included in the random running order determined by the draw. As a result of a joint effort between the GRCA and the FCRSA, rules for these tests hosted by FCRSA are virtually identical. The few minor differences include:
a. One committee member must be a GRCA member who shall act as GRCA's representative.
b. Golden Retrievers shall be judged under the GRCA Rules and Regulations.
c. No bitches in season may run nor be on the grounds.
d. Regardless of which organization is hosting the test, Flat Coated Retriever handlers are always permitted to speak quietly to their dog on the honor. Golden Retriever handlers are never permitted to speak to their dog on the honor.
5. Limited Entries. When limiting entries at a WC/WCX test it is strongly recommended that preference be given to non-titled Golden Retrievers. If openings remain, fill them first with titled Golden Retrievers and then with other breeds.
6. Birds. Dogs are expected to retrieve any type of game bird. The WC/WCX committee may select game birds based on availability and uniqueness to the area where the test is to be held. Game birds are defined as Ducks, Geese, Partridge/Chukars, Pheasants, Quail or pigeons. Although GRCA prefers the use of upland birds for the land portion of these tests, the use of all ducks is permissible.
The Rules provide for the use of freshly killed birds in both tests. This means the birds are either shot as fliers or are dispatched immediately before the test by the people in charge of the game. Frozen birds are not acceptable. No birds should be killed prior to the morning of the test.
To provide for the correct number of birds for a test, use the following calculation if game birds are used on land and ducks on water: Ducks=1 duck per dog entered. Upland game=1 bird per dog for the WC, 1 ½ birds per dog for the WCX. If only ducks are used for both land and water, calculate 2 birds for the WC, 21/2 birds for the WCX. This will permit the use of fresh birds for the water portion of the test.
The humane care and treatment of birds is the responsibility of the test-giving club. Crated birds must be sheltered from inclement weather, may not be overcrowded and must have food and water available. As the birds are retrieved, they should be sacked at once and not allowed to pile up on the ground. A crippled bird should be put out of its misery instead of being put in a sack or on the ground to struggle until death.
Emergency situations regarding birds: Sometimes there are situations when obtaining either live flyers or freshly killed birds might be impossible due to the increase of “bird flu” throughout the country. If a club has scheduled a test and paid for expenses connected with that test, a club may be allowed to use previously frozen birds. The club must contact the GRCA Board for emergency approval prior to utilizing previously frozen birds and shall provide reasonable evidence for the unavailability of live or fresh killed birds. In this circumstance, the club must allow an exhibitor to withdraw from the test with a full refund of the entry fee.
7. Submission of forms following the test. All GRCA WC/WCX forms must be mailed to the respective WC/WCX representative no later than seven days after the tests. It is the responsibility of the Test Chairman to ensure the reports are submitted on time. These forms include the Club Evaluation Form, Judges' Evaluation Forms, and a List of Qualifiers.
- Have the judges fill out their evaluations at the test and return them to the Chair. If they take them home and never complete them, the host club is responsible for the late fines.
- If the completed forms are not received by the required deadline, for the first offense a fine of $25.00 for the first week and $5.00 for each additional week will be assessed against the host club. For the second consecutive offense a fine of $50.00 for the first week and $10.00 per week for each additional week will be assessed against the host club. For the third consecutive offense, a club will lose its privileges to hold WC/WCX tests for eighteen (18) months. Reports of these penalties will be published in the Golden Retriever News.
- All clubs MUST keep a copy of the entry forms or a marked catalog for their WC/WCX tests. If the originals are lost in the mail, a record must be available. If the results have been submitted in a timely fashion and the qualifiers have not received their certificates within 6 to 8 weeks of the test day, contact the Regional Committee person or the Chairperson to inform them of this delay.
8. Certificates. A Certificate shall be awarded to the owners of those dogs which, in the opinion of the judges, have satisfactorily completed the prescribed test. The Certificates shall be prepared by GRCA following receipt of the test results from the test giving club. Certificates will be mailed directly to the owners of the dogs.
Since the certificates are mailed to the qualifiers only after the catalogs are received from the Test Chair, the handlers of passing dogs receive nothing official the day of the test. Although not required, the test club may choose to give some sort of token prize such as a rosette or GRCA congratulatory card to the handlers of passing dogs on the day of the test. This is tangible proof that the dog has qualified.
9. Complaints. The decision of the judges shall be final in all matters relating to the test performance of the dogs. Full discretionary power is given to the judges to withhold any certificate award for lack of merit.
- Each participant is expected to do his part to keep up the standards of the WC/WCX tests and to report to the Committee any incident which might be detrimental to the purpose of the WC/WCX. No person shall make complaints directly to the judges, but shall work through the Committee which is held directly responsible for conducting the tests.
- Upon receipt of a complaint, members of the Committee are expected to take appropriate action. If the complaint is deemed detrimental to the purpose of the WC/WCX test, the entire Committee should convene immediately to hear the charges. After duly hearing the evidence in a fair, orderly and impartial manner, the WC/WCX Committee should determine if the WC/WCX Rules have been violated. The reasons for withholding any WC/WCX certificate based on a detrimental incident shall be submitted to the GRCA Secretary within thirty days of the incident.
- A participant who is dissatisfied with the action taken by the WC/WCX Committee of the test club may submit an appeal in writing to the GRCA Secretary within 30 days. Such appeal should describe the nature of the incident and set forth the grounds on which the appeal is made.
- Upon receipt of a written appeal, the written records of both the test club WC/WCX Committee and the complainant will be submitted to the GRCA WC/WCX Committee. This Committee will investigate the incident and will submit a recommendation to the GRCA Board of Directors for final action. The GRCA Board of Directors shall have the power to withhold or rescind any or all WC/WCX completions.
If the WC/WCX Committee of the test club fails to fulfill its obligation with respect to the planning and conducting of the WC/WCX test, permission to hold future events, including independent specialties, may be denied by GRCA.
The GRCA qualifications for WC/WCX judges provide individuals with a good working knowledge of AKC Field Trial Rules. Combining that knowledge with GRCA WC/WCX Rules promotes good judgment on all questions arising during the tests. There may be two or four judges determined by the number of dogs entered. If there are a large number of entries anticipated, a set of judges doing land and another set doing water will greatly facilitate the event. In a trial in which the entry is not limited either numerically or by the amount of available daylight hours, additional judges can be appointed by the club if the number of entries would otherwise prevent completion of the trial during the days listed in the premium list.
It is the responsibility of the Judges, not the Committee, to set up the tests. The requirements for each set of judges for the WC shall be an aggregate of three qualification points. One point may be earned for each of the following:
- Any judging assignment at an AKC licensed field trial or AKC sanctioned Open or Amateur
- Any judging assignment at an AKC licensed hunting retriever test.
- Any TWO judging assignments at a GRCA WC/WCX test. Only one point may come from
The requirements for each set of judges for the WCX shall be an aggregate of three qualification points. One point may be earned for each of the following:
- Any judging assignment at an AKC licensed field trial or AKC sanctioned Open or Amateur
- Any judging assignment in the Senior or Master stake at an AKC hunting retriever test.
- Any TWO judging assignments at a GRCA WC/WCX test. Only one point may come from this category.
To assure qualified judges, GRCA requires that judges not listed on the AKC Licensed Trial Point Judges' List must have their specific qualifications stated in the application to the GRCA, including date and location of judged trials.
Tests for the WC shall be as follows:
- Land Double. The retrieving of two game birds (not a mixed bag) on land in moderate cover with the birds approximately 40-50 yards from the line and the falls at least 90 degrees apart. For uniformity on the land double, both birds may be shot and killed prior to the start of the test. At the discretion of the judges, the diversion bird may be a shot flier. Bird throwers should be in light colored shirts or jackets. The use of "wingers" is prohibited in WC tests.
- Back to Back Water Singles. The retrieving of two freshly killed ducks in swimming water in light cover with the ducks approximately 25 to 30 yards from the line. Bird throwers should be in light colored shirts or jackets. Each dog should retrieve at least one "new" duck. Previously used birds are to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
The WC test is not intended to test the degree of training but rather to demonstrate the natural ability of the dog to perform normal hunting tasks. The double on land demonstrates the ability to mark and retrieve two birds, and tests the memory of the dog. The back to back water singles demonstrate the ability to swim, to retrieve a waterfowl, and a willingness to re-enter the water.
There is no competition between dogs in this test. The handler is expected to come to the line quietly with his/her dog under control at their side. The dog may be brought on leash or slip cord, but these must be removed during the test. The dog may run with a collar and may be held with the leash or slip cord until sent by the handler. After the judge has called the dog's number and the dog has been sent, the handler should stand quietly on the line while the dog is working. No voice commands or hand signals are allowed. These are marking tests; handling is not permitted. When the dog has returned with the first bird on the land double, the handler may pat his/her side or speak to the dog by name, telling it to heel, sit, stay, etc., thereby getting the dog ready and lined up to go for the second bird. The handler may not take the dog by the scruff of the neck and pull it into position before sending it for the second bird. The handler may gently guide the dog by the collar to get its attention and steady it before sending it.
After the dog has retrieved the second bird, the handler may take the dog by the collar and lead it off the line. In each of the water singles, the handler may hold the dog until its number is called by the judge.
The use of shotguns at the dead bird station is preferred. Shotgun simulators (gas exploding devices) are authorized, however, clubs must ensure that those using the simulators are thoroughly familiar with their operation. Regulating the gas to the combustion chamber requires practice to avoid a long delay between releasing the gas and the actual sound. If not properly executed this could cause unfair confusion for the dog and handler team.
“Wingers” are not permitted to be used in WC tests.
1. Sending the dog before the judge calls its number.
2. Switching: a dog gives up its hunt after searching, leaves the area of the fall and goes for another bird, or when it drops the bird it is retrieving and goes for another. A switch is defined as a marking situation in which at least two birds have not been retrieved. A dog goes to one area, hunts but fails to find, leaves that area and goes to the second area where it does retrieve the bird. It has switched its hunt from one bird to another. A “switch” by this definition is an automatic failure. A dog that goes to the area of the fall of a bird that has been previously retrieved is not considered to have “switched”; it is hunting an old fall.
3. Recasting: definite refusal to go out for the retrieve.
4. Handling, as defined in the AKC rules for blind retrieves.
5. Manhandling the dog between retrieves.
6. Use of any device designed to prod the dog into action such as throwing something into the water or hollering from the field to get its attention.
7. A DOG THAT RETURNS TO AND SYSTEMATICALLY HUNTS THE AREA OF A MARKED FALL PREVIOUSLY RETRIEVED SHALL BE ELIMINATED.
Occasionally a dog may become confused as to whether or not it was sent. It may run out a few feet, stop and return to the handler. If it is the opinion of the judges that the dog was confused, they may allow the handler to send the dog again without penalty. However, definite refusal to go out indicates lack of memory, perseverance and attention, and should result in elimination. There is a difference between confusion and refusal for lack of memory.
Touching the Dog Between Birds in WC Test:
The WC Rules state that a handler may not grab the dog by the collar or neck between birds on the land double. The handler may, however, gently guide the dog by the collar between birds to get its attention before sending it for the second bird. While some judges may elect to let the handler put one or two fingers in the dog's collar to gently steady it before sending it for the next bird, any attempt, no matter how slight, to pull the dog into place shall be a disqualification. The difference between manhandling or grabbing the dog and gently touching the dog is easily defined by properly qualified judges. Prior to the test, handlers should ask the judges for their definition and a demonstration of "gently touching."
The WC Test is run under Derby Rules with the following exceptions:
1. Dogs are not expected to be steady.
2. Decoys are not used.
3. Delivery to the area of the line rather than to hand is required.
4. There is no maximum age limit on the dogs running.
Tests for the WCX shall be as follows:
1. Land Triple. The retrieving of three game birds (not a mixed bag) on land as a triple in moderate cover. Two shall be dead and the last bird shall be a live shot flier. The falls shall not be less than 60 yards nor greater than 100 yards. They shall not be less than 60 degrees apart and shall fall at a 45 degree angle back from the guns, thus eliminating the possibility of "square" or incoming falls. The order shall be from right to left or vice versa with the shot flier as the last bird down. Bird throwers should be in light colored shirts or jackets. The ideal situation would be for the first bird (dead) to be approximately 80 yards from the line, the second bird (dead) approximately 100 yards, and the third bird (live flier) approximately 60 yards.
2. Wingers. A “winger” is a mechanical throwing device, much like a giant slingshot, used to throw birds; either live flyers or freshly killed birds. Their use is permitted at WCX tests only, provided the following conditions are met:
- The possibility of such use must be announced in the premium list for a WCX test.
- Even though their use is possible, it is up to the judges, not to the test-giving club, to make the final decision on their actual use.
A “winger” must still be manned by a gunner; remote “wingers” are not permitted. They should be clearly visible from the line and not hidden. It is strongly recommended that foot-release wingers be used. Persons operating the winger should be instructed in their proper use; they are powerful mechanical devices, which can cause injury if not used correctly.
3. Water Double. The retrieving of two freshly killed ducks from the water as a double retrieve with an honor. Swimming water is preferred for both retrieves but is a definite requirement for one. The falls shall not be less than 45 yards nor greater than 60 yards. They shall not be less than 60 degrees apart and shall fall at a 45 degree angle back from the guns. One bird shall be in natural, moderate cover not visible from the line as the memory bird and the other shall be fully visible from the line in open swimming water. At the discretion of the judges, the diversion bird may be a shot flier. Ideally, the first bird should fall approximately 45 yards in cover and the second bird approximately 60 yards in open water. However, the fall of the shot flier shall not be less than 50 yards from the running dog or the honoring dog. Two to four artificial decoys shall be used, but not in a direct line with either fall. Bird throwers should be in light colored jackets or shirts.
4. Honor. The honor shall be performed following the retrieval of the water double. The dog shall go to a place designated by the judges. The dog may sit or stand, it may not lie down. The handler must stand up straight by the dog’s side; he/she may not kneel or lean over the dog. The handler may not stand in such a way as to block the dog’s view of both falls. Should the dog have failed the water double, he will be asked to perform the honor on lead. Following the completion of the water double by the last entered dog, it will honor a “bye” dog, one who is not in competition, but who will perform the water double.
An honoring dog that breaks and is brought under control without interfering with the working dog will not be eliminated. The AKC Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedure for Retrievers allows controlled breaks in all stakes except All Age stakes. They do not differentiate between working dog and honoring dog.
Again, Flat Coated Retriever handlers may talk quietly to their dog on the honor, Golden Retriever owners may not.
The handler shall bring the dog quietly to the line off leash and without a collar. There shall be NO touching of the dog by the handler at any time during the tests. The dog should be steady on the line until the judges give the handler his/her number, at which time the handler shall send the dog. The dog shall deliver each bird to hand and relinquish it easily.
The dog shall leave the line off leash and under control. In the case of the water double, the dog shall leave the line when released by the judge upon completion of the honor.
The use of shotguns at the dead bird station is preferred. Shotgun simulators (gas exploding devices) are authorized however Clubs must insure that those using the simulators are thoroughly familiar with their operation. Regulating the gas to the combustion chamber requires practice to avoid a long delay between releasing the gas and the actual sound. If not properly executed this could cause unfair confusion for the dog and handler team.
1. Sending the dog before its number is called.
2. Switching, as defined in the WC Rules.
3. Recasting, as defined in the WC Rules.
4. Handling, as defined in the AKC rules for blind retrieves.
5. Manhandling the dog between birds.
6. Use of devices, as defined in the WC Rules.
7. A DOG THAT RETURNS TO AND SYSTEMATICALLY HUNTS THE AREA OF A MARKED FALL PREVIOUSLY RETRIEVED SHALL BE ELIMINATED.
INFORMATION FOR HANDLERS
Over the years WC/WCX judges have consistently rated handler knowledge and dog work with low marks on their evaluation sheets. Two things would help improve the passing rates and the judges' evaluations:
1. Handlers should be familiar with the Rules.
2. Train the dog to a level of reliability.
INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC RETRIEVER FIELD TRIAL RULES
Trial Procedure #3
The judges, with due regard to the recommendations of the Field Trial Committee shall determine the tests to be given in each series and shall try to give all dogs approximately similar tests in the same series.
The judges must judge the dogs for
1) their natural abilities including memory, intelligence, attention, nose, courage, perseverance and style, and
2) their abilities acquired through training, including steadiness, control response to direction and delivery. Decisions to eliminate a dog from a stake as a result of faulty performance must be the consensus of both judges.
Line Manners #26 - Controlled Breaks
In any stake other than an All-Age, if a dog makes a slight break and is brought immediately under control, the dog need not be eliminated, but shall be penalized for unsteadiness. If a dog on line creeps or jumps forward short of breaking as birds are shot and no effort is made by the handler to stop and restrain him, the judges should not interpret such as a deliberate intent to retrieve, since nothing was done to stop the dog. On the other hand, if the handler does make an effort to stop the dog, the judges assume that the handler believed the dog intended to retrieve and should deal with such infraction accordingly. The judges may require that dogs which have so jumped or crept forward be brought back to heel before being sent for their birds. A handler so ordered should bring the dog to a position satisfactory to the judges and remain with the dog in such a position until its number is called. In tests including honoring, care should be exercised to treat creeping on the part of either dog in a manner not grossly unfair to the other. In all stakes, after the judges have directed that a dog be ordered to retrieve, that dog is entitled to run out and retrieve and shall not be accused of, or penalized for, breaking, even though the judges did not see or hear the handler send the dog. When a dog that is still in a stake, but not on the line under judgment, breaks for the fall of a dog under judgment in such a manner that the dog or handler interferes, in the opinion of the judges, with the normal conducting of the stake, that breaking or interfering dog shall be eliminated from the stake. When the handler of a dog under judgment is ordered by the judges for any reason to pick up their dog, they are under judgment until they are in back of all the judges with the dog on leash, and all provisions of this section shall apply until that time.
The Retriever #30 – Recasting
On marked retrieves, if a dog, after having been sent to retrieve,
1) returns to the handler before finding the bird, with or without having been called in, except in those cases of confusion of the dog as to whether it was really ordered to retrieve,
2) stops its hunt, or
3) fails to pick the bird up, actually leaving it after finding it, it is eliminated from the stake.
The Retrieve #31 - Switching
A dog that goes to the area of a fall, hunts, fails to find the bird and then leaves the area of the fall, or that drops a bird it is retrieving and goes for another, shall be considered to have “switched." Unless in the opinion of the judges there exist valid mitigating circumstances, this fault constitutes sufficient justification for elimination from the stake.
1. Role of the Test Dog.
While it is nice to have a test dog of the same level of ability as the dogs running the WC/WCX tests and while it is good to see the test dog successfully complete the test, the role of the test dog seems, at times, to be misunderstood. When the judges set up a test, they are setting it up by the Rules to the best of their abilities. It should look "picture perfect" to the eye. However, since the judges are not equipped with canine eyes or noses, it is important to get the picture straight from the dog. When the test dog runs, the judges are merely looking for any hidden obstacles or strange situations which they did not anticipate when originally setting up the test. A test dog need not pass the test in order for the judges to make a good evaluation of their test. Sometimes a judge will run the test dog as singles on the three birds set up for the triple. If the tests are passable as singles, they are passable as triples.
2. Pictures of Qualifiers for the Golden Retriever News.
Place a large group of qualifiers in two rows with the front row kneeling or sitting with their dogs. With a small group, have them kneel with their dogs. Judges too! Squeeze everyone together--the closer they are in the photo, the larger the dogs will appear in the magazine.
3. Handicapped handlers.
Judges are encouraged to assist disabled individuals in participating in WC/WCX tests so long as such assistance does not interfere with or aid the performance of the dog. Such assistance could include, but is not limited to: touching handlers who are hearing impaired instead of calling their number; allowing those in wheelchairs to be pushed to the line if the terrain is rough; telling visually handicapped handlers when the dog has picked up the bird; and permitting the use of canes or crutches for handlers.
Under NO circumstances are bitches in season to run or to be on the test grounds.
Revised December 1998 by Barbara Branstad, Julie Caruthers, and Joyce Kinghorn.
Revised January 2004 per Res. NS 03-90.
Revised June 2004 per Res. MY 04-23, 04-34, and 04-41.
Revised February 2009 per Res. 09-03 and 09-04.
Revised July 2012.
Revised October 2012 per Res.12-36.
Revised November 2015 per Res. MY14-08.
Revised December 2015 per Res. 15-69.