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Northern Newfoundland Club of Great Britain
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Judges Reports


Working Tests at Nottingham Water Sports Centre - 26th & 27th June 2010


Saturday 26th June 2010


NORTHERN NEWFOUNDLAND CLUB
JUDGES REPORT
Venue: National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham
Date: 26 June 2010
Section: B – Group 1
Judges: Lynn Whiting & Carol Pugsley
Entries: 9
Passes: 5
Withdrawn: 0
This was a new venue for NNC Water Tests, and proved to be a fabulous test site. The only downside was some floating weeds, but everyone helped to clear the area. The weather was unusually hot, great for the humans, but not for the dogs, but they were kept in the shade, and had a dip in the lake, so no problems were encountered.

We had 9 entries and 5 passes including a multi-pass - well done to you all. In the case of the 4 who almost made it this time, it was generally just a single element that was missed, with all the other elements being executed very well. I know you will work on the failed element and pass next time.

I would like to thank my co-Judge Lynn Whiting who was strapped up and on crutches due to a sprained ankle, but this did not hinder her in any way. Also a big thanks to the Stewards, especially those out in the safety boat, wearing dry suits in 80 degree temperatures. I would like to praise the Test Manager and all her helpers for a very well organised week-end. I hope the entrants all enjoyed their week-end as much as we did.

Thank you to Carol my co-judge and everyone for their help (due to my sprained ankle.)

CAROL PUGSLEY & LYNN WHITING

NORTHERN NEWFOUNDLAND CLUB
JUDGES REPORT
Venue: National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham
Date: 26 June 2010
Section: B – Group 2
Judges: Angie Fitzgerald & Jo Irving
Entries: 13
Passes: 13
Withdrawn: 0
13 wasn't unlucky for anybody and it was lovely not having to fail any of the teams, all passed well, the weedy conditions proved a little challenging to some dogs but all did over come any initial hesitancy.

As usual the areas that are causing some teams problems are the swim and the underwater retrieve, but definitely just a matter of practice to make these elements as smooth as the others.

Well done to all entrants and thanks to the stewards especially, who were magnificent in the sweltering heat.

Well done to Susan and Canis Major for a very well organized test

Angie Fitzgerald & Jo Irving

NORTHERN NEWFOUNDLAND CLUB
JUDGES REPORT
Venue: National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham
Date: 26 June 2010
Section: E
Judges: John Fleming & Steve Long
Entries: 6
Passes: 0
Withdrawn: 0
This was a new venue for the water tests and the environment totally different to many of the lakes that we use for tests. There was only one suitable entry point and trees ran down one side of the water test area creating a possible hazard for those dogs that did not return directly to the shore area. On the other side of the shore area the lake became slightly shallower but was covered in weed providing another potential hazard.

On top of this there were bits of weed floating random to distract any dog not totally focused on its exercise. If this was not challenging enough the weather was also very hot, and some dogs in hot weather simply decide to have a little swim about, and are not bothered about rescuing stewards or going to boats.

Of the six dogs entered there were no passes and in all honesty only one that showed any inclination to work to its abilities. Even saying that, only two exercises would have been passed had the dog been taken aboard the receiving boat in E4. I think the weather and environment took its toll on all the dogs, I have witnessed they are capable of much better.
Many thanks to all the stewards, Susan Marsh (test manager), and Steve Long my co-judge. Thanks also to all the others who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the tests run smoothly.

John Fleming & Steve Long

Sunday 27 June 2010


NORTHERN NEWFOUNDLAND CLUB
JUDGES REPORT
Venue: National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham
Date: 27th June 2010
Section: C
Judges: David Pugsley & Paul Tedder
Entries: 12
Passes: 6
Withdrawn: 2
A new venue with excellent camping facilities and a good lake which fully met our requirements. There was some floating weed which was a bit of a problem, but we adapted the course of the safe swim to an elongated triangle to avoid the bad patches.

We had 10 entries on the day, including one team who came all the way from Belgium to take part. Fortunately the dog was a European working champion who listened carefully to his owners commands, and completed this section to perfection. A good outcome in view of the distance and cost involved.

Overall there were 10 entries and 6 good passes. Those who missed out on this occasion all completed 3 of the 4 elements, so we were close to a perfect record. Given the very hot conditions which were not ideal for the dogs, all the entrants can feel satisfied with their efforts.

Thanks as always to all the stewards as it was very hot in a dry suit. Thanks also to the Test Manager and all her helpers for a very well organised event. We look forward to coming back to this venue again.

DAVE PUGSLEY & PAUL TEDDER


NORTHERN NEWFOUNDLAND CLUB
JUDGES REPORT
Venue: National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham
Date: 27th June 2010
Section: D
Judges: Chris Tedder & Lorna Dimelow
Entries: 9
Passes: 2
Withdrawn: 2
Test Conditions: The very hot weather was perfect for raising cases of heat exhaustion or heat stroke but with due care and diligence this occurred to neither 2 nor 4 legged attendees. Fortunately, eased by occasional cloud cover and a slight breeze the heat was bearable but it was still a very hot day. The jetty on which the judges were standing was lucky enough to be situated in the shade of nearby trees for the most part of the day otherwise this would have been unbearable without some sort of canopy/cover.
The venue was not to my personal liking as it was quite enclosed but the test manager and the stewards made it work. There was a great deal of weed in the water and this was constantly having to be kept in check by all stewards, well done.

The entrants were a mix of first timers and 'old' hands and it was good to see that at least one of the first timers really did know what it was all about and did an excellent job. This was ably aided by the use of an experienced handler who what to do and when. An excellent pass and for anyone watching, that was how it should be done - mostly - as it wasn't quite perfect. However the apparent large following of family and friends of this dog were as happy as the judges with this dogs performance and a huge round of cheers and applause went up on the announcement of a ‘pass’.

The more experienced dogs and handlers did that most frustrating thing of passing 2 or 3 elements very well and then throwing the test away on the remaining element (s). This can be overcome by consolidation of each step before moving on to the next. ( If I have said this once I have said it a thousand times) If the dog does not do the element every time it is asked to do so then the exercise is not yet proven. It is not simply a case of repetition, the dog has to have a reward (something that makes the dog repeat the required behaviour because IT gets something from it that is to its own mind very worth while). When swimming to the stranger the reward should initially be coming when it reaches the stranger, not when it arrives back on shore with him. Get that incentive right and the dog will always go to the stranger. Same with the boat, the reward should initially come when the dog reaches the boat not when it is back on shore. Get the initial reward (for the swim out) high enough and at the right time and the behaviour (swim out and reach the steward, boat object etc.) will always be done. When the dog is arriving at the desired point EVERY time then and only then does the criteria and timing of the reward change. Now the reward is given when the dog completes the exercise, ie when it is back on shore. The first time the dog gets a bonus reward so it starts to learn that the reward comes at the end of the sequence, (swim out, reach the object - person, boat, object) and returns with it to shore. It will not take long to extend this exercise to get the whole sequence perfect every time. The important thing about training is knowing when to stop. If the dog had completed 1 or 3 repetitions perfectly then STOP. Have a game or give other reward and have a rest. The dogs can get bored of over repetition and soon see no reason for continuing so the performance gets worse and worse instead of improving. A dog has to have a reason to repeat a behaviour and that is where you have to work out what reward he needs to do as you ask. You don’t work for free so why should your dog. Thank you to everyone involved in the smooth running of the day, to the NNC for inviting me to Judge and the biggest thank you to the handlers for your entry. It is always as honour and privilege to judge these tests, a job which I hope I and allowing me the honour to watch your dogs and decide what he gets out of it.

Chris Tedder & Lorna Dimelow

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