Field Trials for your Sporting Dog

March 26, 2009



For those of you who aren’t too familiar with the term “field
trials,” it is a sport in which the sporting dog competes under
hunting conditions. The dog can pick up the scent of a rabbit or
small animal and follow the trail until he’s found it. There are
also the bird trials where the animal retrieves a fallen bird.
During competition, the different breeds are divided into various
groups. The following groups are: Pointing Dog Trials, Retriever
Trials, Spaniel Trials, Beagle Trials & Hound Trials. The following
guidelines are an example of what is expected before entering your
sporting dog.

If a club is hosting a trial, they must advertise the trial with a
fitting advertisement which states the following information: date
of actual trial along with the place, location of drawing, time of
drawing, sponsoring stakes and lastly, the contact person’s name,
city and state.

The next condition for entering is the age of the dog. There are
two seasons. If you are interested in entering your puppy in the
current season’s Puppy Stakes competition (July 1-December 31,
2005, he must be whelped (born) on or subsequent to June 1, 2004.
The next half of the season is from (January1-June 30, 2006), the
dog must be whelped on January 1, 2005 or after this date.

Before entering your dog in a trial, make sure you have all
information on the dog being entered. It is very important that all
information is put on the entry form. It will consist of the dog’s
name, the breed of the dog, registration number, color, sex and
sire and dam’s names.

“Field trialer” is the name of the owner or handler of the sporting
dog. Field trials is an enjoyable sport for field trialers because
of the exercise as well as the excitement of seeing their dogs
follow a trail. Talking with other field trialers is another thrill
of competing.

If you are new to the sport or just getting started, it can be mind
boggling choosing just the right dog, especially if you don’t even
know how to get started. The first decision in choosing a sporting
dog is deciding which pedigree you want. When choosing a dog, if
possible, find out information about the sire and dam. What kind of
accomplishments have they achieved? What are their strengths and
weaknesses?

It’s a good idea to watch a particular breed in action to see if
that’s what you’re looking for in a sporting dog. Also talk to
other field trialers who are more experienced in this area. They
may be able to recommend a breeder. You can also read magazines or
books on the subject. Find out as much information as you can
before you choose your sporting dog.

Once you’ve chosen a puppy, look the puppy over from front to back.
Look for flaws in the structure of the puppy. Does he have unsteady
balance? Are his hind legs weak or stiff? Are the front legs bowed?
Serious flaws can prevent the dog from performing well out in the
field. The fields are not easy obstacles. There may be bushes the
dog may have to maneuver through and other obstructions in the way.
The dog must be healthy and strong in order to maneuver quickly.

Many field trialers will refer to the nose of the dog as being the
animal’s ability to find the scent and pursue. Each dog has its own
personality as to how he pursues the game. Some can be very
aggressive, while others are more cautious. Each dog may have its
own style which is what makes them so unique. One style is not
better than another. It is really up to the field trialer as to
what he likes better. The way the dog follows the scent is not the
most important aspect of the sport. The most important aspect is
that he finds the trail and stays on it until he finds the game.
How well does their nose perform. When they do lose the rabbit, how
far do they wonder off course? Do they try picking up the scent
again, once they lost it? These are questions to ask yourself about
your sporting dog.

Field trailing is an exciting sport, not only for the sporting dog,
but also for the field trialer. If this sport sounds interesting to
you, get involved with various clubs that support this type of
sport. Go out and give it a try.

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AKC vs RBDA: What’s the difference

March 17, 2009



What is all the hype about our dogs belonging to a club? Many pet
owners do not even belong to a club. Dog owners, who take pride in
their pets, will generally register their dogs in some kind of
kennel club, especially if they plan to breed their dog. Registered
dogs tend to cost a little more and are more appealing to dog
buyers.

AKC stands for American Kennel Club. It is the most well known
kennel club in the United States. They are dedicated to supporting
the sport of pure breeds. They were found back in 1884 and they are
a promoter of responsible dog ownership. Although the AKC is dog
friendly, no matter the status of the breed, they believe that
purebred dogs are more predictable in several aspects. Hence, they
believe that purebreds make better pets. Half of American homes
have pets and 36% of them are dog owners; therefore, more emphasis
should be placed on the subject.

The AKC stays very active. They encourage the sport of purebred
dogs. They sponsor over 15,000 dog competitions a year

The AKC deals with approximately one million applications a year,
although, they do not specialize in the selling of purebreds.
Because of this, they can not vouch for the health of the animal.

If you were to purchase a dog that comes from an AKC registered
blood line, you will also receive an application for your dog’s
registration. Someone who is buying an AKC registered dog must
realize that the certification is in no way guarantying that the
dog is in perfect health or that the quality of the dog is without
flaw. It is only stating that the canine is a direct offspring of a
known sire (stud/father) and dam (mother/bitch) and that it is born
on a factual date. They must also be from the same breed. In order
to register a litter of puppies, the sire and dam must be AKC
registered and the litter born in the US. The owner of the litter
wanting to register the litter must fill out an application which
requires basic information such as: date of mating and birth, the
number of males and females born in the litter, the sire and dam’s
registered names and numbers and lastly the owner’s address and
signature. You must fill out the form and send it back to the AKC.
They, in turn, will send you paperwork for each individual puppy to
be filled out partly by you. Once the puppies have been purchased,
the new owner will have to fill out the remaining information and
send it back, with a fee, the AKC. After they have processed your
application, you should receive an official AKC Certificate in the
mail.

The Rare Breed Dog Association is another type of dog registration.
You may wonder what exactly a “rare dog breed.” In simple terms, it
is a dog that the American Kennel Club does not recognize. They
have a number of services they offer such as: Public awareness of
the rare breed dog; Education of the rare breed dog; Registration
of the rare breed dog; as well as rare breed dog shows. Their goal
is to watch over the “Rare Breed Dog” in the US and educate the
public of the over 130 rare dog breeds that are out there. The RBDA
have a number of groups that they represent. The following are dog
groups along with a few of the actual breeds they represent:

Companion Group (American Hairless Terrier, Bolognese, Cavalier
King Charles)

Herding group (King and English Shepherd, Akbash)

Hound group (Basset Artesien Normand, Black Forest Hound, Batard)

Spitz group (Canadian Estimo Dog, Carolina Dog, Chinook)

Sporting group ( Barbet, Boykin Spaniel, Bracco Italiano) These
sporting group dogs are located in the Gundog group located in
various in Europe.

Terrier group (American Pit Bull Terrier, Cesky Terrier,
Jadgterrier)

Working group ( Aidi, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, American Bulldog)

Whether you have a rare breed dog or a purebred dog, there our
resources out there to get your dog registered. Once again, either
way you go, it does not prove the quality of the animal, just the
family line. Although, if purchasing a dog, buying an AKC or RBDA
registered dog is the best way to tract the history of the dog.
Either way, a dog is a dog. They serve a variety of purposes, and
as long as they are fulfilling that purpose, that is what’s
important.