If you have acquired a gundog you have the option of training your dog for retrieving and field work. Training your new friend for retrieving and/or field work brings out the natural traits which have been bred into your gundog for many generations.
As a bonus you will find the joy that you and your dog can achieve from understanding each other and bringing out your dog's natural traits.
What breeds are suitable for retrieving and field trials?
All breeds of group three gundogs are suitable for various forms of retrieving or field work. The traditional retrieving breeds such Labrador Retrievers or Golden Retrievers are specialists in retrieving work and are the major proportion of dogs competing in retrieving trials.
There are three forms of field trial for the various types of hunting dogs. There are field trials for the pointing and setting breeds, field trials for utility gundogs and field trials for spaniels and retrievers.
Where and how do I learn to train my dog for retrieving or field trials?
Many of the group three breed clubs and the specialist training and trialing club advertising in the DOGS Victoria magazine run training days from time to time. There are many good books around to guide you in your retrieving and field trial training.
If you would like to attend a trial, ring one of the clubs to find out when the next trial is on and come and have a look. Speak to the triallers and find out if any train in your area or attend one of the next training sessions conducted by the clubs conducting field or retrieving trials.
Field trials are competitions using registered purebred gundogs where dogs and handlers are tested for obedience and natural hunting ability under normal hunting conditions. The purpose of a field trial is to test and determine a dog's natural hunting ability in the field in conditions which are found whilst hunting.
Three forms of field trials are conducted in Australia and all field trials are held under the rules and regulations of the ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council) for the relevant field trial discipline. Trials are conducted for pointers and setters, utility gundogs and spaniels and retrievers.
Field trials are conducted at three different levels or standards, these being novice stake, open or all age stake and championship stake. The type of work required at each level is identical although the standard of competition at the higher levels is obviously better.
Spaniel and Retriever Field Trials
These trials are conducted in the field. Dogs are required to hunt, flush and retrieve. Breeds eligible to compete are all spaniels and retrievers.
Pointer and Setter Field Trials
These events are conducted in the field. The dogs are assessed on their ability to find and point in particular. These events are open to the pointer and setter breeds only.
Utility Gundog Field Trials
These events are for breeds which are designed to hunt, point and retrieve, which include the German Shorthaired Pointer, Brittany, Weimaraner and Large Munsterlander. They are conducted in the field.