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(C) McKaynine Training Centre 2014
Working trials comprises a number of elements which culminate in the complete working dog. These are: Nosework (area search & tracking) Obedience (real life scenarios) Agility (send-aways over obstacles) Manwork (in higher levels). Nosework The first element mentioned, nosework, is exactly as it sounds - the dog uses his nose to “work” an area. The area search exercise involves the dog working a 100m2 area to find small articles that have been placed there. The handler may only direct their dog from outside the area using verbal cues and hand signals. The photos below show the sequence during an area search. Obedience Many of the classic obedience exercises are performed in working trials, but in working trials the competition setting is more natural (i.e. an open field on farmland) as opposed to a cordoned off, lawned ring at a dog show. The working style too focuses more on function than form. Agility Dogs do not need to undergo agility classes for working trials as the content is covered in the working trials class. Manwork Due to the nature of manwork training, we do not offer group classes for this aspect of working trials. Manwork is a separate class - dogs will therefore need to be enrolled simultaneously in working trials and manwork or alternate classes on a monthly basis. The manwork for working trials is covered in greater detail on the manwork page. Requirements Dogs do need a basic level of obedience before starting working trials and a retrieve is essential. In most cases once the CGC Bronze level is achieved the dog can start working trials. Instructor Classes are instructed by Steve McClean who has a long and esteemed history within the South African working trials fraternity. Steve’s excellent knowledge and ability to help handlers fine-tune their dog’s performance (while having a great time) are legendary.
Working Trials
The dog is walked round the area and then given his cue - in this example the handler gives a hand signal and backs this up with the verbal command “Soek. The dog works the area with assistance from the handler outside of the area to ensure that no areas are overlooked and “scent pools” are utilised. The dog has found one of the articles and brings it back to his owner. He is heartily praised! He is then prepared for the following articles. Back to Dog Sports