Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Way beyond "Fetch": Field Trials Stress Dog-Human Partnership

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Way beyond "Fetch": Field Trials Stress Dog-Human Partnership

Article excerpt

"BANG!" Firing a shotgun blank alerts the gun dog and its handler that the trial has begun. Four birds-dead ducks or pheasants--get launched to land at prearranged distances. Then the training begins to show.

Properly, the dog follows each bird in the air and "marks" where it lands. But the dog remains immobile, at "heel." If it budges beforehand, that "break" disqualifies it. After the fourth bird lands, the handler speaks the dog's name, which "releases" the dog to retrieve. The dog returns each bird in turn, giving it up on the command "drop it." Then the dog goes after the next target-its memory of the landing point slowly fading. All the while, judges watch to see if the dog has closely tracked and recalled the landing spot. Excessive meandering around in the general direction of the bird until it is found counts for less than a definite retrieval. Even champions have off days.

"The dog needs to show the judges that he or she really knew where that duck was," explains Rick Whaley, president and CEO, Citizens Bank of Americus, Ga.

Success depends on training, experience, inborn talent, and a strong relationship with the handler. And the trial or "stake" that you've just read about represents the first, and easiest, round of three or four that field dogs compete in.

Field trials simulate actual hunting experiences, and that's how Whaley first became interested. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.