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Running A Working Test

SITE – For the Land Test there should be suitable cover, such as stubble, brush, grass, etc., sufficient to hide the birds and provide a test of the dog’s hunting ability and willingness to search in cover. The area must be far enough away from houses, roads, etc. so the gunners may shoot safely.

BIRDS – Pheasants, chukar partridge, or pigeons are the appropriate birds to be used for a working test. The selected type of bird shall be the only one used for all dogs entered in the test that day. The bird planters should use gloves for handling and planting birds in the field.

STEWARD – One or two stewards should be appointed to keep the gallery of spectators, other handlers and dogs in a close group behind the judge or in some such assigned safe place. This is not only to prevent interference with the work of the dog being tested, or the gunner’s chance to shoot, but an important safety measure.

GUNNERS – The club shall appoint a gunner, or two gunners one on either side of the handler, to accompany the handler in the field. The gunners should shoot the game flushed by the dog in a manner consistent with actual upland hunting. Only breaking type shotguns (12,16 or 20 gauge) may be used.

LAND TEST – Dogs are to be run singly. Each dog should work and find at least two live birds, and complete two retrieves. Birds should be planted on the course so that there is opportunity for the dog to demonstrate ground coverage, hunting ability and nose (ability to find game). Birds should be planted at least 30 to 40 yards from the starting line and also 30 to 40 yards apart from each other progressing down the field. If a dog has sufficiently demonstrated that he can find and flush game but said game isn’t shot (for example, a missed bird, or a bird flying over the gallery or where any person may be in the line of flight), or he traps game before it can fly, a dead bird may be thrown with a shot fired to enable the dog to demonstrate its ability to mark and retrieve.

WATER TEST – A shot is fired into the air as a dead bird is thrown, either from shore or from a boat, so as to fall at a distance that requires the dog to swim in order to make the retrieve (at least approximately 15 yards from shore).

Revised and Approved by ESSFTA July 1998