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Retrievers ‘under the glass’


IN NOVEMBER The National Gundog Association held the second of its Judges’ Development Seminars at The Canine Academy, Tollerton, Notts, with Joyce Ryder.

The focus for this seminar was four of the retriever breeds. There were 21 candidates, the minimum criteria for attendance being to already award CCs in at least three breeds. As with the previous Judges’ Development Seminar, held last February, the assessment of candidates was ongoing throughout the two days.

The two breeds covered on the first day were Golden Retrievers and Curly Coated Retrievers.

The morning session started with Golden Retrievers and the Tutors for this session were Mrs V Foss, Mrs M Hathaway, Mrs V Jones and Mrs M Wood. Together with Mrs L Kipps, Mrs Foss introduced the extended breed standard with an impressive Power Point presentation.

This was followed with all the tutors, joining designated groups of candidates, to lead discussion and question sessions. Also included was a practical session as owners of Golden Retrievers provided nine dogs for “hands on”. The morning finished with candidates completing a written task to be assessed by the tutors.

The afternoon session focused on the Curly Coated Retriever and the Tutor for this was Mrs A Nichols. She commenced with a knowledgeable presentation on the breed standard using the dogs themselves to “illustrate” her talk. Once again the candidates had the opportunity for discussion and a “hands on” session. To conclude this session Mrs Nichols provided an excellent collection of photographs showing Curly Coated Retrievers and the candidates were given an assessment task using the photographs.

The second day started with Flatcoated Retrievers and the two Tutors were Mrs B Phillips and Mrs J Bird. Mrs Phillips having attended the previous NGA Seminar was able to use this experience to present a lively and thought provoking session for the candidates. Again both tutors, using their own knowledge and experience, were able to give a comprehensive overview of their breed. Once again owners had given generously of their time to bring dogs in order that the candidates were able to have a practical “hands on” session. For the Flatcoated Retriever session the candidates were given an assessment task to be complete in the week following the tutorial, when they had the time to reflect on the session. Then these were to be sent to the tutors for assessing.

Lively

The final breed was the Labrador Retriever and the Tutors for this breed were Mrs C Coode and Mrs Venturi Rose. Although this was the last afternoon of two very full days there was no danger of candidates “switching off”. Mrs Coode in her own inimitable style presented a lively and thought provoking talk on the Labrador Retriever and the breed standard. The talk was again brought to life with the presence of the dogs themselves and there was the opportunity to watch them move and to go over them. The candidates had two written tasks to complete within the session and this brought the two days to a conclusion.

Verbal comments from the candidates to NGA have been extremely positive. The exit questionnaires which the have completed will be used to inform the planning of the National Gundog Association’s next seminar planned for February 2003, when the focus will be spaniel breeds.