So off we went yesterday. The weather left something to be desired – raw and in the 40s with occasional showers, but at least it wasn’t pouring. Kurzhaars (and shorthairs) of all ages were there – old men like Boone, with grizzled faces and creaky joints, and pups meeting their new families. The Derby test as conducted yesterday had 3 phases – gun sensitivity, search and pointing. The dogs were cast off individually – as they burned off some steam on the initial run-out, a shotgun was fired twice. Dog, handler and judges continued on and searched for about 15 – 20 minutes; as this was going on, birds were planted in the 1st field. As the testing party returned to the start, pointing instinct and use of nose was evaluated. When it was all over the pups were raring for more and the handlers were typically ready to collapse from adrenaline aftershock (I know I was – and Dinah barely had the edge worn off).
After everyone had run, and after the Wesen test, the club conducted a Zuchtschau – a conformation evaluation. Dogs and bitches were looked at separately; the format – everyone trots their pup around the ring together, dogs are then looked at individually, then all are looked at as a group again, with the judge determining placement – should be familiar to anyone who’s seen a dog show on teevee with one crucial exception – every animal in the ring gets rated.
I took some pictures, but was too busy to do the event justice. The pictures I did take are puppy-heavy – blame the cute factor and the blur component (imagine a bunch of year old kurzhaars + quail + new people – not a lot of lounging was done). The Flickrset is here.
Mystery handler experiencing puppy-induced kensho.
It was a very good day for Dinah and me – a Prize I in the Derby (4’s in all categories except use of nose – that was a 4H – I’m told a 4H earns us a special pin), and an SG1 in the Zuchtshau (SG is as high as juveniles can be rated – the 1 indicates that the judge liked her the best). Woo-hoo! On to a NAVHDA Natural Ability test in September and maybe Solms in the fall too (if not, then AZP next year). And – of course – the reason any of this means anything – the grouse woods will be seeing a lot of Dinah and Janey – and a bit of Boone – come October.