Retriever Working Tests
The purpose of the Curly coat retriever working certificate program is to foster and encourage the natural retrieving abilities of the breed. It is designed to prove effective use of nose, marking ability, swimming, perseverance and the ability to work with the handler.
The Working Certificate test (hereafter WC) shall consist of simple land and water tests, which will allow the basic natural ability of the curly to be ascertained.
The Working Certificate Excellent test (hereafter WCX) will test to a somewhat higher level of difficulty.
The Working Certificate Qualified (hereafter WCQ) will not only test marking at the level expected of a finished dog, but also the ability to handle so as to determine trainability.
To qualify for a certificate, all required tests must be passed at the same series of tests. Birds that may be used include grouse, pheasant, quail, duck, chukar, partridges, and pigeon. Handlers will be notified in advance as to which birds will be used. All dead birds used will be freshly killed. Bitches in season are eligible to run only after all other dogs have completed the test; in the meantime they must be kept off the test site and away from the other dogs. The word dog throughout this document will refer to either sex.
The land test shall be a single, consist of a freshly killed bird thrown 40 to 50 yards from the line in light to moderate cover. The throw shall be accompanied by a shotgun shot either live shells or blanks. The dog need not be steady and may be restrained.
The water test shall consist of back to back singles, using ducks, in open swimming water. The first bird shall be thrown 25 to 35 yards from the line, accompanied by a shotgun shot. The bird must be visible from the line when in the water. The second retrieve will have the same requirements as the first except it must land approximately 60 degrees or more from the first retrieve and be in light cover. The line may be moved so that the fall will be in a different area from the first retrieve.
For both the land and water retrieves, it is not necessary for the dog to be steady and return the bird to hand. However, it must be delivered across the line to within an approximate five-foot radius of the handler. The judges should look for evidence of severe gunshyness, that is any attempt to bolt away at the sound of the shot so that the dog has to be restrained.
For both land and water retrieves, guns shall be plainly visible to the dog from the line and shall not retire after firing.
If, in the opinion of the judges, the dog did not have a reasonable chance to mark the fall or was confused for reasons beyond its control, the test may be repeated or the dog recalled to the line by the handler and resent without penalty.
The land test shall consist of one double on land. One bird shall be thrown approximately 50 yards from the line; the second may be up to 100 yards from the line. One bird shall be a shot flyer. The birds must land in light to moderate cover approximately 60 to 90 degrees apart. The dog may not be physically restrained at the line.
A shotgun shot will accompany the fall of each bird.
The water test will also consist of a double. It will utilize ducks, one thrown approximately 50 yards from the line, the second not over 100 yards. The birds must land approximately 60 to 90 degrees from each other, and at least one downed bird should not be visible from the line. A shotgun shot must accompany the fall of each bird. When circumstances allow, it is recommended that one bird in the water test shall be a shot flyer.
In both land and water tests, the dog must be steady and deliver to hand, but is not required to sit or heel before doing so. A controlled break shall be considered a minor fault, not by itself grounds for the disqualification of the dog being tested.
The tests should not be set up so that handling to the bird will be necessary, although a limited amount of handling will not alone be considered grounds for failing a test.
For both land and water tests, all guns shall be plainly visible to the dog from the line and shall not retire after firing.
Decoys shall be used in at least one test (normally the water test.)
The land test shall be a triple in moderate to heavy cover with falls of up to 120 yards. One of the birds shall be a shot flyer. A shotgun shot or shots will accompany each fall. The test will involve changes of cover, terrain, or other barriers.
The water test shall be a double in light to moderate cover utilizing ducks. The downed birds shall not be visible from the line. Falls may be up to 100 yards from the line and preferably of different lengths. A significant portion, but not all of either mark, needs to be through water. This test should include changes of terrain, cover, or other barriers, and the angle of the falls shall be sufficiently tight to provide some temptation to switch or go back to re-hunt the first fall after having retrieved that bird. A shotgun shot or shots shall accompany the throwing of each bird.
Dogs must be steady and deliver to hand. Severe bank running or serious cheating on cover will be considered grounds for failing a test.
Dogs shall be required to honor while another dog is sent on one set of marks. Dogs whose failure to honor interferes with the running dog shall be disqualified.
The land blind shall be a planted bird up to 100 yards from the line in light cover, or up to 75 yrds in moderate cover. The blind shall be placed so that it cannot be readily winded until the dog has approached the vicinity and gone nearly the full distance to the bird. Whistle and hand signals and such commands as over and back may be used to direct the dog to the bird. Dogs should look, but need not sit on whistle. Repeated refusals to handle or respond to whistle shall be deemed grounds for failing the test. Dogs will be expected to take a line from the handler and carry it a considerable distance. If early correction of the line is necessary, then the dog should carry the secondary line a considerable distance. Failure to do so, with the result that the dog must be handled excessively, shall also be deemed grounds for failure.
The water blind will be a planted bird up to 100 yards from the line in light to moderate cover. It need not be in the water, but a good portion of the route to the bird must be through swimming water. Other requirements are the same as for the land blind. One of the blinds, either land or water, shall be in the vicinity of earlier marking tests, so as to create some confusion or distraction for the dogs to cope with.
Sending the dog before the judge’s signal or an uncontrolled break.
Refusal to pick up the bird or dropping and leaving the bird before returning across the line to within a five foot radius of the handler. Dropping of the bird while the dog is adjusting its hold is not grounds for disqualification.
For the WCX or WCQ, not delivering the bird to hand.
Flagrant refusal to enter water, cover, mud, or other unpleasant or difficult terrain if the dog must do so to return the bird expeditiously. However, a dog which bank runs or avoids cover on the WC or WCX tests will not be disqualified so long as it completes the retrieve in satisfactory fashion.
Unwillingness to deliver the bird to the handler or refusal to release the bird to the handler.
Evidence of hardmouth; that is, badly damaging the bird, making it unfit for the table.
Manhandling or abuse of the dog by the handler, either on or off the line.
For the WCX or WCQ, after finding the bird, switching and picking up another bird.
Clear failure to mark at least the vicinity of a fall which the dog had reasonable opportunity to mark.
Serious displays of aggression, such as unprovoked attacking of another dog in the blind or en-route to or from the line and/or snapping at judges or others near the test area, shall be considered grounds for disqualification.
A minor fault repeated shall be treated as major and either it or an accumulation of different minor faults shall, if deemed excessive by the judges, be grounds for disqualification.
There shall be two judges for each set of test.
The combined experience of a set of two judges shall include at least three AKC licensed retriever field trials, or three AKC, HRC(UKC), or NAHRA licensed hunting retriever tests or any three of these in combination.
Judges should receive the requirements of the various working dog certificates at least two weeks before the test.
Upon completion of the tests for a certificate, both judges shall complete and sign the application for the working certificate, marking pass or fail, and give this completed form to the owner or handler.
The judges will also make and deliver a record of the results either to the secretary for the trial or to the secretary of the CCRCA, the option to be used to be determined in advance. If the results are given to the trial secretary, it shall be the trial secretary’s responsibility to forward the results to the secretary of the CCRCA.
Any Curly-coated Retriever six months of age or older and registered with the AKC, UKC, FDSB, CKC or any other foreign kennel club maintaining a national registry shall be eligible to participate in the CCRCA working certificate tests.
In addition, any curly coated retriever that meets one of the above requirements of registration may earn a CCRCA working certificate by successfully completing any working test held by the breed clubs of other retriever breeds or of Irish Water Spaniels, so long as the tests meet the minimum requirements for the appropriate working certificate of the CCRCA.
Any qualifying score at an AKC licensed Junior Hunting stake or an HRC or NAHRA Started state will qualify a dog for the WC title.
Any qualifying score at a licensed Senior stake or HRC Seasoned stake or NAHRA Intermediate stake, or completion of a Derby stake at an AKC sanctioned or licensed trial, will qualify a dog for a WCX title.
Any qualifying score at an AKC licensed Master stake or HRC Finished stake or NAHRA Senior stake, or completion of a Qualifying, Amateur, or Open stake at an AKC sanctioned or licensed trial, will qualify a dog for the WCQ title.