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Bearded Collie Working Tests

Approved by both the Bearded Collie Club & the Southern Counties Bearded Collie Club (Revised 1987)

Who may take the tests ?

These Tests may only be taken by members of the Bearded Collie Club and/or the Southern Counties Bearded Collie Club.

The tests are not competitive and to qualify a dog needs to gain 80% of the marks in each exercise. A dog must have qualified in the Primary Test before taking the Junior, in the Junior Test before taking the Intermediate and the Intermediate Test before taking the Senior.

The tests are restricted to any dog owned by a member of the Club, but Diplomas and Medallions are restricted to Bearded Collies (Registered or Unregistered). Each Bearded Collie that qualifies will receive a Diploma from the Club running the tests, signed by Judge and a Club Official. A Bearded Collie that qualifies in the Senior Tests will receive a Club Medallion. Members' other dogs may take the tests at the discretion of the Judge.

Diplomas will be awarded at the end of the tests. The Stewards are responsible for filling in the details on the Diploma and informing the Club Secretary of the results which will be published in the next edition of the Club magazine or newsletter.

Where the tests take place

The Club will run these tests at any of its events where the ground is deemed suitable.

In addition the Club will endeavour to run these tests in any area of the country where there is a minimum of six dogs wanting to qualify.

Members wanting a Working Test meeting in their area must be prepared to find the ground. The Junior, Intermediate and Senior Test must take place in the open. .

Exclusions

Dogs which without provocation, attack people or other dogs will be disqualified. Members are responsible for keeping their dogs under control.

Bitches in season must not enter the ground. The handler should inform the judge of the bitch's condition and the judge will examine her after all the other dogs have finished.

Judges

Members may nominate judges but such names have to be approved by the appropriate Club Committee.

There should be at least two stewards to assist the Judge.

Any disputed matter arising at the tests and requiring a decision on the ground will be decided by a majority of the Judge, stewards and any officers or committee members of the club running the tests who may be present at the meeting. Their decision shall be final.

Directions for the guidance of judges

These working tests were devised so that the Bearded Collie Breed Clubs could offer some award for temperamentally sound, well behaved Bearded Collies. The exercises were designed to have a practical aspect and, for this reason, extra commands and encouragement (unless otherwise stated) should not be penalised, except where they are excessive and imply lack of control over the dog. Titbits or toys should not be used as a reward or bribe. The Breed Standard states that the Bearded Collie should be alert, lively and self-confident with good temperament an essential and Working Test judges have discretion to penalise the cowed, unwilling worker. Judges may request the withdrawal of any dog they consider to be unduly distressed by the test. The accuracy and precision required for obedience competitions are not vital in qualifying for these tests. The dogs should be attentive and responsive therefore consistent lagging, wandering or an appreciable delay before responding to a command are faults, whereas minor faults such as the straightness of the sit are not important.

The Primary Test has been made very simple to encourage as many people to enter as possible.

The Primary and Junior Tests (especially in the lead work) should be judged as assessments of the rapport existing between dog and handler.

Great stress has been laid throughout on the dog allowing strangers to examine it. Some adult Bearded Collies are aloof with strangers and this should not be confused with nervousness which must be penalised.


The Primary Test

Examination by a stranger.The dog, sitting by the handler's side, on a loose lead, shall allow itself to be handled by a stranger without showing nervousness or aggression. A change of position by the dog shall not penalised but over-boisterousness or backing away through fear will be. Any attempt to bite will disqualify - 20 points (16 to qualify) .

The dog to walk on a loose lead beside the handler, waiting whenever the handler halts. This shall be done with changes of direction and paces. Distractions will be provided such as a stranger stopping the handler and talking, another dog on a lead approaching or clapping by half a dozen people, which should not upset the dog unduly. If the dog barks, the handler should be able to quieten the dog immediately. This exercise is designed to show whether the dog will accommodate itself to the handler's pace and direction without pulling on the lead - 20 points (16 to qualify) .

Recall. The dog shall be held by its collar while the handler walks some distance away. When called, the dog should come right up to the handler without any hesitation and have its lead put on. Movement of the handler towards the dog will be penalised - 20 points (16 to qualify)

The dog to be walked on a loose lead within reach of the food placed on the ground. The dog should ignore the food when told to do so - 20 points (16 to qualify)

Tied stay of one minute. EXTRA COMMANDS ALLOWED. The dog shall be tied to a stake or any other convenient object and the handler shall walk at least twelve paced away. The dog should not panic, struggle or bark continuously - 20 points (16 to qualify).


The Junior Test

Stand for examination, on a loose lead. The handler can steady the dog as is done in the show ring, but the dog should remain standing throughout the examination by the judge - 15 points (12 to qualify)

Heelwork on a loose lead, which should incorporate changes of both pace and direction. The dog is expected to sit when the handler stops. The same distractions may be provided as in exercise 2 in the Primary Test - 15 points (12 to qualify)

Recall to handler. The dog may be held by a steward or left in a stay position. When called, the dog should come direct to the handler and sit in front. No other finish is required - 15 points (12 to qualify)

Stay for one minute. EXTRA COMMANDS ALLOWED. Handlers will remain in sight and the position that the dog is left in will be at the handler's discretion. A change of position by the dog will only be penalised slightly but movement away from the spot where it has been left will disqualify - 15 points (12 to qualify)

Retrieve any handler's article. The dog may be held whilst the article is thrown but should go straight out to pick up the article and deliver it to hand without dropping it. The handler may give such encouragement as he sees fit - 25 points (20 to qualify)

1 ft. jump off the lead. The handler may jump with the dog if he wishes. No slip collars to be worn during jumping. Should the dog fail to jump, further attempts are allowed for a loss of two marks for each attempt - 15 points (12 to qualify)


The Intermediate Test

Heelwork. A very short stretch of heelwork on the lead is to be immediately followed by a much longer stretch of heel free. The position of the dog to the handler must be consistent, fairly close, but not impeding the handler?s progress. Changes of pace and direction will be included and the dog should sit when the handler halts. The same distraction may be provided as in Exercise 2 of the Primary Test - 15 points (12 to qualify)

Stay for three minutes. NO EXTRA COMMANDS ALLOWED. Handler will remain in sight and the position that the dog is left in will be at the handler's discretion. A change of position by the dog will be penalised slightly but movement away from the spot where it has been left will disqualify - 15 points (12 to qualify)

Recall from the sit or down position to the handler?s side as the handler is walking away - 15 points (12 to qualify)

Stop on recall.The handler will leave the dog in a stay position, recall the animal and stop it on command when it has come part of the way. The handler will then return to the side of the dog. As this exercise can be a life saver, it is essential that the dog stops immediately on the first command - 10 points (8 to qualify)

Jump a 2 ft. hurdleNo slip collars to be worn during the jumping. Handlers may run up to the jump to encourage the dog but may not pass the obstacle before the dog does. Reasonable control should be demonstrated when the dog has cleared the jump. Should the dog refuse or run out further attempts at the jump are allowed for a loss of two marks for each attempt - 10 points (8 to qualify)

Rretrieve to hand a dumb-bell provided by the handler. The dog is required to go straight out and bring the article straight back without dropping it and to sit and present the dumbbell to the handler who will take it on the stewards instruction. Any movement by the handler towards the dog will be penalised - 10 points (8 to qualify)

Stand for examination. The dog will be on a loose lead and is required to stand steadily while handled by the judge. The handler should stand at least 1 pace away from the dog - 10 points (8 to qualify)

Handler's choice of:

Elementary seekback for handler's visible article (other than a dumbbell) dropped by the handler surreptitiously. The dog must be sent back at least fifteen paces and should deliver the article to hand - 15 points (12 to qualify)

OR

Elementary search. Pieces of 3 inch wooden doweling or garden hose pipe will be provided by the Organiser of the tests. The handler of the dog will have four articles to scent up which will be placed by a steward in a marked area roughly 12 yds by 12 yds square, unseen by handler or dog. The dog is required to find and deliver to hand one of the four articles. The handler may move around the perimeter of the search area but must remain outside it. A separate area must be used for each dog. The time limit is 3 minutes. The articles must not be given to the dog before the test or reused afterwards - 15 points (12 to qualify)


The Senior Test

Heel free at fast, slow and normal paces At one point the dog will be left at either the stand, down or sit at the handler's command. The handler will continue as directed by the stewards until reaching the dog when both will continue forward together. The dog will be required to remain at heel while its handler walks through a crowd of people and dogs who are clapping and cheering. Excessive commands by the handler or barking by the dog, will be penalised. Further distractions may be included at the discretion of the judge. These may include unusual objects and food left on the ground - 15 points (12 to qualify)

Stay in the down position with the handler out of sight for five minutes. NO EXTRA COMMANDS ALLOWED. A change in position by the dog will only be penalised slightly, but a dog which moves away from the spot on which it was left will be disqualified - 10 points (8 to qualify)

Handler's choice of:

Seekback. With the dog walking at heel, the handler will surreptitiously drop an article provided by the judge when told to do so. The dog and handler must proceed at least thirty paces before the dog is sent back to find the article and deliver it to hand. There is a time limit of 3 minutes from the time the dog is sent to find the article - 15 points (12 to qualify)

OR

A Search.The search shall be a marked area roughly 12 yds by 12 yds and to find and retrieve an article provided by the judge with handler's scent and placed by a steward unseen by handler or dog. The handler may move round the perimeter of the search area but must remain outside it. A separate area must be used for each dog. The time limit is 3 minutes - 15 points (12 to qualify)
In both the Seek Back and Search the article provided by the judge should not be smaller than a matchbox, be fairly inconspicuous in colour and not made of any material likely to cause injury to the dog?s mouth.

Stand for examination off the lead.The handler must be at least 3 ft. away - 20 points (16 to qualify)

Jump a 5 ft. long jump - 10 points (8 to qualify)

Jump a 2 ft. 6 in. hurdle - 10 points (8 to qualify)

In both jumps the handler may run up to the obstacle in order to encourage the dog but must not pass the jump before the dog does. The handler should demonstrate control over the dog following the jumps. Should the dog fail to jump a further attempt may be made for the loss of two marks. No slip collars to be worn during jumping.

The dog to be sent away (a minimum of 25 yds) to a spot marked by its handler?s belongings and dropped beside them. The handler will return to the spot, pick up the marker, walk away and finally call the dog to heel - 20 points (16 to qualify)