Guidelines and Rules
To be followed in all series.
• We are judging each team’s ability to handle both trial and test
• Competitors, judges,
and participants should demonstrate the highest degree of sportsmanship
at all times. The World Retriever Championship is a celebration of the
best of our retriever sports. Please imagine that every moment in the
holding blind, at the line, or in the chair, you are on worldwide
television broadcast and conduct yourself accordingly.
• Training will not be permitted by any team, (handler or dog) on event
grounds (Flint Oak) on or after April 1, 2006.
• There will be no
training on the grounds during the event other than a hand thrown
bumper or two to loosen retrievers up prior to running.
• No retriever shall
wear a collar while in competition.
• Wearing of electronic
collars, such as the ones found on flexpetz.com, on any dogs on the trial grounds shall not be permitted,
regardless of any dog’s competition status.
• Corrections or the
use of corrective training devices on the grounds shall be prohibited.
This includes, but is not limited to, the use of whips, quirts, canes,
prods and invisible fence collars.
• A retriever will walk
to the line at heel, off lead and under control from the last holding
• Handler will signal
when ready to judges before each series begins.
• The handler should
consider the judges as companions, and may ask questions, but this does
not relieve the handler of his/her responsibilities concerning marks or
• If a handler
perceives a discrepancy following a run and would like to have his/her
score reviewed, it should be brought to the attention of the marshal
• The World Retriever
Championship shall consist of a minimum of ten series. All finalist
retrievers will have come to the line on at least ten occasions. (“Tie
Breaker” series are allowed, but unexpected. Ten series should be
enough to determine a winner.) Eight of these shall be “marking
series” (blind retrieves may be incorporated into any of the
marking series.) Of these eight “marking series tests” four will be
“hunt test style” and four will be “field trial style.”
The series will alternate between hunt test and field trial setups. A
coin toss at the Handler’s Dinner on the eve of series one will
determine whether the final series is “camo” or “white coat.” The first
series will be the opposite of that determined by the coin toss. The
other two series to make up the total of ten shall be “blind
retrieve-only” series (multiple blinds are permitted in these
series.) The two blind-only series will take place between series
three and series nine, at the judges’ discretion, with the hunt
test/field trial alternation continuing in the same order after the
blind-only series. (For example, If a hunt test series preceded the
blind-only series, a field trial series must follow it, or vice-versa)
The final series may not be blind-only and will be that determined by
the coin toss.
• Distances on blinds
and marks for both trial and hunt test series shall be in accordance
with those typical of traditional events.
Field Trial Series Guidelines:
• No verbal cues or
commands are permitted by the handler after he/she has signaled as
being ready to the judges. Once a handler signals for the marks,
he/she may not give any verbal cues or commands to the retriever until
so directed by the judges. Commands given after signaling for the
marks, and before being directed by the judges, may be grounds for
• While under judgment
– once the dog has been sent and before the retrieve has been made –
any commands should be used judiciously, re no excessive or training
communication is allowed.
• White clothing is
permitted on handlers for the Field Trial Series.
Hunt Test Series
• Camouflage clothing
is required to be worn on the torso (shirt or jacket) by all handlers
during the Hunt Test Series. Dark or camouflage trousers are required
on all handlers during the hunt test series. Gloves are not permitted
to be worn during hunt test series unless weather conditions warrant
their use. Suitable “slipover” clothing will be available at the line
should a handler arrive ready to handle in unsuitable hunt test series
Pointing out the location of gunners or bird stations, prior to
signaling "ready" to the judges is prohibited in hunt test series.
• Judges have the
option of allowing moderate, verbal commands while the marks are
falling in hunt test series. This is at the judges’ discretion and will
be communicated prior to the start of each series.
• Handlers and/or dogs
may be required to run from a boat, flooded timber tree stand, ground
blind, or other hunting structure typical of the hunt being simulated.
• Retrievers may be
required to be placed in a remote location a distance from the handler.
A physical barrier such as a holding blind or other hunting apparatus
may be placed between the handler and the dog during this type of test.
• Handlers will be
required to safely handle, shoulder and fire a pump shotgun during one
or more hunt test series.
• Judges may require
that handlers await verbal direction before releasing their retriever
to pick up the marks, or they may allow the handlers to send their dog
after the last mark has fallen. This is at the judges’ discretion and
shall be communicated to the handlers prior to starting each series.
To download a printable version of the
rules in a Microsoft Word document, click here.
To see the
judging score sheet, click here.