The ability and intelligence of well-bred and well trained gundogs is
remarkable. DOGS Victoria and various affiliated clubs conduct competitive
trials in the field for registered gundogs.
These events are designed to test the various breeds in the type of work
for which they were developed over hundreds of and even thousands of years.
They provide breeders with the opportunity to test the natural working
instincts of their dogs and therefore the chance to select breeding stock on
the basis of appropriate temperament and for preservation of their invaluable
These trials provide the opportunity for owners to experience the
pleasure of working closely with their dogs in a fascinating range of
competitive field sports.
Championship titles and minor titles are available based on performance. Gundog
trials are run under ANKC rules. The types of trials are classified as follows:
Retrieving trials are competitions using registered purebred Gundogs (eg
Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and German Short-haired Pointers etc)
where dogs are tested for obedience, and natural retrieving and
hunting abilities. The trials are held on properties throughout Victoria and
are set in areas that can as close as possible imitate natural hunting
The purpose of a retrieving trial is to test and determine the dog’s
natural hunting ability in the field, under natural conditions. Items to be
retrieved are cast from a mechanical thrower and dogs must be able to determine
the depth of the fall of the ‘game’ and then be able to hunt out the game,
retrieve it and gently deliver it to the handler. All retrieving trials are
held under the rules and regulations of the ANKC (Australian National Kennel
Council), and are held in all states around Australia. All dogs entered
must be over six months of age and trials are conducted by various Gundog Clubs
during the year.
Retrieving trials are conducted at five different levels, beginners, novice,
restricted, all age and championship.
Beginners is the entrance level for new trailers. A beginners test is a
test for dogs that have not previously won a beginners test or been placed in
any other retrieving trial stake. A beginners test consists of two runs
(retrieves), one on land and one in or through water which is of sufficient
depth for the dog to swim. Beginners handlers are generally given instruction
on the procedure for the conduct of the test and shown the mechanics of the run
over which the dog is required to compete. It is a great way to be introduced
to the sport of retrieving trials.
On the opposite end of the scale are the championship stakes. One
championship stake is conducted in each state in Australia each year. The one
exception is the year the National Retrieving Trial Championship is conducted
in the state, which is held in addition to the state championship. A national
championship has to consist of at least seven retrieves with at least 15 items
of game two of which have to be blind finds where the dog has to be tested for
steadiness from behind a hide.
Championships are a great spectacle of working gundogs and generally
attract many competitors from other states.
Competitors at the 2004 National held in Queensland
2005 National NSW
Central Highlands Working Gundog Club Trial October 2015
The RATG is open to both registered and
associate gundogs. It is a test of basic retrieving ability. The tests are designed
so that they might be held at either obedience trials or perhaps show events
depending on the area that is available.
Titles are awarded at two levels; novice retrieving ability (NRA) and
open retriever ability (ORA).
Novice level consists of four exercises; walking to heel, a recall, and
two single mark retrieves.
Open level also consists of four exercises; walking to heel, one minute
stay with recall (incorporating a stop on command), walk-up retrieve, and
either a double mark retrieve or a double rise retrieve.
You can obtain information about Retrieving on CHWGC face book page "Working gundogs Australia"