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FT judging scenario

11611 Views 131 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  Peter Balzer
You are one of the two judges. Contestant calls for birds. After the first bird hits the ground you can plainly hear the contestant say "sit" to their dog. Your co judge does not hear anything.
For this scenario let's say the other two birds hit the ground and the contestant gets their number from the judge who did not hear anything.
You were the judge that did hear contestant talk to the dog.
What do you do?
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Is it common for judges to come to an agreement on these sort of scenarios before an event?

examples might include
see the handler intimidate the dog
see the handler touch the dog
hear verbal before released and after birds were called for
see handler pinch lip for a sticky mouth or step on toe

and if one judge is watching the honor dog/handler and the other is watching the birds thrown/working dog...
These are not rule violations so I don't know what the agreement or scenario would be.
touching the dog to prevent breaking is. to make the dog drop a bird.


25. No handler shall (1) carry exposed any training equipment (except whistle) or use any other equipment or threatening gestures in such a manner that they may be an aid or threat in steadying or controlling a dog; (2) hold or touch a dog to keep him steady; or (3) noisily or frequently restrain a dog on line, except in extraordinary circumstances, from the time the handler signals readiness for the birds to be thrown until the dog’s number is called. Violation of any of the provisions of this paragraph is sufficient cause to justify elimination from the stake. During the period from the moment when the handler signals readiness for the birds to be thrown until the dog’s number is called, the handler of the working or honoring dog shall remain silent. Also, in all marking tests during such period, the handler’s hands shall remain quietly in close proximity to his body. A handler who projects his hand during such period, whether for the purpose of assisting his dog to locate a fall or otherwise, should be considered to have used a threatening gesture, and his dog penalized accordingly.

I used the wrong word... Threaten..
synonym for 'threaten' --- 'intimidation' Synonyms of threaten | Thesaurus.com
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That is a lot different than,
"intimidate the dog" or "touch the dog"
Two often quoted "rules" that are not in the rule book.
I guess especially since the written rule uses the words 'hold' and 'touch'..... and as I said, the word intimidate IS a synonym for threaten.

If a handler comes to the line and the dog is not coming to the line very nicely - bouncing back and forth out and back, out and back to the line and the handler makes a fast move, grabbing his hat off his head and 'preparing' to hit the dog, and the dog immediately cringes back as the hat is brought below shoulder height (on the handler), is this threatening the dog? (I have witnessed the bouncing back and forth at an all age stake, so please don't say all open dogs have great manners maybe most/many do... but not all). Let's say the judge furthest away from the line was focused on the honor dog and not watch this incident but the closer judge did.
The handler did not touch the dog.
Yes and the word threaten was chosen for a reason.
I ran a very long down the shore water blind at a trial yesterday when it was quite cold. The dogs that took cast into the water and stayed in did so largely because of a level of intimidation.
I am sure it was and pity the sole who uses one word in the place of another - even though they are OFTEN used synonymously.....

You mean the dogs that succeeded were fearful of making a wrong choice, rather than happy to make the right choice? say it ain't so.... LOL
I would think the dog should be allowed to complete the series... Not the dog/handler's fault the judges weren't on the same page before the dog was released.
Also interested to hear from the judges on this forum, regarding what they would do.
Synonymous does not mean exactly the same, and the full context of a rule matters. Surely you know that.
I agree... they do not mean exactly the same... and I will keep in mind your wisdom in making sure the exactly correct verbiage is used in discussion.
If you're upset with me, so be it. When you use partial quotes and substitute synonyms for what is written in the rulebook you can, and do, misrepresent with the rules clearly state.
I think it is easy to make a mountain out of a molehill. But maybe just to jerk your string, I will continue to use those 'phrases'..... And by the way, you choose to interpret what I say in your own way. And why didn't you answer my question reguarding the use of the hat?
It may possibly be because the tipsy egg cooker is able to understand that this is a did you hear that handler thread. And not a did he wave his cap thread. I suggest reading the opinions of the well pointed judges who are responding. The responses and insights are helpful.
I didn't ask for your input, either. But there you go, giving it anyway.
If it was the first series and time not at a premium, I'm a firm believer in allowing ppl to pick up the birds for their $100 if they so chose. So, I would give them a number, inform my cojudge, and I would inform them they are out, and welcome them to pick up the remaining birds.
Can you clarify for me your positition? (I thought the dog had already been released, before the co judge knew there had been a sit infraction).....You being the judge that heard the 'sit'? And since you heard it and your co judge did not, you then tell him/her that the dog is out but they can pick up the remaining marks if they choose?
Yes
Acting like you are going to strike your dog with a hat or anything else during a trial is clearly in violation of the rules. Not sure how it's relevant here.
If only one judge saw it. .... just as if only one judge heard the word sit.... Maybe the handler had a wasp stinging his thigh😂
I agree, Ted. The use of the hat would be considered a threatening or intimidating gesture. Meant to control the dog. So, if only one judge saw the infraction, would their co judge defer? my guess is most judges would agree the handler should be excused based on what one of them witnessed and they should. That is why there are two judges.

I am not an attorney, and the retriever world is but a blip on the map of human activities...hypothetical discussions are entertaining and also educational. But, IMO, it's not the end of the world if someone uses words that are often interchanged in the course of discussion.

I would like to think that at the end of a blind, if my dog did a great job, I could physically love her up before leaving the line.. but I am not dumb enough to try.
My way too many years of hunting things with feathers made me conclude that there is no such thing as a normal day’s shoot.
But is it normal to go hunting and have every bird land 100-400 yd away, across technical ponds and/or specially groomed hay fields/pasture. LOL! ;)
If the towel is wadded up in your hand that is fine, although small for gunners to see. What I said is a judge waving a towel that makes noise or a large shadow that distracts a running dog. In my comment, I said the noise or shadow caused by the judge, the dog turns around away from the marks being shot and the handler says here to get dog to look at marks. Is that a droppable offense? If that happened I would stop shooting the guns and rerun, but in this case the judge didn't stop and the handler spoke to dog.
would this come into play?
14. If there is an occurrence which makes for a relatively unfair test for a dog, the Judges shall exercise their discretion in determining how to form a judgment of the quality of the work of the dog in the series notwithstanding the unfairness

or this (even though it is really about the gallery and I don't think judges would be considered part of the gallery)
45. It is essential that all spectators attending a trial should be kept far enough from the line to enable the dog working to clearly discern his handler, and nothing shall be done to distract the dog’s attention from his work. A handler has the right to appeal to the Judges if the gallery is interfering with his work in any way, and the Judges in their discretion may, if they believe the dog has been interfered with, give him another test.
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