Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gizzy Watched his First Draft Test

Happy Easter!

Gizzy was a spectator at his first Draft Test. It was all so very interesting. The first part of the test shows control of your dog. You go thru different steps of walking, halting, walking fast, walking slow turning right, left and full turn around. The whole time your dog is off leash and must stay beside you.

Then the dog has to do a 1 minute stand stay while the handler is about 6 feet away. One dog stood for about 45 seconds then decided to sit down, so he didn't pass. You get only one try at it!

Next you are with a group of dogs for a 3 minute down stay, if your dog gets up its a fail, again only one chance.

Then its on the the Carting Exercises, the handler must put the harness on the dog and hitch the dog to the cart, they are judged on the handler's skill as well as the the willingness of the dog.

Once that is complete the judge has them go through some manoeuvring excercises. The team must go forward, make left and right turns, halt, change the pace, go slow and speed up. Then its the figure 8. The judge will direct the handler to manoeuvre through a figure 8 course.

The carting exercise ends with the backup. The dog must be backed up while hitched for a distance of at least 4 feet. Both the dog and cart must move backwards.

After the carting exercises the field work begins. This test takes place on natural terrain, with sloping land, boulders, high grass and trees providing natural obstacles.

The handler must load the cart with 40-60lbs of weight and secure it in the cart. The dog will halt on command and stand quietly to be loaded. The judges will determine that the load is safe and secure before proceeding with the Hauling Exercise, the judge will also evaluate the load
On command from the judge, the dog and handler will move forward through a variety of terrain that includes both going up and down gentle hills as well as both left and right turns and 180 degree turn. The dog and handler will proceed at a good working pace for approximately 650 feet back to the starting point. On command from the judge the dog and handler will halt.

The dog will stand quietly to be unloaded and unhitched. Exercise finishes when dog is unhitched.
Once the dog and handler pass all of the above tests the dog is then awarded his DD (Draft Dog).
And mom and dad want me to do all this! I get tired just watching, but it was alot of fun. I even got fitted for my new harness. It sounds like I will be doing alot of practicing to be as good as the dogs that were there today.

I'll keep you posted.....Gizzy