Golden's have been bred for generations to be the ultimate hunting companions.

To get owners and dogs started in hunting the Golden Retriever Club of America has created a great program...

GRCA's purpose in establishing and making available a Working Certificate (WC) and Working Certificate Excellent (WCX) to all owners of Golden Retrievers is to encourage the use of and maintain the natural hunting and retrieving abilities which are genetically vital to the breed.

In establishing the criteria for the WC, the GRCA realizes that most Golden Retrievers will not be as thoroughly trained as those who compete in field trials and therefore has devised simple land and water tests using ducks, game birds, or pigeons. These tests are designed to demonstrate the following natural abilities of a retriever as stated in the AKC Retriever Advisory Committee Supplement: accurate marking and memory of falls, intelligence, attention, style, good nose, perseverance, desire and trainability.  More...

For more of a challenge .... Golden Retrievers can participate in both AKC Field Trials and Hunt Tests.

AKC Field Trials the early days of the sport most marked retrieves and blinds rarely exceeded 100 yards in distance, by comparison today's events often see multiple marked retrieves in excess of 250 yards and blind retrieves sometimes in excess of 300 yards. Today's competitive All-Age Retriever must be in both excellent physical and mental condition, test in these trials almost always involve multiple marking test consisting of double, triple and quadruple marks with one, or several gun stations retired from the dogs sight, also single and multiple blinds are often involved. More...

If more finesse and less distance appeals to you, the AKC offers tests for Junior Hunter, Senior Hunter and Master Hunter.  Junior Hunting Tests consist of single marked retrieves on land and water and dogs are allowed to be lightly restrained at the line; Senior Hunting Tests consist of double marked retrieves, and relatively simple blind retrieves on land and water, as well as honoring the retrieve of another competitor; Master Hunting Tests are for the "truly finished and experienced hunting companion" and as such full refinement in trained abilities should be expected. Master tests consist of multiple marked retrieves on land, water, and land water combination. Master blind retrieves should be demanding and are done on land and water, one of which must be a double blind. Honoring is also required as well as a walkup situation, where the dog should be walking at heel, as the first bird is thrown in a marking situation. More ...



 

Lure Coursing

 AKC Lure Coursing is a newer event
for the breed, but in the golden style Golden Retreivers are already making their mark. MDGRC club Member Kathy has aready taker her golden "Topaz" to a CAA title ( Lure Coursing Advanced title)  Topaz is one of the 1st golden retrievers in the nation to earn this lure coursing title since it came out. Kathy states "I am so proud of him (Topaz). I am amazed at the mulit- facets this breed can do. God has been so good to me."
 
Usually Lure Coursing is for sighthound breed owners to measure their hounds' coursing instinct. But the AKC AKC Coursing Ability Tests is now open to other breeds.

 

 The AKC's website states:

AKC Coursing Ability Tests do not require dogs to run as far as dogs in lure coursing trials.

They also do not have to execute extreme turns, with no turn being more acute than 90 degrees.
Dogs under 12-inches at the withers have a course of approximately 300 yards. Dogs more than 12 inches at the withers race approximately 600 yards. The 600-yard course must be completed within 2 minutes and the 300-yard course within 1½ minutes.

"Lure coursing often requires no training. Many dogs see the lure move and immediately want to chase it", JackiePhillips said. Some dogs need some practice and some coaxing, but eventually, with repetition they will get it," she said. "If your dog has already displayed a pretty strong prey drive by being attracted to squirrels or wild birds or other small animals, their chances of liking the lure are higher."

For those of you who plan to give the test a try with your dog, Jackie Phillips offers the following tips on the AKC's website:

  • Make sure that your dog is physically healthy and in good shape to run a course. If you are not sure, make an appointment with a veterinarian to get an opinion.
  • Take your dog to a practice to introduce your dog to the lure or make your own lure for practice. "If you cannot get to a practice, you can try to play tug with your dog with a plastic bag or another type of lure pole. This is similar to what is used to play with a cat, but on a dog level. You can get a type of plastic lure and attach it to a springing pole and have your dog practice chasing it around your yard or a nearby park, on leash, or course."
  • For the test, bring lots of fresh water, a strong, soft leash, and maybe a portable crate if the lure field is a long ways from the car.
  • Handlers should wear comfortable shoes and be physically able to hold and release their dogs, as well as catch them.
  • Teach your dog the command "come." "If you don't have control over the dog when it is just laying around the house and not fully aroused, you will have a heck of a time trying to catch them when they are super excited about the lure and running loose."

Upcoming CAT events, as well as a description of the test and the regulations governing the event can be found on the AKC website.
 


 

Obedience

Obedience training is the foundation upon which all canine activities are based, whether conformation, agility, tracking, search & rescue, service dogs, fieldwork, etc.
Obedience Trials test a dog's ability to perform a prescribed set of exercises on which it is scored. In each exercise, you must score more than 50 percent of the possible points (ranging from 20 to 40) and get a total score of at least 170 out of a possible 200. Each time your dog gets that magic 170 qualifying score, he's gotten a "leg" toward his title. Three legs and your dog has become an Obedience-titled dog! There are 3 levels at which your dog can earn a title and each is more difficult than the one before it. You may see levels divided into "A" and "B" at a trial; "A" classes are for beginners whose dogs have never received a title while "B" classes are for more experienced handlers. 
More ...

AKC Rally
® is a companion sport to AKC Obedience. Both require teamwork between dog and handler along with similar performance skills. Rally provides an excellent introduction to AKC Companion Events for new dogs and handlers and can provide a challenging opportunity for competitors in other events to strengthen their skills. The dog and handler team move at their own pace, very similar to rally-style auto racing. Rally was designed with the traditional pet owner in mind, but it can still be very challenging for those who enjoy higher levels of competition. A rally course includes 10 to 20 stations, depending on the level. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience. Communication from the handler to the dog is encouraged and perfect heel position is not required, but there should be a sense of teamwork and enthusiasm as they go through the course.   More ...

 

 

 

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