Working Test rules and regulations

The definitions of each class of Working Test are outlined below, to help handler’s and would-be applicants see which class they should apply to participate within.

  • Puppy: From 9 to 18 months on the day of the test
  • Special Puppy: From 9 to 24 months on the day of the test with an award for the highest placed puppy under 18 months (optional)
  • Novice Dog/Novice Handler: Neither dog nor handler to have won an award at a field trial or working test with the exception of Puppy/Special Puppy or an award, other than 1st, in ND/NH.
  • Novice: For dogs that have not gained an award or COM at a field trial, been placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in an Open working test or 1st in a Novice working test.
  • Open: Open to all dogs although preference will be given to those that have gained an award or COM at a field trial, been placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in an Open working test or won a Novice working test.
  • AV Open: As above but preference in the draw will be given in the following order:
    1. Members’ qualified dogs
    2. Non-members’ qualified dogs
    3. Members’ non-qualified dogs
    4. Non-members’ non-qualified dogs
    5. 2nd dogs following the above order
    In any other AV Test (Puppy, Special Puppy, ND/NH and Novice) members will have preference in the draw.
  • Unclassified:  An unclassified test is one that does not have a KC definition and consequently any award won in an unclassified test cannot be used as entry criteria for a GWT with recognised KC definitions (ie: Novice and Open).  However, unclassified awards do count towards the entry criteria for other unclassified tests.

Rules and regulations

All the Society’s working tests, classified and unclassified, are held under KC Rules and Regulations and those of the Society. This information sheet has been checked and ratified by the KC.

  1. Dogs must be registered with the Kennel Club.
  2. The code of conduct expected at GWTs is the same as that for Field Trials.
  3. Organisers have the power to exclude dogs from the competition and the right to refuse an entry.
  4. Dogs that have contacted or been knowingly exposed to any infectious disease in the twenty days prior to the test or bitches in season shall not be allowed at a GWT.  If, after consultation with the Judges, the Organisers consider a dog unfit by reason of contagious disease or physical condition, such a dog shall be required to be removed immediately from the ground.
  5. No person shall carry out punitive correction or harsh handling at a GWT.
  6. Dogs that score a zero in a test (classified or unclassified), other than in a runoff, cannot feature in the awards, COMs included.  Failure in one part of a double will result in a zero for that particular test.  Serious faults (known as eliminating faults in a field trial) that would score a zero and may lead to elimination from the test are refusing to retrieve, whining or barking, running in or chasing, out of control, failing to enter the water, changing retrieve and poor heelwork.
  7. Those taking part in GWTs shall not openly impugn the decision of the Judges or criticise the host, ground or helpers. Judges are empowered to withhold any prize or award if, in their opinion, competing dogs have not shown sufficient merit. (The Judges’ decision is final and must not be challenged.  However, if a competitor has a query about a particular score, it is perfectly acceptable for them, not a third party, to approach a Judge at the end of the day to seek clarification of their marks). Any cases of alleged misconduct must be reported to the Kenne Club in accordance with regulations J11, J13 and J14.
  8. No competitor may withdraw their dog and leave the GWT ground without informing the Chief Steward.

General Information (Society Guidelines)

The Society FT entry form can be submitted on our website.

  1. Please make a note of the entry date and send your entry off accordingly.
  2. All Areas will use the same definitions.
  3. A dog may only run competitively in one class per day. Entries “not for competition” in another class will be solely at the Organisers’ discretion if the test is not over-subscribed with eligible dogs: to accommodate an inexperienced handler who has won a ND/NH test but would prefer to gain more experience at that introductory level rather than entering a Novice test competitively.
  4. Entry fees will not be refunded after the closing date except in exceptional circumstances.
  5. If you are unsure about any aspect of your entry, please contact either the FT Secretary or the relevant Organiser before submitting it.

There is a strict code of etiquette in the shooting field, primarily for safety reasons. There are also additional KC regulations relating to the sport and by signing the entry form (for either a field trial or working test), the handler is stating that they have read those regulations and will abide by them. It is therefore essential to know what they are and the Kennel Club produce a small booklet “Field Trial Regulations (including Gundog Working Tests)” which is updated annually and costs £2.50 (at the time this website was updated).

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