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The Test Prep Workshop is all about helping your dog succeed on test day. It is a workshop for handlers, not their dogs. As many of us learned after testing dogs several times, there are lots of ways we handle our dogs and ourselves during a test that affect its outcome. Practical tips can be picked up during training clinics, but often testing questions or situations just don’t come up. Besides, we all know that test day is very different from a training day.
How does this workshop differ from a NAVHDA Handlers Clinic?
NAVHDA Handlers Clinics focus on the NAVHDA testing and judging system – on the scoring system, what judges look for, and what the elements of the test are designed to accomplish. The hands-on part of a Handlers Clinic usually has the participants assuming the role of judges, giving them an opportunity to evaluate dogs themselves.
The Yankee Test Prep Workshop will focus on handlers’ actions and options in the field and at the water. We won’t be teaching any “tricks” or ways to “beat” the testing system. We will present practical and effective handling advice for both the Natural Ability and Utility Tests — things like field time management, giving commands, interacting with the judges, gun handling, giving praise, tips on receiving the retrieve, etc. The workshop is lead by Yankee Chapter members who are NAVHDA judges and pro trainers. Yankee’s president will moderate the session, and there will be two handlers with dogs to demonstrate handling.
What’s the format?
The workshop will cover Natural Ability in the morning and Utility in the afternoon, approximately three hours per session with a break in the middle of each. Participants can attend both sessions or just one. This is a people clinic, not a dog clinic — you won’t be working your dog.
The workshop is free of charge to all Yankee members. Non-members will be asked to pay $10 and can apply that to a Yankee Chapter membership ($20) if they’d like. Participants should bring something to sit on. Full-day participants should bring their own lunches, beverages, etc.
The workshop leaders will cover the various parts of the test where the handler’s actions are critical, using demo handler and dog teams to show what they’re talking about.
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
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