Retrieving and Field Trials test a Gundog's ability to assist the handler in simulated hunting conditions to find or retrieve game. Gundog trials are classified as either Retrieving Trials for Gundogs or Field Trials. Dogs entered must be registered on the main or limited registers and a breed listed under the Gundog Group (Group 3).
Several Clubs affiliated with Dogs SA schedule trials each year for Gundogs. The German Shorthaired Pointer Club, Golden Retriever Club, Gundog Club of SA, Hungarian Vizsla Club, Labrador Retriever Club, Retrieving & Field Trials Club and Weimaraner Club.
For further information regarding Retrieving & Field Trials in Australia see
Retrieving Ability Tests for Gundogs and Beginners Tests
These tests are designed to introduce novice dog and handlers to retrieving. Retrieving Ability Tests for Gundogs are basic tests of obedience and retrieving.
Beginners Tests require the dog to retrieve two dummies, on land and in water requiring the dog to swim. Beginners are given plenty of encouragement and instruction by the officiating Judges.
Retrieving Trials for Gundogs
All breeds listed under the Gundog Group are eligible to compete in a Retrieving Trial for Gundogs. A Retrieving trial is an event at which competitions for the working of registered Gundogs are conducted, both on land and in or through water, to determine their relative merits in the field under conditions which emulate as closely as possible those which would be found whilst shooting, where the dogs natural ability to seek and retrieve fallen game when ordered to do so is tested.
Clubs usually offer a Novice Stake, Restricted Stake, All Age Stake and Championship Stake. National Championship Retrieving Trials are also held by some States as a National event.
The titles of NRD (Novice Retrieving Dog), RRD (Restricted Retrieving Dog), AARD (All Age Retrieving Dog) and R. T. Ch. (Retrieving Trial Champion) are awarded.
There are three types of Field Trials in which a registered Gundog may compete according to breed. Pointer & Setter Field Trials, Spaniel & Retriever Field Trials and Utility Gundog Field Trials. A Field Trial is a competition where the working ability of dogs is assessed under actual hunting and shooting conditions in the field. The breed categories are listed as follows.
Pointer & Setter Breeds
Irish Red & White Setter
Spaniel & Retriever Breeds
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Cocker Spaniel (American)
Curly Coated Retriever
Flat Coated Retriever
Irish Water Spaniel
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Wesh Springer Spaniel
Utility Gundog Breeds
German Shorthaired Pointer
German Wirehaired Pointer
Weimaraner (Long Hair)
- Utility Gundogs are breeds identified as those which hunt, point and retrieve, fur and feather on land and from water.
Clubs conducting Field Trials usually offer Novice, Open and Championship stakes. The titles of NFD (Novice Field Dog), F. T. Ch. (Field Trial Champion) and Nat F. T. Ch. (National Field Trial Champion) are awarded.
Please contact any of the affiliated Gundog Clubs for further details and assistance.
Photos by Lynne Webster