Your first trial can be a little stressful for both you and your
hound. Some advance preparation and the benefit of a little 'inside
information' can go a long way to making your first outing an
enjoyable and rewarding experience for you both.
Handlers generally wear light coloured tops
- Dress appropriately. You should wear plenty of layers of warm
clothing, strong waterproof walking boots or Wellington boots. Make
sure that you also have windproof and waterproof jackets, and that
your clothing blends in with the countryside. However, it is
conventional for the handler of a competing hound to wear a white
or light coloured top to make them more visible.
- With the vagaries of the British weather you are well advised
to take a change of clothing with you, so that you are not faced
with a cold and damp car journey home. Also pack food and drink for
yourself, as you will not be near any shops. Judges' lunches are
provided by the hosting society.
- Bloodhound Trials usually mean a long car journey so think
about your dog's needs too - a good strong travelling cage and
plenty of water will make its trip comfortable. Often working dogs
are not fed before a day's work but you should remember to pack
your dog's bowls and some food as you may not return home from the
Trial until late in the evening.
- Although the schedule/catalogue will tell you where the trial
is going to take place you should also take with you the
recommended Ordnance Survey map for the area. The meet for the
trials is advertised in the catalogue with O/S map reference
numbers; it could be a different meet for each stake or it could be
a nearby village pub.
- At your first Bloodhound Trial your hound may behave
differently than during training. In particular your hound can be
bothered by crowds or travelling in a convoy. If this is the case
you can move away from other competitors, which can help to settle
your hound - but do not lose sight of the convoy.
- Bloodhounds should be kept under good control at all times,
both whilst waiting to compete and during the Trial. You should
always be aware of how your hound is reacting and what it is doing.
If it does misbehave, you should never handle your hound harshly,
or use punitive correction. All Bloodhounds should be trained and
worked using plenty of encouragement.
- If for any reason you become aware that your hound is not
working well, you should ask the Judge's permission to withdraw,
and for the sake of the hound ask the route of the line so that the
hound can be walked in and meet up with his runner. His reward is
finding his runner.