Bloodhounds - First Trial Tips

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.



Related Topics

Bloodhound Trials
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