Already competing in working trials?

Dog working in the field
Barrie James © / The Kennel Club

As you compete and gain more experience, you may want to qualify to enter into more advanced stakes. Competitors taking part in any Kennel Club licensed event must familiarise themselves with the Working Trial and Bloodhound Trial Regulations beforehand. Find out more about progressing in working trials below.

How to progress in working trials

Qualification in working trials is obtained by achieving sufficient marks in each group of exercises and also at least 80% of the available marks overall for the stake in which you are competing. You will initially enter each stake at an open trial level; if you are successful, this can qualify you to enter the same stake at a championship trial.

From the first stake, companion dog (CD) or open utility dog (UD), through championship utility dog (UD), open and championship working dog (WD), to open and championship patrol dog (PD) and working trials tracking dog (TD) at the very top. A dog is required to obtain 70% of the marks in each group of exercises and 80% of the overall total marks in order to qualify and thereby progress upwards to the next stake.

How do I gain an Excellent Award?

When your dog gains a qualifying mark of at least 70% in each group of exercises, and at least 80% overall at a championship working trial, it is entitled to use the title 'Excellent' after the qualification, e.g. UD Ex., WD Ex. or TD Ex. The titles TD Ex. and PD Ex. are automatically added to the dog's record by The Kennel Club on receipt of the trial's marked catalogue.

To apply to add other Ex. awards to a dog's record, a copy of the relevant qualification certificate should be sent to the awards team at The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB.

Am I eligible for the working trial stakes?
How does my dog become a Working Trials Champion?

The highest accolade in working trials is the title of Working Trial Champion (WT Ch), which is awarded to a dog that has won two working trial certificates at a T.D. and/or P.D. championship trial (with an 'Excellent' qualification) under two different judges.

The winner of a Kennel Club working trial championship which has qualified 'Excellent' automatically gains the title of Working Trial Champion.

A dog that wins The Kennel Club working trials championship, qualifying Excellent will also gain the title of Working Trials Champion.

How can I get my dog's UD 'Excellent' title added to their record at The Kennel Club?

The 'Excellent' qualifications CD Ex., UD Ex. and WD Ex. can be added to a dog's record on application. A copy of the relevant qualification certificate should be sent to the awards section of the canine activities department at The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB.

The TD Ex. and PD Ex. titles will be automatically added to the dog's name when The Kennel Club receives the marked catalogue from the trial organisers.

The Kennel Club working trials championships

The working trial championships in 2020 will be held by Surrey Dog Training Society from 15-17 October. The base will held at The Thatchers Hotel, Guildford Road, East Horsley, Leatherhead, Surrey KT24 6TB

  • PD Judge - Mr S Ford
  • TD Judge - Mr L Newman

The Kennel Club sponsors the annual Kennel Club working trials championships, hosted by a different working trials society each year. The championships are the most prestigious of working trials events, featuring the most successful dogs from trials in the previous 12 months, and are the equivalent of the obedience and agility championships held each year at Crufts (the need for large tracts of suitable land makes it impractical to stage the working trials championships at Crufts itself).

The championships, usually held in the third weekend of October, are restricted to the two top level stakes, tracking dog (TD) and patrol dog (PD).

How do I qualify for the championships?

Competitors are invited to take part if they have won 1st place in a championship TD or PD stake with an 'Excellent' qualification during the previous qualifying year, from September to August. Dogs which have qualified in both stakes can compete in both PD and in TD.

The previous year's championship winners are also automatically invited provided they qualified Excellent at the previous year's championship.

How are judges nominated?

Judges for the championships are nominated by the Working Trials Liaison Council and selected following a ballot of representatives on the council, subject to approval by the activities committee and the board.

Can we watch the championships?

The championships are usually staged with a view to allowing some opportunity for spectators to observe the dogs working, even in the nosework rounds, and they offer an opportunity to appreciate some of the best handlers and dogs at work in this demanding discipline.

Working Trials Liaison Council

What does the Working Trials Liaison Council do?

The Working Trials Liaison Council is made up of 18 representatives who are participants in working trials and two who take part in Bloodhound working trials. 

The council acts as a channel of communication between The Kennel Club and those who compete in, judge and organise working trials and Bloodhound trials. The council was set up to represent grassroots opinion within these two related disciplines at The Kennel Club, and to promote a better understanding among competitors of how we function.

It reviews the regulations and advises The Kennel Club on any changes that may be needed, and is actively involved in strategic planning to enable working trials and Bloodhound trials to continue and flourish. Council proposals can result in fundamental changes in The Kennel Club's policy and we value the important work the councils do.

Becoming a liaison council representative

Representatives are elected for a period of three years and the current term of office of all The Kennel Club's Liaison Council representatives ends on 31 December 2021. 

Representatives are elected by The Kennel Club's registered societies and clubs which
hold championship working trials.

Working Trials Liaison Council minutes and agendas

16 July 2020

23 January 2020

24 April 2019

Working Trials Liaison Council Representatives
Name and email Society Phone number
Mr B Gilbert ASPADS Working Trials Society

01469 531301

Mr D Robertson Association of Bloodhound Breeders

01684 290005

British Association for German Shepherd Dogs  
Mrs Diane Ling East Anglian Working Trials Training Society  
Mrs P Bann Essex Working Trials Society 01376 749153
Mrs J Howells Hampshire Working Trials Society

01243 372958

Mrs K Herbert Iceni Dog Training Club  
Mr J Wykes Leamington Dog Training Club

01788 823717

Mr N Hines Lincolnshire German Shepherd Dog & All Breeds Training Society

01302 865772

Mr G Martin Midland Counties German Shepherd Dog Association  
Mr M Drewitt New Forest Working Trials Society

01202 827247

Miss J Carruthers North East Counties Working Trials Society

01539 721821

Mrs J Holt North West Working Trials Society

01524 271584

Mr B Russell Scottish Kennel Club and Scottish Working Trials Society 

01866 833009

Ms L Marlow Southern Alsatian Training Society

01342 811407

Mr M Lewindon Surrey Dog Training Society

01430 410440

Mr N Sutcliffe The Bloodhound Club  
Mr J West Wessex Working Trials Club  
Mr R Musgrave Yorkshire Working Trials Society

01226 380341

Next steps - judging

Once you have experience competing, and you've gained more confidence, you may set your sights on becoming a judge. Learn more about becoming a working trails judge.