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AWS Cody retrieving a duck (Jean and Duane Wright)

desire. So, a dog is probably going to lose points when it comes to bank running but just how many points is going to depend upon many factors. A few of the factors that judges will and should consider when making their decision include:

Field conditions – Is this a pond that encourages bank running? If so, then the loss of points should be less than for a body of water that does not encourage such action.

“Any experienced AWS owner knows that our dogs will run the banks. Training can avoid it somewhat, but the characteristic of efficiency often rules with an AWS.” It has already been acknowledged that bank running is a trait that is seen in many, if not most, dogs; not just AWS. It is also generally acknowledged that the AWS can be a very efficient hunting machine but bank running is not always the most efficient or the most desirable trait in any breed of dog used for retrieving. The statement above seems to be saying that the AWS should be allowed to run the bank when making a retrieve without any penalty or, at least, with a minimal penalty. Well, that is simply not in keeping with the preferred work of a retrieving dog and so reduced scores will remain in place for any dog that runs the bank during an RCT. How much a dog’s score is reduced will depend upon all of the factors listed above and possibly a few others that judges feel affect the dog’s performance.

Test level – What level is being judged? There is going to be less variability for the Master dog than for the Junior.

Severity – Did the dog run ten yards down the bank and then immediately enter the water or did it simply take a few leaps to one side or the other before choosing to go in? The dog that takes longer to hit the water is going to lose more points on its score sheet.

Other factors – Does the dog run the bank and still show hesitancy to enter the water even though it eventually makes the retrieve? If a dog takes a brief run down the bank and then dances around the water’s edge before deciding to launch itself toward the retrieve it is going to get a lower score. That score is likely to be reflective of not only the bank running but the hesitancy to enter the water as well. Such a score will likely be listed simply as a bank running problem.

On a multiple marked retrieve, did the dog run the bank on every retrieve or did it run the bank only once? A dog that runs the bank one time in this type of situation will likely get a higher score than the dog that runs the bank every time.

As with all aspects of the rules, the variability of the score is dependent upon what the judge desires. As has been stated before, these tests are judged by humans and they will interpret and rule based upon their own set of beliefs and desires. If your judges are looking for a Master dog to be the epitome of a finished retrieving dog then it is likely that they will want very minimal bank running, if any at all, and the number of points lost at this level will be higher than those lost at lower levels.

Membership Drive for 2006

At the 10/2/2005 meeting, the AWSC board approved a membership drive to reward existing members who bring new members into the club.

Every current renewingAWSC member is eligible for a $5.00 credit on their dues renewal for every new member that they bring in to the club for 2006. There is no limit to the memberships you can bring in. However, there is only ONE $5.00 discount applied for each new membership that is recruited. I.e., if you sign for the new member, the second signatory does not receive the discount.

Look for your membership renewal packet in the mail soon! All new sign-ups and renewals must be completed by the end of the renewal period on February 15, 2006.

In writings that have criticized the RCT it has been said,

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American Water Spaniel Review

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