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Endurance Test Training
The Endurance Test
Read the detail below, but also watch the video of the 2010 Endurance Trial to see what its really like !
For those who have a dog 2 years and maximum of 8 years of age they can train and enter our Endurance Test held in late June at Cherry Lake Reserve, Civic Parade, ALTONA. The course is set up over three different surfaces by the judge of the test and competitors can run with their dog or can ride a bike. If they ride a bike the dog must run on a loose lead beside the bike and have to be trained to do so. If they are not then that can lead to handlers being pulled off their bikes and sometimes getting injured badly. The course is carried out in three sections-- a short obedience exercise is carried our then distance of 8 kms followed by rest and vet check, then 6kms followed by rest and vet check, and finally 6kms and rest and vet check finishing up with another short obedience session. If the dog remains sound and passes all tests and checks then they are awarded their Endurance Title and receive a pass card and sash at presentations.
Training for the Endurance Test
If you wished to compete in the June endurance test you would need to be training up to six months prior to the trial so that your dog will run beside you or a bike at a specific speed on a loose lead and this takes time to teach. Walking with the bike whilst leading the dog is the start of getting the dog used to the bike, once the dog is confident of the bike you can start to ride the bike in short sessions until he/she is well used to that situation and you can start building up the distance. A leather or webbing collar is to be used in training and also during the endurance test. Because you need to train months ahead of the trial you would not bike your dog in the extreme heat of a summers day for obvious reasons eg: heat stroke and dehydration, so you would train your dog early in the morning or later at night when it is cooler. If you are training in the hotter months make sure you have water available for your dog and yourself and make your sessions a series of short distances. You can build the distance once we reach the cooler months prior to the test.
What is needed to Participate in the Endurance Test?
Your dog has to be vet checked prior to the test and a vet certificate must be presented to the trial secretary on the day of the test advising a soundness check has been carried out and the dog has passed that test. Dogs will be vet checked prior to starting the test and also at each rest stop during the conduct of the test. If at any time the vet or judge feels that the dog is not fit enough to complete the test the dog will be disqualified and reasons why given to the handler.
The club has a pacemaker who rides a bike out front of the competitors making sure the speed limit for the test is not exceeded, we also have riding stewards who keep competitors in correct order and encourage them along the course.
The judge also rides a bike making sure dogs are not pulling too hard, checking on dogs fitness and generally encouraging competitors to finish the course. Vets are on hand to carry out the vet checks (right) and we are fortunate in having a good relationship with the University of Melbourne Vet Clinic who assist with vets, vet students attending. We also have scribes that record temperatures, heart rate and any other problem noted by the vets.
Competitors entering the Endurance Test must make sure they take the proper collar and lead for their dog, water and a bowl, water for themselves, if riding a bike then the bike must be in roadworthy condition and a bike helmet must be worn as per State Road Laws. You need a bag to keep your requirements in especially if it is a wet day they can be stored in the bag and kept dry. When you arrive at the test there will be numbers put out on the ground to match numbers of competitors in the catalogue. This is where you place your bike and equipment so it is easily accessible to you during the test. If you feel you cannot ride the total distance you can have a person to help you out by riding one or two of the sections. The area of Cherry Lake Reserve is an ideal location for this event and provides a great backdrop against the lake for the competitors as they traverse the course.
If you would like to enter this trial then contact the Obedience Chairperson for more information, a copy of the schedule and set of rules for the event, or talk to your instructors or branch manager. We look forward to this event reaching its maximum amount of competitors each year and would welcome enquiries from anyone interested in entering. The trial is also open to non-GSD's too !
Images from the 2010 Endurance Trial