Working Certificates Introduction (WC, WCI & WCX)

WC Test Rules | Glossary of Terms | Francais

SACO JudgesThe primary objective of these tests is to encourage the development and use of those natural abilities for which retrievers were originally bred. The tests provide a means to help determine future breeding stock, encourage retriever owners to develop their dogs' natural abilities, and to have retrievers become more proficient as hunting partners. The tests are non-competitive and those dogs that pass the tests to the satisfaction of the judges will be recorded as having basic work ability. Retrievers, Irish Water Spaniels & Standard Poodles may enter.

Working Certificate Titles; "WC" Working Certificate, "WCI" Working Certificate Intermediate, and "WCX" Working Certificate Excellent may each be shown after the dog's name. The tests have to be taken in that order, but are usually a one day title. The dog only has to pass once for each level and has earned the title as soon as the judges sign the paper.

In Canada, these tests are conducted under guidelines from the C.K.C., this is not true for the United States. The tests there vary greatly between breeds and locations. A rule book is available on this site and a hard copy is available directly from CKC, here is a brief summary of the W.C. test requirements;

  1. Dead birds shall be used.
  2. Two retrieves on land, in light to moderate cover and 50-75 yds.
  3. Two retrieves from the edge of swimming water, 25-40 yards. The birds should land in open water or reeds but should not be hidden.
  4. Decoys are not to be used
  5. Dog should deliver the bird to hand
  6. Guns and blank ammunition shall be used.
  7. All gunners and throwers shall be visible to the dog and should not move after birds are thrown.
  8. The dog must not be handled (given whistle and hand signals directing him to the bird)
  9. The dog may come to the line on lead and be held in the heel position. The dog may not wear any type of collar while retrieving during the test.
  10. The dog shall not show any signs of gun shyness or hard mouth but should show desire and willingness to work.

Glossary of Terms

"Area of fall" means the area around the spot where the bird lands, which is the center of the area of fall. The dog is allowed a reasonable radius of the fall in which to hunt out the bird.

"blind retrieve" means a bird that has been planted while the dog is out of sight (the dog must retrieve the bird by following whistle, arm and voice signals from his handler)

"Board" shall mean the Board of Directors of The Canadian Kennel Club.

"breaking" means a dog that leaves told retrieve a mark or blind before the handler has been told to "send him" by the judges.

"call back" means dogs that have successfully completed the test to the satisfaction of the judges are called back to continue the testing (dogs that have failed any part of the testing are not called back to continue running)

"cast" means when the dog has been given a hand signal to go over or back

"CKC" shall mean the Canadian Kennel Club

"Club" shall mean the club or association officially recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club

"club" means the club or association officially accredited by the Canadian Kennel Club.

"complainant" shall mean any person who had laid a charge or complaint against another person, partnership, company or organization relative to contravention of these rules, regulations, procedures and policies of the Canadian Kennel Club.

"controlled break" means what happens when a dog breaks but is quickly stopped by the handler and then sent by the handler to retrieve after being told to do so by the judge.

"debar" shall mean that any person is prohibited from participating in any competition or other activities directed, sanctioned, sponsored or authorized by the Canadian Kennel Club if held under the auspices or under any of its rules and regulations, to the extent and subject to terms imposed in any particular case.

"defendant" shall mean any person, partnership, company or organization against whom or which a charge or complaint has been laid, relative to contravention of these rules, regulations procedures and policies of the Canadian Kennel Club.

"deliver to hand" means the dog shall deliver the bird to the handler, give it up willingly without dropping it and should stand or sit close to his handler at the line determined by the judge.

"deprive of privileges" shall mean that a nonmember is deprived of all privileges accorded to non-members of The Canadian Kennel Club, including the use of the Head Office

"dog" shall mean a purebred dog of either sex.

"downwind" means when the wind is blowing from behind the dog so that the dog cannot acquire the scent of the bird.

"draw" means the random selection of the running order of the entrants.

"entrant" shall mean the individual, or if a partnership, all the members of the partnership, entering in a hunt test.

"exhibitor" means the downer(s) or handler who enters a dog in a working certificate test.

"expel" shall mean termination of membership in The Canadian Kennel Club and depriving the person so expelled from all privileges of the Canadian Kennel Club.

"freeze" means a dog holding a bird tightly in his mouth and refuses to release it to the handler.

"gallery" means anyone watching the test including owners, handlers and spectators (Gallery etiquette includes being quiet while a dog is on line and working and not being distractive when the handler is trying to handle the dog on a blind/mark)

"handler" shall mean the person handling the dog in the hunt test.

"Head Office" shall mean the office at which the business of the Canadian Kennel Club is carried out on a regular and ongoing basis

"heavy cover" means hard going for the dog such as deep grass, bull-rushes or mud.

"holding blind" means a hiding place from which the dog cannot see the test (the dog that is next to run remains in the holding blind until it is its turn to run)

"honour" means a test of steadiness in which a dog observes another dog's work.

"immediate family" means spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandparents and significant other.

"light cover" means approximately ankle deep and not too thick cover.

"line" means the area designated by the judges from where the dogs will run the test.

"mark" means a bird that is thrown so that the dog can see it in the air and where it lands.

"marshal" means the person who helps the judges in setting-up the test and is in charge of communications between the judges and handlers.

"moderate cover" means usually between ankle and knee deep cover, clover, vetch, hay.

"no bird" means a bird that has landed in the wrong place or one that was not thrown high enough to be clearly visible to the dog. On a mark, either judge can call a no-bird and the handler must control his dog and remove him from the line.

"owner" means the owner or owners as stated on the registration certificate of the dog.

"popping" means when the dog stops and looks back at the handler for instruction on either a mark or a blind without being told to do so by the handler.

"Suspend" shall mean that a member is deprived, for the period ordered, of all the privileges of The Canadian Kennel Club.

"switching" means when a dog starts out to retrieve one bird, reaches the area of the fall, hunts for the bird, then, not being able to find the bird, leaves the area of the fall and goes to the area of the fall for another mark.

"under judgement" means a dog in under judgement from the time the handler says he is ready until the bird has been delivered to the handler and returned to the judges. In the WCI and WCX tests the dog is under judgement as soon as he leaves the holding being to come to line. Judging is continuous until the dog leaves the line (a handler should not touch his dog at any time while it is under judgement in either WCI or WCX).

"upwind" means the dog is facing into the wind so that the dog can acquire the scent of the bird.

"working certificate test" is a general term which includes all the different test levels (WC, WCI, WCX that may be offered.

"Working Certificate Test" (WC) means the Working Certificate Test level which is offered at working certificate tests.

"Working Certificate Intermediate Test" (WCI) means the Working Certificate Intermediate Test level which is offered at working certificate tests.

"Working Certificate Excellent Test" (WCX) means the Working Certificate Excellent Test level which is offered at working certificate tests.


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