WORKING CERTIFICATE TESTS
From the golden retriever breed standard - "Primarily a hunting dog" - the tests in the Working Certificate program are non-competitive, and are designed to assess a dog's natural abilities such as marking, memory of fall, intelligence, desire, perseverance, and courage. There are three levels of tests and the dog only has to pass each set of tests once to receive the title. In the Working Certificate program all gunners are seen in the field and a shot is fired before the bird is thrown. All shots, except for one in the WCX, are fired by the gunner in the field. This is a big help in aiding the dog to focus on the gunner.
Working Certificate - WC
The WC is meant to be an instinct test and is well within the capabilities of most golden retrievers. To pass this level, a dog must retrieve two birds on land and two birds on the water. Only one bird is thrown at a time, for a total of 2 "singles", on both land and water. The marks are short, less than 75 yards on land in light cover and 25 to 40 yards on the water.
Working Certificate Intermediate - WCI
The WCI is made up of a land double - two birds are thrown before the dog is sent, the dog must remember where both birds land and deliver the first one back to the handler before retrieving the second. The retrieve on land is in cover and at a distance or 75 yards, while water retrieves are 45-50 yards. The dog must also complete an honour on land, which means that the dog must sit quietly and watch another dog retrieve.
Working Certificate Excellent - WCX
In this level the dog will be tested on a walk up land double (or land and water double) of 50 to 100 yards in length, an honour on a walk up and a water double of similar length to the WCI. In addition, there are two blinds run, one on land and one in the water, of 50 yards in length. A blind is to imitate a hunting situation where a bird comes down that the dog did not see. The dog must go in the direction the handler sends him, stop on a whistle and change direction at the handler's command. The dog must show control and obedience to the handler’s instructions.
Hunt tests are a fun way to allow your dog to bring out its natural retriever instincts, for those who don't hunt...and even those who do. The objective of a Hunt Test is to test and evaluate the dog's ability to work with the handler and retrieve birds in conditions that simulate a true hunting situation.
There are several levels in a hunt test - Junior Hunter (JH) - entry level, Senior Hunter (SH) - intermediate level, and Master Hunter (MH) - finished level. There is also a higher level, called Grand Master Hunter, or GMH.
These tests are at a higher level than the WC tests and the dog/handler team must attain a set number of passes at each level to qualify for the title.
The test involves two back to back single thrown birds in the water and on land. The dog is judged mainly on his natural ability and trainability. In order to receive the JH title, the dog must qualify in three CKC Junior Hunt Tests.
In this level, the dog is judged on his ability to remember where two birds landed as well as his ability to "handle." Handling refers to the handler's ability to control the dog in a situation where a bird has fallen and the dog does not know where. The SH title is earned once the dog has qualified in four CKC SH tests, or five passes, if the JH title has been skipped over.
In Master Hunter, the dog must be able to retrieve multiple marks, be diverted and handle with confidence. The MH title is earned after the dog qualifies with five Master Hunt passes. If the team has skipped over the SH level, then six Master Hunt passes are required.
Grand Master Hunter
In order to qualify for a GMH, the handler and dog must earn qualifying passes in fifteen CKC approved Master Hunter tests. This includes the five passes earned for the MH level.
CKC Hunt tests and WC tests