WC/WCX Test Rules2018-06-04T15:43:20+00:00

Field Test Rules

THE WORKING CERTIFICATE TEST (WC)

Purpose.
In 1975, the FCRSA established the Working Certificate test (WC) primarily to encourage the use and maintenance of the natural working and retrieving abilities of the Flat-Coated Retriever and as a useful aid in the selection of breeding stock.

The WC test is designed to test the natural abilities of the Flat- Coat including its memory, intelligence, attention, nose, marking ability, courage, perseverance, and style.

In addition to the following WC requirements, judges and contestants should be familiar with AKC’s “Regulations and Guidelines for AKC Hunting Tests for Retrievers” and/or “Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedure for Retrievers.” Except as specifically stated herein, all regulations that govern those events shall apply to the WC test. Judges should be knowledgeable about evaluating dogs to determine their suitability and ability as hunting companions.

Description of the WC Test

1. Land: A double marked retrieve on land with the following:

      • a. Moderate cover (i.e., bird cannot be seen from a distance of more than a foot)
      • b. Falls approximately 40-50 yards
      • c. Throws slightly angled back at approximately a 45 degree angle, and at least a 90 degree angle between adjacent falls
      • d. The falls should not be converging, i.e., thrown toward each other
      • e. Birds should not be thrown into the wind, if practical
      • f. Birds shall be pigeons, upland game birds or ducks. Birds shall not be mixed species in the same series
      • g. All dead birds may be used; a live flyer is strongly encouraged for the last mark of the double (go bird) at the discretion of the judges and the test committee

2. Water: Two single marked retrieves on water (back-to-back)

      • a. One retrieve is into light cover in the water or at the edge of the shore in cover if there is no cover in the water
      • b. The other retrieve can be in open water
      • c. Falls are approximately 25-30 yards away
      • d. Birds shall be dead ducks

WC Test Rules

1. Bird throwers and the guns should be in white or light-colored shirts or jacket to be clearly visible to the dogs in both land and water tests

2. Birds should not be thrown into the wind and should be clearly visible throws

3. Throws must not be converging or thrown towards each other

4. Safety should be of the utmost consideration when setting up the test and assigning workers

5. Wingers, Strong-Arms, or other mechanical bird-throwing devices shall not be used

6. Birds must be in good condition; ducks shall not be water-logged or damaged

7. On arriving at the line, handlers may briefly point out the various gunners in the field before signaling to the judges that they are ready to begin the test. It is the discretion of the judges as to the duration of time spent by the handler pointing out gunners. The judges may choose to begin the test if an inordinate amount of time has passed

8. Dogs may retrieve the birds in any order without penalty

9. A shot must be fired for each mark without a duck call or other attention getting devices. The shot can be immediately before the throw or while the bird is in the air

10. Both water retrieves should be from swimming water, if grounds allow, but swimming water is a mandatory requirement for one, preferably for the longer retrieve

11. Decoys may not be used on land or water

12. Handlers will not be required to handle a gun

13. A test dog must be used to allow the judges to evaluate their test. By running a test dog the judges may discover unforeseen situations or hidden obstacles that weren't obvious when setting up the test. A test dog need not pass the test in order for the judges to make a good evaluation of their test

14. The dog may be brought to the line on lead and gently held on line by a flat buckle collar without tags or a slip cord (no choke, pinch, prong, “British slip cord”, or other training collars are permitted.)

15. The dog must not be released to retrieve before its number or “dog” is called by the judge

16. The dog need not deliver to hand, but must bring the bird within a clearly defined area that is not more than 6 feet from the line. Should the line for a water test be at the water’s edge, the dog shall bring the duck out of the water so the handler does not have to wade after the bird

17. Handlers may not handle a dog to a mark or do anything to encourage a dog in its hunt. But, once the dog has found the bird, the handler may use voice, whistle, and/or gesture to encourage its prompt return

18. The dog may be gently guided by its collar (no manhandling) into position for the second retrieve

19. A dog may be recast from the line on a mark, but only if, in the opinion of the judges, the dog was confused as to whether it was sent. Generally, the dog will make a start towards a marked fall, but then stop a very short distance from the line and return or is recalled by the handler. The judges will agree upon a distance from the line after which a recast is not allowed

20. Once the dog has picked up the bird, it should return promptly to the handler

21. When the dog has completed its retrieves or is “picked up” in the case of a “no-bird,” the handler may immediately take the dog by its collar or put it on lead before leaving the line

22. The judges’ decision is final

WC Judging & Handling Guidelines

In the field, the primary purpose of a Flat-Coated Retriever is to get the birds to hand as quickly as possible in a pleasing, obedient manner. To accomplish this, a dog must possess both natural abilities (a desire to retrieve, memory, intelligence, attention, nose, marking ability, courage, perseverance and style) and basic training (control, response and delivery). Working Certificate tests provide an opportunity to evaluate the abilities of Flat-Coated Retrievers in the field as hunting companions.

The tests should be fairly straightforward, yet difficult enough to enable a dog to display its natural marking abilities, desire to retrieve, desire to work, and willingness to re-enter the water. Tests must not be tight, tricky or set up to intentionally confuse the dog.

A basic level of training is essential, but this is an introductory stake, and judging evaluation should focus on natural abilities and desire.

The suggested guidelines for distance are maximum, but terrain, cover, and conditions of the day must be taken into account when setting up the test. For example, maximum distances would be used in lighter cover with level terrain.

The judges will score each dog as PASS or FAIL; the test is non-competitive. A dog that fails any one series will not qualify at the test. A dog which proceeds quickly and eagerly on land or water to the marked fall of a bird, takes a direct line to the area of the fall and conducts a focused hunt, using the wind is of great value. Overly meandering lines to the area of the fall and unfocused hunts are not desirable; repeated occurrences of this behavior may be cause to fail a dog. Retrieving all birds in the WC, without having incurred any of the mandatory elimination or failure items, does not necessarily mean the dog has passed. Judges are to evaluate the dog's natural abilities and determine whether or not a dog possesses sufficient abilities to be entitled to official FCRSA recognition of those abilities in the form of a Working Certificate title.

A dog must receive a passing score from each judge to qualify at the test. A list of the total number of qualifiers and each qualifying dog number will be submitted to the test secretary. Both judges must sign the officially marked catalog/running list. (See “Report to the WC/WCX Administrators.”)

Mandatory Elimination or Failure of the WC Test.

A dog and handler must be eliminated or fail a WC test for following:

1. The handler sends the dog to retrieve before being released by the judge

2. Letting a competing dog watch the location of a fall for another dog before its turn to run. This will be a mandatory elimination of the dog, and possibly an elimination of the handler from the test if the judges or test committee believe the violation to have been deliberate

3. Manhandling the dog between birds of a double, e.g., unusual physical handling and/or excessive “helping” the dog to remember the second (memory) bird

4. Frequently restraining a dog from breaking, except in extraordinary circumstances, from the time the handler signals the judge to begin the test until the dog’s number/”dog” is called

5. Loud or prolonged barking or whining

6. “Breaking,” i.e., dog leaves the line to retrieve before the dog’s number is called by the judge. (Note: a dog will not be eliminated for a “controlled break” when the dog leaves to retrieve before being sent and is quickly brought under control by a verbal command or whistle without manhandling and promptly returns to the line)

7. Handling a dog to a mark by signal, whistle or voice, or throwing anything to direct the dog to a fall or to persuade it to enter the water

8. The dog returning to the handler, either without the bird or without having been called in, except when the dog is obviously confused as to whether it was really ordered to retrieve

9. The dog stopping its hunt

10. Switching: A marking situation in which at least two birds have not been retrieved and the following takes place: 1) the dog goes to one area and hunts to find a bird, then leaves the area and goes to a second area where he retrieves the bird; or 2) the dog drops a retrieved bird before returning to the line, and subsequently hunts for another

11. Returning to an old fall: The dog returns to and systematically hunts the area of a mark that he previously retrieved

12. Ignoring a bird when found and leaving it, i.e., “blinking the bird”

13. Failing to find a bird that the dog should have found

14. “Hard mouth” or badly damaging game which, in the opinion of the judges, was caused solely by the dog

15. Extreme “freeze” or unwillingness to release a bird on delivery for an unreasonable period of time

THE WORKING CERTIFICATE EXCELLENT TEST (WCX)

Purpose. In 1980, the Working Certificate Excellent test (WCX) was established by the FCRSA to encourage the further use and development, through training, of the natural working and retrieving abilities of the Flat-Coated Retriever, and as a useful aid in the selection of breeding stock.

The WCX test is designed to test the Flat-Coat’s trainability in addition to natural abilities including memory, intelligence, attention, nose, marking ability, courage, perseverance, and style.

In addition to the following WCX requirements, judges and contestants should be familiar with AKC’s “Regulations and Guidelines for AKC Hunting Tests for Retrievers” and/or “Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedure for Retrievers.” Except as specifically stated herein, all regulations that govern those events shall apply to the WCX test. Judges should be knowledgeable about evaluating dogs to determine their suitability and ability as hunting companions.

Description of the WCX Test

1. Land: A triple marked retrieve on land with the following:

      • a. Moderate cover (i.e., bird cannot be seen from a distance of more than a foot away)
      • b. Marks fall approximately 60–100 yards away
      • c. Throws should be angled back at approximately a 45 degree angle and at least 60 degrees apart from an adjacent fall. The falls for the complete test should not be more than 180 degrees apart
      • d. The birds should not be thrown into the wind, if practical
      • e. The sequence in which the birds are thrown shall be either clockwise (left to right) or counter-clockwise (right to left)
      • f. The marks should not be converging, i.e., thrown toward each other
      • g. Two of the birds thrown shall be dead birds while the last bird thrown (go bird) shall be a “flyer”
      • h. Birds shall be pigeons, upland game birds or ducks. Birds shall not be mixed species in the same series
      • i. Decoys may not be used on land

2. Water: A double marked retrieve on water with an honor

      • a. While both retrieves should be in swimming water, if the grounds allow, swimming water is a mandatory requirement for one of the retrieves (preferably the longer one)
      • b. Falls should be between 45 and 60 yards in length and should fall at least 60 degrees apart
      • c. The memory bird, which may be either the longer or the shorter bird, shall be in moderate cover and not visible from the line. If there is no cover in the water, the bird may be thrown at the edge of the shore in cover. The go bird may be visible from the line in open water, but must not be in anything more than very light cover
      • d. The dog may retrieve the birds in any order without penalty
      • e. Decoys must be used; there should be 2-4 decoys clearly visible from the line but not in line with either fall
      • f. There shall be an honor in the water series. An area for honoring shall be clearly identified by the judges. The honoring dog must be able to clearly see each mark fall while sitting, standing, or lying down (Note: Golden Retrievers must sit on the honor per GRCA rules)
      • g. Birds shall be ducks and in good condition and not water logged. Of the two ducks thrown, the go bird may be a shot flyer, if it is no closer than 50 yards from the working and honoring lines WCX Test Rules Bird throwers and the guns should be in white or light-colored shirts or jacket to be clearly visible to the dogs in both land and water tests.
    1. Birds should not be thrown into the wind and should be clearly visible throws
    2. Throws must not be converging or thrown towards each other
    3. A mechanical throwing device, such as a “winger” used to throw the birds, either live flyers or freshly killed birds, is permitted for use in the WCX test at the discretion and agreement of the judges and test committee. No notice of winger use is necessary in the premium except when the test has received GRCA approval. The mechanical throwing device must be manned by workers wearing white (as described previously) and who are clearly visible from the line. Proper instructions must be given for its safe and correct use in order to avoid serious injury. Foot-release wingers are strongly recommended. Safety should be of the utmost consideration when setting up the test and assigning workers
    4. Birds must be in good condition; ducks shall not be water-logged or damaged
    5. On arriving at the line, handlers may briefly point out the various gunners in the field before signaling to the judges that they are ready to begin the test. It is the discretion of the judges as to the duration of time spent by the handler pointing out gunners. The judges may choose to begin the test if an inordinate amount of time has passed
    6. Dogs may retrieve the birds in any order without penalty
    7. A shot must be fired for each mark without a duck call or other attention getting devices. The shot can be immediately before the throw or while the bird is in the air
    8. Decoys will be used in the water series; there should be 2-4 decoys clearly visible from the line, but not in line with either fall
    9. Handlers will not be required to handle a gun
    10. A test dog must be used to allow the judges to evaluate their test. By running a test dog the judges may discover unforeseen situations or hidden obstacles that weren't obvious when setting up the test. A test dog need not pass the test in order for the judges to make a good evaluation of their test
    11. The handler shall bring the dog quietly to line off-lead and without a collar
    12. The dog should be steady on the line, but a controlled break shall not eliminate the dog if it is quickly brought under control by a verbal command or whistle, and it promptly returns to the handler
    13. The handler shall not touch the dog at any time during the test
    14. The handler of the working dog may not talk to his/her dog from the time he/she signals for the marks to start the test until the judge releases the dog
    15. The dog must not be released to retrieve before being released by the judge
    16. A dog may be recast from the line on a mark, but only if, in the opinion of the judges, the dog was confused as to whether it was sent. Generally, the dog will make a start towards a marked fall, but then stop a very short distance from the line and return or is recalled by the handler. The judges will agree upon a distance from the line after which a recast is not allowed
    17. Once the dog has been sent to retrieve, the handler may not handle or do anything to encourage the dog in its hunt. When the dog has found the bird, the handler may encourage its return by voice, whistle, and/or gesture
    18. Once the dog has picked up the bird, it should return promptly to the handler.
    19. The dog will deliver each bird to hand and relinquish it easily
    20. The honor dog may be asked to honor on-lead, if, in the opinion of the judges, the dog failed its water marks
    21. During the honor, the handler may speak quietly to his/her dog provided his/her voice does not interfere with the running/working dog, its handler, or judges. (Note: Golden Retriever handlers must remain silent during the honor in accordance with GRCA rules.)
    22. Both the running and honoring dogs shall leave the line off-lead and under control However, the honoring dog shall not leave the line until released by the judges upon completion of the honor. A running or honoring dog is considered under judgment until dog and handler are behind the judges after leaving the line
    23. Multiple controlled breaks may be cause for elimination
    24. The judges’ decision is final

WCX Judging/Handling Guidelines

In the field, the primary purpose of a Flat-Coated Retriever is to get the birds to hand as quickly as possible in a pleasing, obedient manner. To accomplish this, a dog must possess both natural abilities (memory, intelligence, attention, nose, marking ability, courage, perseverance and style) and skills acquired through training (steadiness, control, response and delivery). Working Certificate Excellent tests provide an opportunity to evaluate the abilities of Flat-Coated Retrievers in the field as skilled, trained hunting companions. The tests should be fairly straightforward, yet difficult enough to enable a dog to demonstrate its natural and trained abilities, desire to retrieve, desire to work, and willingness to re-enter the water. Tests must not be tight, tricky or set up to intentionally confuse the dog.

Abilities acquired through training are more important in the WCX test than in the WC test.

The judges will score each dog as PASS or FAIL; the test is non-competitive. A dog that fails any one series will not qualify at the test. A dog which proceeds quickly and eagerly on land or water to the marked fall of a bird, takes a direct line to the area of the fall and conducts a focused hunt using the wind is of great value. Meandering lines to the area of the fall and unfocused hunts are not desirable; repeated occurrences of this behavior may be cause to fail a dog. Retrieving all birds in the WCX, without having incurred any of the mandatory elimination or failure items, does not necessarily mean the dog has passed. Judges are to evaluate the dog's natural and trained abilities and determine whether or not a dog possesses sufficient abilities to be entitled to official FCRSA recognition of those abilities in the form of a Working Certificate Excellent title.

A dog must receive a passing score from each judge to qualify at the test. A list of the total number of qualifiers and each qualifying dog number will be submitted to the test secretary. Both judges must sign the officially marked catalog/running list. (See “Report to the WC/WCX Administrator.”)

Mandatory Elimination or Failure of the WCX Test.

A dog and handler must be eliminated or fail a WCX test for following:

1. The handler sends the dog to retrieve before being released by the judge

2. Letting a competing dog watch the location of a fall for another dog before its turn to run. This will be a mandatory elimination of the dog, and possibly an elimination of the handler from the test if the judges or test committee believes the violation to have been deliberate

3. Restraining a dog by touching or by carrying exposed training equipment (except whistles), or by using any equipment or making any threatening gestures in such a manner that they are an aid or threat in steadying or controlling the working or honoring dog

4. Deliberate blocking of a dog’s view by handler so that the dog will not see all birds thrown. This applies to both to the working and the honoring dog

5. Loud or prolonged barking or whining

6. Frequent commands (vocal or whistle) to restrain the running dog from breaking, except in extraordinary circumstances, from the time the handler signals the judge to begin the test until the judge calls the dog’s number/”dog” is called

7. “Breaking,” i.e., the dog leaves to retrieve before the dog’s number is called by the judge (Note: a dog will not be eliminated for a “controlled break,” when the dog leaves to retrieve from the line before being sent and is quickly brought under control by a verbal command or whistle without manhandling, or does not go beyond a point designated by the judges, and promptly returns to the line when the handler commands to do so)

8. Breaking the honor, i.e., leaving the honor area in an attempt to retrieve; there is no controlled break allowed on the honor. (Note: Golden Retrievers may have a controlled break on the honor per GRCA rules, as long as there is no interference with the working dog.)

9. Handling a dog to a mark by signal, whistle or voice, or throwing anything to direct the dog to a fall or to persuade it to enter the water

10. Dog returning to the handler without the bird, except when the dog is obviously confused about whether it was ordered to retrieve

11. The dog stopping its hunt

12. Switching: A marking situation in which at least two birds have not been retrieved and the following takes place: 1) the dog goes to one area and hunts to find a bird, then leaves the area and goes to a second area where he retrieves the bird; or 2) the dog drops a retrieved bird before returning to the line, and subsequently hunts for another

13. Returning to an old fall: The dog returns to and systematically hunts the area of a mark that he previously retrieved

14. Ignoring a bird when found and leaving it, i.e., “blinking the bird”

15. Failing to find a bird that should have been found

16. Retrieving a decoy

17. “Hard mouth” or badly damaging game which, in the opinion of the judges, was caused solely by the dog

18. Extreme “freeze” or unwillingness to release a bird on delivery for an unreasonable period of time

ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS FOR HOLDING WC AND WCX TESTS
Directives and Eligibilities

FCRSA authorizes licensed Retriever Field Trials, Hunt Tests, and Working Certificate and Working Certificate Excellent tests at its National Specialty as well as events sponsored by FCRSA affiliated regional clubs and FCRSA members. The tests must be conducted and judged under FCRSA rules.

All dogs entered:

  • Must be at least 6 months of age on the day of the test;
  • Have an individual AKC registration number, foreign registration number, or an ILP number. (A dog with an AKC pending number will not receive a certification until the individual AKC registration number is acquired.); and
  • Cannot be owned, co-owned, trained, or handled by the test judge or any of her/his immediate family within the last 6 months.

It is the sole discretion of the hosting club and test committee to allow other retriever breeds to enter these tests.

If bitches “in season” are permitted to run, they should run at the end of each WC or WCX test series. In addition, if bitches “in season” are permitted to run in a WC or WCX and that WC or WCX test is being held on a day adjacent to an AKC Field Trial or Hunt Test, then the WC and WCX must be held after the completion of the AKC events. Be aware that bitches “in season” are not permitted on the grounds during the AKC field event.

The Test Committee

Test Chair Requirements. The Chair of the Test Committee must be an FCRSA member in good standing and meet one of the following requirements: 

  • Have successfully organized at least one FCRSA WC/WCX test, or;
  • Have successfully served as chair or co-chair for a FCRSA or GRCA WC/WCX test, or;
  • Have successfully served as either chair or co-chair for an AKC Licensed Retriever Field Trial or Hunting Test, or;
  • Have successfully served as either chair or co-chair for an AKC Sanctioned Plan “A” or Plan “B” Retriever Field Trial or Hunting Test.

It is recommended that clubs appoint co-chairs to its test Committee, thereby broadening its pool for future chairs.

Test Committee Member Requirements. There shall be a minimum of three (3) FCRSA members in good standing on the committee, any of whom may serve as co-chairs. Because at least three members of the committee shall be in attendance on the grounds during the hours of the test, the committee must be large enough to ensure minimum committee attendance on the grounds the entire time.

If for some reason the test chair is unable to procure three qualified members of the Society to serve on the committee, he/she may appeal to the FCRSA WC/WCX Subcommittee for permission to appoint non-Society members to the committee. The test chair shall submit to the WC/WCX Administrators a letter setting forth the reasons and the circumstances for the request and shall list the proposed appointees together with their qualifications. The WC/WCX Subcommittee will promptly consider the request and advise the test chair of its final decision.

If Golden Retrievers are invited to enter the test, there must be one additional member on the committee who is a GRCA member approved by GRCA. If one of the test judges is a GRCA member in good standing, he/she may, under unusual circumstances, also serve as the GRCA committee member, if approved by the Field Committee. Rules and policies related to the GRCA can be found at: www.GRCA.org.

Requirements to Hold WC/WCX Tests

Application Requirements. At least sixty (60) days prior to the test, the chair (or a committee member) shall complete and submit the following to the WC/WCX Administrators:

  • Application Form to Host a FCRSA-Sponsored WC/WCX Test
  • Insurance Information Form for FCRSA-Sponsored WC/WCX Test
  • WC/WCX proposed income/expenses report or budget

See the FCRSA website (http://fcrsainc.org/wcx/index.html) for information and application and forms, or contact the WC/WCX Administrators listed on the website or in the FCRSA newsletter.

After reviewing the test request from the Test Chair(s), the WC/WCX Administrators shall submit test information, with his/her recommendation, to the FCRSA Recording Secretary for approval. Once approved, the WC/WCX Administrators will notify the Test Chair(s) as well as the FCRSA Insurance Officer.

If Golden Retrievers will be invited to enter the test, the test chair must also apply to Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) at least 90 days prior to the test date to secure its approval of the test. (Also, see the GRCA website for test forms and information.) GRCA will send forms to be completed that must be returned at least 60 days prior to test date. Golden Retrievers passing the test will not receive credit if the test has not been approved by GRCA. Note: GRCA may impose a fine if its deadlines are not met.

Premiums and Announcements. Until the test chair(s) have been notified by the WC/WCX Administrators that the test has been approved by the WC/WCX Subcommittee, any advertising or information about the test must include the phrase, “Pending FCRSA approval.” Once approval is granted, the phrase “FCRSA-Sponsored” or “Sponsored by FCRSA” shall be used in the premium list, the catalog, and all references to the test.

Notice of the upcoming FCRSA-sponsored test (pending or approved) should be published, whenever publication dates permit, in at least one issue of the FCRSA newsletter.

  • The entry information or premium list should include the following:
  • The scope of the test (WC and/or WCX) including fees
  • Exact location of the test
  • Date(s) on which test(s) will be held
  • Starting time of the event
  • Judges’ names
  • Name and location of where entries will be received
  • Closing date, time, and location
  • Names of committee members including the chair(s) and test secretary
  • Allowances of other retriever breeds entering the test(s)
  • List of ribbons and prizes  Type of birds used
  • Allowances for bitches in season running in test (Note: GRCA does not permit Golden Retriever bitches in-season to run in a WC/WCX test.)

Entries for each dog should be submitted on a standard entry form that contains:

  • The name of the dog;
  • Dog’s registration number;
  • The names of the sire and dam;
  • The name(s) and addresses of the owner(s);
  • The name of the handler; and
  • The name of the test(s) entered

Judge Requirements. Two judges are required for each test. An additional set of judges will be needed if a large number of entries warrant splitting the test. The requirements for each set of judges shall be an aggregate of three (3) qualification points. One (1) point will be earned for each of the following:

  • Any judging assignment at an AKC Licensed Field Trial;
  • Any judging assignment of an Open or Amateur All-Age stake at a Sanctioned Plan "A" trial;
  • Any judging assignment at an AKC Licensed Hunting Retriever Test at the Senior or Master level;
  • Any two (2) judging assignments at a FCRSA or GRCA WC/X test (except only one point may come from this category for each set of judges).

To ensure qualified judges, the judges selected by the WC/WCX Test Committee must have the minimum number of points between them, i.e., 3-point minimum total between both judges. If their points, as shown in the AKC’s “Directories for Retriever Field Trial and Hunting Test Judges,” are insufficient, the test chair shall provide the following information: Judge’s AKC number, stakes/trials/tests judged, dates, names of clubs, etc. to substantiate each judge's qualifications.

The test chair or secretary should provide each judge with a set of WC and WCX requirements. It is expected that the judges shall become completely familiar with the requirements of the WC/WCX tests prior to the test date. In addition, a review of AKC's "Regulations and Guidelines for AKC Hunting Tests" and "Retriever Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedure" is required, with special attention to the sections pertaining to the Derby and Qualifying stakes.

Birds. For number of birds needed for the test, the following estimates may be helpful:

Series Series Estimated number of birds for the test(s)
WC land series
WC water series
1.5 birds if using a flyer; 1 bird per dog if no flyer
1 bird per dog
WCX land series
WCX water series
1.5 birds per dog if no flyer
1 bird per dog

Birds used in the land series shall be pigeons, ducks, or upland game birds (pheasants, chukars, or guinea hens). All birds used must be of the same species in a given series.

Birds used in the water series must be ducks.

[Also, see each test explanation for specific guidelines on the use of the birds.]

Equipment. The following is a suggested list of equipment that may be needed for successfully holding a WC and/or WCX test. As a courtesy to all entrants, it is advisable to include an announcement in the premium of possible use of any equipment which may not be familiar to dogs or handlers, such as wingers or shotgun simulators. The use of wingers should be announced in the premium if Golden Retrievers are invited to enter.

  • Single shot shotguns or popper guns or other AKC-approved devices must be used for all dead birds, 1 per station. (It is a good idea to have at least one extra device in case of a failure.) Gun stations should be set up with care to provide a clear visual and auditory picture for dogs and handlers.
  • Shotgun stands (to hold the shotguns in a safe, firing position)
  • Popper/primer shells or gas canisters. Live shotgun shells (clearly identified). Steel or non-toxic shot shall be used where required.
  • Wingers or mechanical throwing device (WCX only); only a manual release winger is permitted and a foot-release winger is recommended
  • White jacket, shirts, coats, etc. for “bird boys” at each station
  • Buckets or bags for holding and carrying the birds
  • Duck drying rack
  • Chairs for the judges and “bird boys”
  • Holding blinds
  • Marking (survey) ribbon
  • Orange spray marking paint
  • Refreshments for judges and workers
  • Directional signs
  • Decoys (2-4 in the WCX test only)
  • Judges’ scoring books
  • Ear protection for “bird boys”
  • Boat with all state regulated safety equipment
  • Test dog
  • “Pick-up” dog

Entry Fees, Test Budgets, and Accounting. The test committee shall prepare a budget outlining its estimated income and expenses and submit it with the application to host a test. Test entry fees (plus any other sources of income) should be calculated to cover all anticipated expenses. The test committee shall be diligent in planning its budget to avoid a loss from the test.

The local hosting club will handle all accounting. Checks for entry fees shall be payable to the hosting club and all expenses shall be paid from its treasury. Any profit will go to the hosting club. Any loss will be assumed by the FCRSA.

Following the test, two copies of a detailed Income/Expense report shall be submitted promptly to the WC/WCX Administrators. The WC/WCX Administrators shall forward one copy to the FCRSA Treasurer for the record and for reimbursement in the case of a loss.

The Running Order. The Test Secretary shall be in charge of conducting a draw to determine the order of running as set forth in the AKC’s “Retriever Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedure.” The running order shall not segregate dogs based on their breed.

Reporting Requirements to WC/WCX Administrator. Following the test, the test chair or his appointee shall, in timely fashion, send to the WC/WCX Administrators the following:

  • A marked catalog of those dogs that qualified
  • All entry forms for those Flat-Coats passing the test
  • The judges’ signed verification of the clearly identified passes (see “Judges Certification” form below
  • Two copies of a detailed Income/Expense report. (See “Test Budgets” section)
  • Any other information requested by the WC/WCX Administrators or the FCRSA Field Committee

The following certification should appear and be completed and signed in the official catalog following the last dog listed in each test:

JUDGES’ CERTIFICATION

I certify that _____ dogs received Qualifying scores in this WC/WCX test and that the above
information identifying these dogs was entered prior to my signing this page.

Judge’s Signature _____________________________
Judge’s Signature _____________________________

TEST SECRETARY’S CERTIFICATION

I certify that the Judges have verified the above information and signed this page.

Number of Dogs Entered _____________ Total Starters: ________________

Number of Qualifying Scores ___________

Signature of Test Secretary _______________________ Date ____________

Awards. Although encouraged, it is at the discretion of each hosting club and test committee to provide awards such as ribbons or other prizes for qualifying dogs and handlers.

If ribbons are awarded to each dog deemed to have qualified, each ribbon can be any color or color scheme except solid orange and should include the following information:

  • Logo of the FCRSA
  • Name of the stake
  • Name of the hosting club
  • The words “Qualifying Score”

Once the verified information is received and processed, the FCRSA's WC/WCX Administrators will issue a certificate for each Flat-Coated Retriever's initial qualification within 60-90 days. Flat-Coats qualifying at subsequent tests will be eligible to receive whatever ribbons or prizes are offered by the host club but will not receive additional certificates from FCRSA.

Titles. The titles for Working Certificate and Working Certificate Excellent tests are recognized by the FCRSA only and are not recognized by the AKC.

  • Any eligible Flat-Coated Retriever that passes the Working Certificate test will receive the title WC
  • Any eligible Flat-Coated Retriever that passes the Working Certificate Excellent test will receive the title WCX

Disputes and Protests. The test committee shall be governed by the rules and regulations set forth in “Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedure for Retrievers” and “Regulations and Guidelines for AKC Hunting Tests for Retrievers”. Except as specifically stated otherwise, all regulations that govern those events shall apply to FCRSA-sponsored WC/WCX tests.

If a dispute or incident should occur during the test, the test secretary shall, within five (5) days, submit a report of the incident and the action taken to the FCRSA’s WC/WCX Administrators who shall submit the matter to the Field Committee for review and, if need be, a recommendation to the FCRSA Board of Directors for further action.
Revised 10/2015

FCRSA

Flat-Coats are slow maturing dogs but even in the "mature" Flat-Coat there usually remains a spark of joy & mischief!

FCRSA

The Flat-Coat is a thinking dog.

FCRSA

One of the leading authorities on the breed, Dr. Nancy Laughton of Great Britain, refers to the Flat-Coat as a canine Peter Pan.

Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America

The Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America is committed to protecting and advancing the interests of the breed through health, education, research, responsible breeding and rescue.

About the Flat-Coated Retriever

A determined hunting dog with a small head and mouth can retrieve a large bird, but will not be able to hold it as gently and securely and retrieve repetitively with as much stamina and longevity as the dog with the long head, long muzzle and large, strong jaws.