Freighter ran the American Chesapeake Club’s Working Dog Qualified (WDQ) stake last weekend. He was the only WDQ dog running on this particular day.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Freighter Walking At Heel To The Land Series

It was a cool day with periods of rain and then a peek of sun.  Of course just as Freighter started to run the first series, it was raining so I took photos from underneath an umbrella.

Normally the first series of a WDQ test is a land double with a shot flyer and a dead bird and then a land blind.  (A double is where the dogs watch two ducks fall in the field and a blind is where the a duck is placed in the field but the dog does not watch it being placed and must rely on its handler to direct it to the bird using whistles and arm signals.)

The WDQ test that Freighter ran was a bit different because he only ran two land marks as part of the first series.  The judges felt that the field was not safe on one side because there were some large holes.  Rather then risk an injury, they moved the land blind to the second series.

WDQ Land Series
WDQ Land Series-Land Double With A Shot Flyer

Even without the land blind, this was not a “gimme” land series.  The cover in this field was fairly high and the shot flyer was way to the back of a tree-lined the field.  It was raining and fairly dark out so the ducks were a bit difficult to see against the dark background.

Also, the dogs had to cross a ditch to get to the memory bird (which was the first bird they saw fall).  To a dog, a ditch is like a natural fence (or hazard) and some dogs will not cross it, or realize that they have to push past it to get to the bird.  For this test, the people throwing the birds wear white, which does help the dogs to get out to where they are throwing the birds.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Freighter Has Watched The Marks And Is Getting Ready To Be Released

Freighter was nice and steady for these marks and sat nicely until hubby released him.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Duck
Freighter With The Shot Flyer

Freighter put on a little hunt for the flyer.  There must have been a lot of scent in the field and he needed to push a bit farther out to the back of the field.  He did a nice job on the memory bird and pushed across the ditch to retrieve it.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Freighter With The Memory Bird

On to the next series.

The next series was a combination land water triple with a water blind and a land blind.  The water blind was a hot blind meaning that it was placed in the field before the marks were thrown.

WDQ Second Series-Combo Land Water Triple, Water Blind, Land Blind
WDQ Second Series-Combo Land Water Triple, Water Blind, Land Blind

First up for Freighter was the triple-one mark on land and two in the water.  Because of the way the test was configured, Freighter had to pivot with his handler 180 degrees to see the marks.  Hubby has been working on Freighter to stay sitting as marks go off.  Hubby has also been working on Freighter pivoting with him as he turns his body.  The result was Freighter basically tuning into a pretzel because he was trying to keep his butt on the ground and pivot at the same time.  Eventually he will learn how to do both together, but it was funny to watch.

Once the marks were down and the judges released Freighter, hubby straightened him out so could run the marks.  Hubby lined him to each mark and Freighter did a good job taking the line he was given.  He did need to put on a big hunt for mark #2.  There was a lot of wind which pushed the duck over and to the very edge of the pond.  There were some ducks in the adjoining pond which messed with him a bit, but eventually he got the bird.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Freighter Returning With Mark #3
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Freighter Returning With Mark #2

I was kind of worried that after all that hunting on mark #2, he would totally forget where that land mark was since it was the first one he watched (mark #1).  But Freighter remembered exactly where it was went right to it.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Freighter Returning With The Land Mark

Next up for Freighter was the water blind.  Normally the blinds for WDQ tests are outside of the marks, but this one required the dog to go in between the marks and get up on land to get to the blind.  Freighter had to go right past mark #3 to get to the blind, but that was no problem for him.  He carried the line all the way across the pond.  Hubby put a handle on Freighter once he hit land just to remind him that he was still there.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Freighter With The Water Blind

The last thing Freighter had to comlete was the land blind.  This was a challenge because he had to pass very close to where he picked up the land mark.  Freighter needed about 4 handles.  He kept trying to dig over to where he picked up the land mark, but all in all it was a nice job.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Freighter With The Land Blind

The test completed, he earned his Working Dog Qualified certification from the American Chesapeake Club.  The test was challenging, but really good experience for Freighter who will be trying another Master test this weekend.

Freighter WDQ
Freighter WDQ

Just a little note: I am having some issues with my site that I am trying to resolve.  For the moment email notifications are not working.  In the meantime, I will share posts to Twitter, Facebook and Bloglovin’.

10 thoughts on “Freighter’s Working Dog Qualified Test

  1. I’m so glad to hear that the judges made adjustments to keep the dogs safe! It sounds like Freighter did great work!

  2. Congratulations on Freighter’s WDQ Certification! The pictures of him carrying the birds look awesome. For some reason, I can’t pin them – I’ll keep trying. Not sure if it has something to do with the difficulties you mentioned, or if it’s on my end.

  3. Congrats Freighter and I wish you all the bestest luck for the test this weekend…. I’m sure you will be great and there is a reason to open some bottles with bubble water on monday (hope the blog-probs can be solved)

  4. Good job Freighter. You figured it out and we knew you could do it. We wish you good luck too.

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