Jim Chrisp judging BH dog trials in Barbados

B’dos. Working Dogs’ Association hosts BH trials

First time ever in Barbados, BH trials were held. The BH is a working dog title recognized by the FCI which is the largest worldwide canine organization. The BH (Begleithund) is a mental/socialization test usually done in Europe and a required prerequisite for IPO (Schutzhund) working titles.

The BH starts with a written test for first timers to the BH. The handlers then proceed in pairs to an on and off leash obedience routine which the handler is required to know. After the obedience routine is judged as satisfactory, the handlers can then proceed to the temperament test.

The judge gives a verbal critique of the obedience exercise to the handler in front of where the spectators and other handlers are. If, in his opinion, the exercise is done well enough (the handler would need at least 70% out of the 60 possible marks), the handler is told that he/she can proceed to the traffic section. No marks are released, the exercise is either a pass or a fail

These trials were hosted and held through The Barbados Working Dogs’ Association who invited the Canadian certified judge Jim Chrisp here to conduct the seminar and to judge the trials.

Both the seminar and the obedience trials were held at Kendal Sports Club in St. Philip. For the traffic (temperament) test, the exercise was done at Six Cross Roads.

I attended the seminar on December 5th, without a dog. Other people attended with dogs and Jim Chrisp spent time with them, showing them pointers.

My Bouvier Des Flandres, Ch. Chepam Valentina At Calliope CD came out on Sunday for the trials. She is not yet 2 years old.

“Isabelle” is not accustomed to being tied out and/or left in a vehicle, even for a short period so that was a concern for me. I parked my vehicle under a shady tree and left the windows open (but not enough for her to get out) and checked on her on a regular basis. She did not appear stressed out at all by the experience. She was only allowed on the field with me for the duration of her trial.

Adrian Ward was the trainer for the B’dos. Working Dogs’ Association and he passed with his Malinois, also B’dos. Working Dogs’ Association members Trevor O’Neale with a German Shepherd Dog, and Shawn Fields with a Rottweiler.

Fabrian Blackman of The B’dos. Working Dogs’ Association was the Trial Secretary and the Club provided members and supporters for the group exercise such as the figure of eight and temperament testing.

getting ready for BH trials, Barbados

Getting ready to do the BH trials with judge Jim Chrisp

This photo was taken by Neil Springer, a member of The B’dos. Working Dogs Association in Barbados

Coming into these trials and passing were Sarah Hamilton with a Rhodesian Ridgeback with the UD title, Linda Pearson with a German Shepherd with the CDX title and my Bouvier with the CD title.

Linda Pearson should be credited for encouraging us (the non members of the Barbados Working Dogs’ Association) to enter these trials and also working with us. I did put in about two weeks of steady evening training before the trials as Isabelle already has the CD title so once I practiced the BH routine, I felt ready to go!

To progress further, I need to work on focus heeling. Hopefully, Isabelle will also be doing and passing CDX trials in 2016. And if there is an opportunity to do other IPO training and trials, we would be game.

I think the Barbados Working Dogs’ Association did a great job with the hosting of this event and I hope they will be stimulated to go further with IPO training and events.

The BH is the first step in the IPO (which has tracking, protection, and obedience sections).

The breeds which will normally succeed at IPO titles are the Malinois, German Shepherd, Bouvier Des Flandres, Rottweiler, Dobermann and other working type breeds.

Any breed can participate, and there can also be mixed breeds but where any breed/mixed breed may pass the obedience section, the dog has to have the drive and ability to do bite work for the protection section and also to do tracking. And that is where, in my opinion, the breed and pedigree become very important.

Besides, of course, the breed and the pedigree, training and trainers are very important, but this is a working dog’s sport which is why when it is described, IPO articles acknowledge the breeds that have a track record and will usually be able to succeed at IPO levels.

I would like to congratulate The Barbados Working Dogs’ Association for introducing the BH with a certified judge, to Barbados. And look forward to seeing the club progress further with IPO titles.

I found all of the club members I came in contact with very friendly and helpful.

First BH test in Barbados

Successful participants in BH trials after completing the Traffic Test

The above photo was taken by Neil Springer.

Congratulations to the 6 handlers and the dogs which passed the first BH trials in Barbados.

Adrian Ward and a Malinois
Trevor O’Neale and a German Shepherd
Shawn Fields and a Rottweiler
Linda Pearson and a German Shepherd
Sarah Hamilton and a Rhodesian Ridgeback
Margaret Ashby and a Bouvier Des Flandres

Also in the photo with the above participants are the judge, Jim Chrisp, and the Trial Secretary, Fabian Blackman.

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