On October 12, 2007 Tucker and I attended a Jim Drager seminar on WC / WCX tests.  This was our first exposure
to field work.  The morning session was a discussion on the types of field tests and what was required at each.  We
also discussed procedure and training issues.  The WC (Working Certificate) requires two single retrieves from
water and one double retrieve on land.  After the morning discussion I thought, "Tucker can do this!".  He loves to
retrieve, especially if it involves water and we have already been working on retrieving "memory bumpers" (throwing
two bumpers out, retrieving the last one thrown and then going out to retrieve the first bumper.  The dog has to
remember that there is a bumper there and where it landed).  So after a fun morning of discussion, we were off to
Red Barn Kennels for an afternoon of field demos!

I soon found out that retrieving bumpers that I have thrown is a long way from WC work, but it's a good start!
got to run a double retrieve on land with dead birds.  I have never asked Tucker to retrieve a dead bird.  Earlier in
the day I showed him a dead pheasant and he tried to eat it.  Not good.  What would he do in the field when sent to
retrieve one?  Another new training issue for us was that Tucker has only retrieved items thrown by the person
handling him.  At a WC test, someone is out in the field throwing the bird for us.  Tucker knows the extent of my
throwing range.  Would he go out far enough to find the downed bird?  Would he know to mark the fall of the bird?  
It's not as easy to see as a bumper.  Third issue was the guns.  Tucker has never been around guns that were
being shot.  Would he be ok with that?

Here is the photo journal of our WC run at the seminar.  Not perfect but certainly a lot of fun and a lot was learned!
Tucker is watching the other dogs
retrieving.  The sound of the guns doesn't
seem to bother him.
I am bringing Tucker out of the blind and up
to the line.  I was told that I exhibited good
communication with my dog.
I am showing Tucker his first mark.  I'm
pointing to the gunners and using the queue
word that I use in Utility for marking a
go-out.  He is probably thinking "Where's my
stanchion and white gate?
Looking for the second mark
Turning back to watch the "go bird" get
thrown.  It's a good thing Tucker is good at
pivots in Utility because you seem to do a lot
of them in field work!
Tuckers hunting for.... ok a bumper.  He still
hasn't gotten the bird thing.  In fact, he
stopped and sniffed the bird and went back
to look for a bumper.  That's my boy!
Yeah!  He got it!  The thrower tossed the bird again for him to see.  He ran over to sniff it then started to walk away. I quickly yelled
He said "Well OK then!" and happily ran back to me with the bird in his mouth.
I can't keep it?
Lining up to retrieve the "memory bird".  It
wasn't much of a memory.  The thrower had
to re-throw to get his attention.  Tucker
wasn't going far enough out to actually
locate the bird.  He is use to searching for
bumpers in the range of my throwing arm.
No persuading this time.  Once he
found the bird, he picked it right up
and headed back to me!
"Got you another one mom!"
My friend Jennifer, tossing birds.
"Why does Jim get to keep it?"
The seminar was a lot of fun and Jim was very good at explaining what to do and what not to do.  Obviously, Tucker is not ready to run a WC test.  
At 9-1/2 years old, I think he did pretty well for his first time ever seeing a real bird and then being asked to retrieve it.  I think we are off to a good
start and with a little bit of work, it's a title I know we can accomplish.
After the seminar, it was time to cool off with a swim.  Jennifer brought 10 week old Tully to the seminar.  He's never been in water before.  
Tucker is a very strong and confident swimmer and a good teacher for young pups.  As you can see, after just a little thought,
Tully jumped right in!
"I'm not sure I liked that!"
"Well...Tucker seems to be having fun"
"OK, Maybe I'll try again!"