Bill, Dominique and Tatoo with the trophy from his
win. Tatoo got his Trialer title in the spring trials 2004 - the first
American owned Breton to do so!
The total dog concept utilized by France
has successfully preserved the breed throughout all these decades in the
country of origin, and it is this concept of the "total dog" that we are
striving to maintain and promote at our kennels. The total dog is sometimes referred to in this country as "dual
dual reasons for this trip. Our personal desire for this trip was to learn first hand the
actual running of the dogs in the trials because it is our desire to trial dogs we own in France.
Therefore, on this trip Bill wanted to spend it with the handlers themselves and
participate in the training and the running of the dogs in the trials.
One or two trials would not suffice to really gain sufficient experience and
knowledge, so he spent a month in France with professional and amatuer
drivers and attended a great number of field trials.
our dog Tatoo was less than 2 years old he was entered in several
he wassuccessful in winning his Trialer designation.
Bill had already made an extended trip to France to walk with judges in the trials to
learn first hand how the trials were judged and seeing the rules put into action.
President of the breed club we wanted first hand knowledge of the
judging and running procedures. And Bill was also pursuing his desire to become licensed as a field trial
judge. Experiencing the French trials from both aspects - the
judging and the handling - has provided him with the well rounded knowledge
Whichever term is used
- dual dog or total dog - what it refers to is
dogs that perform - in the case of our breed that means hunting, pointing and retrieving
upland birds - as well as being within the standard for the breed. The
spring and fall field trials in France are walking trials that are held on
wild birds only. There can be upwards of 200 or more dogs entered
in a given trial in the spring (fall trials are much smaller) and often only a handful qualify for the final run off
which determines the winner of the trial, as in the case of the Vimpelles
trial which is the big national Breton trial in France.
In France it is required that prior to getting a dog's championship title in
the field it must also get at least a very good in a show and the
reverse is true for a show title.
The dogs in the run off at
the Vimpelles trial.
in the country of origin there will not be field champions that are out of
the standard for the breed or with disqualifying faults and likewise it
insures that show champions do not lose their ability to hunt. This is the
"total dog" concept and it is what has preserved the breed in France for
decades. This is the concept that we have actively pursued for our Plum
In this country many breeds have separated into field dogs or show dogs due
to the venues that are in place and not requiring that they do both prior
to getting their titles. We have been actively involved in
attempting to set up venues in this country based on the concepts utilized in
France which has been so successful for them and feel it is of paramount
importance that trials used in this country be based on the
FCI rules without deviation, but have yet to see this come to fruition.
The awards ceremony at
many factors involved in these rules, but some of the main ones are that
they are trials on wild birds and they are walking trials - the scenario of
actually hunting and there's no running over the same grounds again and
again by scores of dogs.
In the meantime, we at Plum Creek plan on competing dogs only in France again in
2005 because we are dedicated to preserving these dogs as they have in the
breed's country of origin.