The Endurance Test is generally performed by breed clubs.  The test determines the ability of the dog to withstand a certain degree of physical strain without showing any signs of undue stress or lack of constitution.  Such a test can consist of a gaiting performance of some lengthy duration, which is known to place an increasing load on the physical structure and temperament characteristics of the dog.  The effortless accomplishment of such a test shall be evidence of the physical fitness of the dog.

The Trial:

The Endurance trial consists of:

  • a pre-trial obedience test
  • the endurance test (a 12 mile run consisting of 3 four mile legs separated by rest periods during which vet checks will be performed)
  • a post-trial obedience test which will be the same obedience test as previously performed.  The dog must exhibit the same willingness to work for its owner before and after the extended exercise period

Prior to the commencement of the 12 mile run, a short obedience test shall be conducted.  After the completion of the 12 mile run, the same obedience test will be repeated after the final vet checks have been completed. After the completion of the first leg there will be a rest period of 10 minutes.  After the completion of the second leg there will be a 15 minute rest period.  Five minutes into each of the two rest periods, a vet check will be performed.  A vet check will also be performed 5 minutes and 15 minutes after the completion of the third leg.

Reprimands shall not under any circumstances be used during the trial  period for an animal that falls behind or fails to perform during the obedience test and may result in disqualification.  A reprimand means either physical or verbal.  Praise and encouragement may be offered freely to hounds and participants alike!

The Obedience Test:

The obedience test is to be conducted in groups of 4 or lower. The test is to consist of:

Heeling forward a short distance followed by a right about turn; continued heeling a short distance coming to a halt (the dog does not have to sit).  Finally a short recall on or off lead will be performed. The standard of the obedience work after the gaiting must be similar to that before the gaiting.  If the dog is off lead prior to the run, it must perform off lead after the run.  Also – the same handler must perform the obedience test before and after the run.

The Endurance Test:

The dog and handler teams are to be initially released in groups as determined by the total number of dogs entered. They will space out as they proceed as their paces will vary and they are not required to stay together. The dog is permitted to pull slightly. Continued lagging however, will incur a disqualification. The distance is to be completed in a maximum time of 2 hours and 25 minutes (including the first ten minute break and the 15 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd leg, but excluding the final rest period).

NOTE: Average gaiting speed is 6 miles an hour (10 minutes per mile).  The handler may gait the dog faster but must remember that there is no reward for speed.  Each of the 4 mile legs MUST be completed in 40 minutes or less.  If your time goes over 40 minutes in any of the 3 legs, you will be disqualified (you may still finish the trial if you wish but you will not be awarded a certificate).

The dog may stop to relieve itself as long as it maintains at least the minimum 6 mph average speed and completes each leg in 40 minutes or less. During the rest period, the dog may move freely and relax.

Veterinary Checks:

There shall be 4 veterinary checks.

1.)    Before the first obedience test.  The vet will examine each dog and determine the body temperature / general fitness / muscle tone / standing heart rate / condition of the pad, etc., to ensure that the dog is fit to compete.

2.)    At the completion of the first leg – 5 minutes after coming into the rest area.

3.)    At the completion of the second leg – 5 minutes after coming into the rest area.

4.)    Twice after the completion of the final leg – 5 minutes and 15 minutes after coming into the rest area (the final obedience test will be performed after the final 15 minute vet check).

Veterinary checks can have data collected by a member of the veterinary assistant team.  The examination will include: body temperature, standing heart rate and condition of the pads.  Any dog showing any undue stress, badly worn pads and or a body temperature over 104 degrees F during the rest break shall be eliminated by the chief veterinarian or the judge.

A dog will have failed the test if:

  • The dog lacks physical conditioning, or shows signs of undue stress or fatigue.
  • Fails to complete the distance within the allotted time.
  • Fails to complete the obedience exercise as determined by the veterinarian and judge.

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