Weimaraners are runners!
If you want to have fun with your dog, training it for something different and at the same time proving it has stamina and willingness to work with you, this could be the test for you.
Can you ride a bike at the same time as controlling your dog on the end of a loose two metre lead, or are you a runner who will be quite happy to run 20kms with your dog? If so, then read on.
You have to be able to train your dog to run along side you whilst you either ride your bike or run with him/her. Experience has shown that you do not need to cover long distances during training, frequent runs over shorter distances, gradually building the dog’s fitness is the way to go.
The endurance test is over a distance of 20kms and is split into three sections, the first being eight kilometres. The second and third are six kilometres. There is a break of 15 minutes between the first and second sections and 20 minutes between the second and third sections.
All this is carefully watched over by a judge. The dog’s fitness and condition is monitored by a team of vets who examine each dog during the breaks.
Any person entering an ET must supply a certificate from their vet confirming the dog’s fitness to take part. You do not have to worry about your dog’s ability to continue during the test, as it is being constantly checked.
At the beginning, and before any running takes place, the team of vets will check each dog and compare the data on the certificate supplied on entry with its current condition. If all is OK the judge will give the handler and dog a very simple obedience test to check its willingness to obey.
The running or cycling part of the ET is carried out at a speed of 10kms per hour or one kilometre every six minutes. This is really a very gentle jog for cyclist or runner and most dogs enjoy gaiting at this speed. The whole test takes two hours and 35 minutes including the intervening breaks.
During this time you get to chat with other competitors as you travel the course, it really is an enjoyable experience.
During the breaks and again 15 minutes after the end of the 20kms the vets will check your dog’s condition. After the final vet check, there will be a repeat of the simple obedience test to prove your dog is just as willing to obey as he was before the ET began.
When you have successfully finished the test, you will be presented with a qualifying certificate signed by the judge.
ET trials are run twice a year in WA; in June and September.