Weimaraners are gundogs!
As a bonus you will find the joy that you and your dog can achieve from understanding each other and bringing out your dog's natural traits.
All gundogs are suitable for various forms of retrieving or field work, and if you put the effort in both are incredibly rewarding discplines to be a part of. Both test obedience, natural ability, and partnership of a dog and their handler.
Where and how do I learn to train my dog for retrieving or field trials?
Many of the Gundog breed clubs and the specialist training and trialling club affiliated with the Canine Association of WA run training days from time to time, and which are usually advertised in the Dogs West Canine News. There are many good books around to guide you in your retrieving and field trial training.
If you would like to attend a trial, ring one of the clubs to find out when the next trial is on. Speak to the triallers and find out if any train in your area or attend one of the next training sessions conducted by the relevant clubs.
To compete in a retrieving trial, your Weimaraner MUST be registered with the Australian National Kennel Club on main OR limited register. You will also be required to join DogsWest to compete in ANKC sanctioned Retrieving trials. At the trial, dogs are judged on their ability to seek out fallen game in a simulated shooting situation. Your dog will learn to prove their ability to seek and retrieve fallen game and eventually obey whistle commands to stop and change direction in order to complete the exercise. The dogs obedience commands and temperament are also tested as they must stay in position whilst being shot over.
Retrieving, whilst rewarding, can be incredibly difficult, and takes a lot of dedication. You must travel longer distances outside of Perth for trials, as suitable trialling grounds are not generally located close to Perth. The season is generally short, with trials being conducted only in the cooler months. Training days are usually held before the start of each season.
Field trials are competitions using registered purebred gundogs where dogs and handlers are tested for obedience and natural hunting ability under normal hunting conditions. The purpose of a field trial is to test and determine a dog's natural hunting ability in the field in conditions which are found whilst hunting.
Two forms of field trials are conducted in Western Australia and all field trials are held under the rules and regulations of the ANKC for the relevant field trial discipline, with specific conditions to be observed for Western Australia.
Utility Gundog Field Trials
These events are for breeds which are designed to hunt, point and retrieve, which include the Brittany, German Shorthaired Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Hungarian Vizsla, Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla, Italian Spinone, Weimaraner, Weimaraner Longhair and Large Munsterlander. They are conducted in the field.
Field trials are conducted at three different levels or standards, these being novice stake, open or all age stake and championship stake. The type of work required at each level is identical although the standard of competition at each the higher levels is obviously higher.
Specifically, Utility Gundog Trials are to demonstrate the dog's ability to quarter and locate game in an open field (game is generally quail, but can also be other feathered or furred game, including pigeon and rabbit), point the game, and remain steady to wing and shot (the dog does not move when shot over or when the bird flies/animal runs). The dogs are trialled in pairs, and must also successfully back another dog to “honour” their find during their run. In Western Australia, game is protected, and therefore the ANKC has specifically sanctioned the WA trials to conduct a simulated retrieve on land and in water at the conclusion of the trial. These are similar to the non-slip retrieving trials held. The dog must also demonstrate their steadiness walking to heel, their eagerness and action, and, during the retrieve, their ability to retrieve to hand an unmarked bird.
As per retrieving trials, Field trials must be conducted in larger areas generally difficult to find in inner Perth. Most field trials and training is conducted on farms or private land that owners have given the clubs their permission to run the trials, and where a natural habitat of quail can be found. Field work is incredibly rewarding, but you must be dedicated and willing to travel to work and train your dog.
More information on the rules of all field and retrieving trials can be found at:
Information on clubs that conduct field and retrieving trials can be found at: