This year, the village of Saint-Coeur-de-Marie, in Alma, will have the chance to host the 2022 Canadian national master hunting test, a national canine competition.
The kickoff of the first event was given Monday, on a private ground where the number of spectators is limited, in Alma. Each year, the competition moves from province to province to find the best dog in the country. In 2022, she chose Quebec to stop there, and the level is fierce.
“It’s not easy to qualify for an event like this. It takes a lot of work and perseverance,” said Daniel Desgagné, member of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Protractor Dog Club.
All breeds of retriever dogs, under the rules of the Canadian Kennel Club, can compete in this type of championship. However, several criteria must be met to be eligible for the competition. The masters and their dogs had to work very hard to qualify.
“We will analyze his memory, the response to the training he had by his master and his style,” listed Mr. Desgagné.
This year, 35 dogs entered the championship. They are accompanied by their masters who come from all over Canada, and even the United States.
“It’s the biggest test of the year. This is the canine competition to which all master hunters aspire. It’s a chance for retriever dogs and handlers to test their dogs’ skills against the nation’s greatest calibers,” said Walter Vessey, one of the participants from Rhode Island, USA. -United.
“Our dog is 4 and a half years old, we have been preparing since he was a baby until today by running similar competitions on weekends,” added dog handler Claude Lafontaine.
In Quebec, there are five dog clubs. Five competitions take place on the weekends and during these, the dogs accumulate points to qualify for this competition, which is national in scope.
“If the dog manages to get a qualifying score at the highest level and manages to get more than one, it becomes eligible to take part in this event,” Vessey explained.
“It’s the ultimate pleasure, even if you’re very nervous,” said Mr. Lafontaine.
There are therefore four events left for the qualifications. The tests are variable, on land, in the water and in the high ground.
“We are going to measure the memory of dogs in relation to falling birds. The goal is to retrieve the game as quickly as possible and bring it back to its master. The work of the master and give it a guideline. All of this makes our dogs exceptional animals,” says the member of the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean retriever dog club.
“It’s teamwork, it’s him and me and I can make as many mistakes as him,” added another participant, Daniel Riccio.
The presentation of the rosettes will take place on Friday. To qualify, dogs must meet the standards of the hunting regulations during each event. Several of them could therefore be rewarded. The titles are recognized by Canadian clubs and will follow the dog throughout its life.
Next year the national event is scheduled to take place in Saskatchewan.