The object of the National is to bring out the best performance.

To further this end:

  1. As much training may be done each day as required BEFORE entering the trials grounds or AFTER running a test. NO TRAINING may be done after observing a test until after you have run.
  2. Train with as many people as required, excluding any person who has been to the trial and observed the test in progress.
  3. Train on designated areas or ask permission on private property.
  4. Keep corrections away from the public eye and ear.
  5. Dispose of birds in a manner that will not effect public perception, or disrupt another training group.

It is our belief that once a test is viewed, any training which follows will be tainted and distorted by the viewing. Whether training alone or with a group, the viewing of the test will be reflected in what is done and how it is done. This influence is inevitable. Even if only the mannerisms of the handlers are influenced the test will be reflected. It well be reflected in the number of retrieves and whether the retrieves are short or long. It will be reflected in whether the retrieves are across the ditch, along the ditch, up the hill or down the hill, into the wind, crosswind, or downwind. Whether they be marks or blinds, whether “pattern work” sets up a mark or a bind, short or long, the test will be reflected. It may be reflected in so little as voice tone.

Any training done before actual viewing of the test is guesswork. Any training done after viewing is unfair advantage. This advantage is true even if the test is carried into the next day. When a test is carried to the next day the competitors have had the advantage of observing (or training prior to arriving at the trial) all the previous day’s work. Often there is also the advantage of partial call-backs. Any “disadvantage” of running the following day is outweighed by the advantage of knowing what the other dogs have done. Training overnight is an unfair advantage to late competitors.

Rotation is the means of neutralizing the draw. By and large it does a good job. Dogs which run early in one test will run late in the next test. Sometimes running early is best, sometimes late is best. One thing for sure, once you’ve seen the test, any training done is not fair competition.

The future of our great sport depends upon the ethical guidelines which we place upon ourselves. In the final analysis we are only competing against ourselves. We’re only winning or losing according to how we conduct ourselves.

When training at any time, caution should be taken to keep the image of field trails at a high level. Ask permission to train on private grounds. Keep corrections away from the public eye and ear and dispose of birds properly.

The object of the National is to bring out the best performance. The best performance involves every aspect of preparation and every part of ourselves. The winner is within.